college of continuing professional studies

Drury University CCPS celebrates National Nontraditional Student Week

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., November 8, 2016 — Drury University’s College of Continuing Professional Studies is celebrating National Nontraditional Student Week.

“Drury has a long-standing commitment to continuing and professional education, and we’re pleased to have this chance to recognize our hard-working and dedicated students who often have to balance family and work responsibilities in addition to pursuing their degree,” said Aaron Jones, Dean of the College of Continuing Professional Studies.

Each branch campus is hosting special activities to honor their students. On Sunday, 37 students were inducted into the Alpha Sigma Lamda honor society. On Monday, CCPS staff gave out snacks and Drury swag to CCPS students. Other events include a “Bring A Friend to Class Night” on Wednesday evening and the annual Veterans Day Celebration at 11 a.m. on Friday in the Plaster Gallery of the O’Reilly Family Event Center. That event is open to the public.

Throughout the week, CCPS students can pick up free tickets to Saturday’s basketball game against Webster University. Tickets can be picked up between 8 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. in Burnham Hall 206.

Drury University’s College of Continuing Professional Studies offers classes in Springfield, Ava, Cabool, Fort Leonard Wood, Lebanon, Monett, St. Robert, Rolla, West Plains, and online in 8-week and 16-week terms as well as online and blended formats. For more information, visit www.drury.edu/ccps.

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Dr. Jana Neiss named as College of Continuing Professional Studies dean

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Sept. 7, 2016 — Drury University has appointed Dr. Jana Neiss as its next Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean of the College of Continuing Professional Studies (CCPS). Neiss succeeds Aaron Jones, the continuing studies dean since 2012, who will transition to a new position: Chief of Staff to Drury President Dr. Tim Cloyd.

Neiss will begin her duties in January 2017. She earned a Doctor of Education degree from the University of Missouri and a master’s degree from Pittsburg State University in Kansas. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Ozark Bible College in Joplin.

Neiss has deep roots at Drury, having begun her academic career as an adjunct CCPS faculty member in 1993. She then helped start Drury’s branch campus in Rolla in 1995. In 2008 she became the Director of CCPS’s Mid-Missouri Region. She and her husband, David, have two sons, Charles and Garrett, who both graduated from Drury – one from the traditional day school and the other from CCPS.

For the past six years, Neiss has worked as the Director of the Teacher Education Program at Missouri University of Science & Technology. In that role, she oversaw the university’s teacher certification curriculum, led accreditation efforts, and facilitated key external partnerships with public schools.

Jana Neiss

“Jana brings a deep knowledge of Drury, an understanding of adult education, established relationships in our CCPS communities, and a proven track record that make her uniquely qualified for this position,” said President Cloyd.

While at S&T, Neiss was recognized for innovative programming and curriculum work, including initiation of a STEM-focused elementary teacher certification, and co-directing more than $1 million in state grants for science education and quantitative literacy. She also was recruited to serve on several state and national boards and committees, including representing Missouri at the National Summit on Teacher Education and the Common Core, and chairing the Missouri Council of Education Deans and Directors. She was tapped by Missouri’s Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to serve on Missouri’s Network for Transforming Educator Preparation.

“I am excited to come back to Drury and reconnect with former colleagues and create new relationships with other members of the Drury community,” Neiss said. There’s a great level of enthusiasm about Drury’s recent successes and potential for future growth, and I look forward to being part of it.”

Jones will assume chief of staff duties full time in January, where he will work with President Cloyd, Trustees, faculty and staff to enhance communication, coordination, and transparency across the university. He will be responsible for accelerating the development of long-range institutional strategy and planning for the day school, CCPS, graduate studies and athletics.

“While this is a new position for Drury, it is a crucial role at many universities,” said President Cloyd. “Aaron will be an honest broker in synthesizing, compiling and articulating the opinions of Drury’s various constituencies.”

About CCPS

Drury’s College of Continuing Professional Studies offers bachelor and associate degree programs primarily in the evening at the main Springfield campus and at nine branch locations across the region. Academic programs are designed to meet the needs of adult students with hectic lifestyles that make traditional degree completion impractical. Additionally, CCPS offers online courses for undergraduate and graduate programs to enhance flexibility and quality of the education experience of Drury students.

For more information, go to www.drury.edu/ccps.

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Media Contact: Mike Brothers, Director of Media Relations – (417) 873-7390 or mikebrothers@drury.edu.

Grant helps Drury launch program aimed at migrant workers, families

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., August 16, 2016 — Migrant workers and their families in southwest Missouri will soon see improved access to higher education thanks to Drury University’s College of Continuing Professional Studies (CCPS) and a five-year, $1.94 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education.

This College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP) grant will be used to fund three full-time and three part-time staff members at Drury’s CCPS campus in Monett. The staff will be dedicated to identifying, recruiting and supporting students with the greatest need within the local Hispanic population. The grant will also fund classroom technology such as laptops, and living expenses such as childcare. A key focus of the program is leadership training, which will take place in partnership with the Monett Chamber of Commerce.

A public kick-off event to celebrate will be held from 4 to 7 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 1 at the Drury Monett campus, 400 4th Street.

“I’m extremely excited about the confidence the Department of Education has in Drury and our Monett site,” says Ann Saunders, Monett campus director. “These resources will help us make a positive imprint on the lives of many students and their families. Staff members are rolling up their sleeves and are ready to embark on this historic journey.”

How the Program Will Work

The Drury program is called “Somos” – Spanish for “we are.” The first cohort of Somos students will begin classes this month in Monett. Spots are still available in the cohort.

“Drury’s Monett campus has a long history of providing personalized, supportive education to the area’s first generation college students and the Hispanic community,” says Dr. Elizabeth Gackstetter Nichols, Professor of Spanish and Somos Project Director. “This grant provides the funding to allow the excellent advising, mentoring and educating currently going on in Monett to expand and work more efficiently. Providing specialized services to allow new first-year students to succeed at the college level will help these students proceed and persist to graduation.”

Through the Somos program, Drury faculty and staff will identify and provide outreach to qualifying students and their families. They will be able to provide access to and training on technology, provide relevant instruction in language and math, and help them earn a bachelor’s degree. In particular, the program will encourage degree completion in STEM, business and education fields. In order to lay the groundwork for a successful transition into the workforce, most second-year students will complete the Monett Chamber of Commerce Leadership Institute and complete an internship in the community.

A key component of Somos is addressing the cultural barriers that exist for students whose families may prioritize the immediacy of earning a paycheck over getting a degree. Somos includes activities that encourage families of students to be involved, and it builds a support system of peers so that students can help one another in continuing their education.

Meeting Workforce Needs

There are significant needs in the Monett area labor force for more university-educated Spanish-speaking workers, Nichols says. Local employers cite a need for Hispanic employees at management and executive levels.

Drury University at Monett is the only university in the area already integrated with the local migrant Hispanic community that serves nontraditional students and provides bachelor’s degrees in key areas such as STEM majors, business and management specialties, and elementary and secondary education. The Monett campus, under the College of Continuing Professional Studies, has grown since its 2007 inception, from six courses in 2007 to 25 courses serving approximately 150 students per semester today. Monett students choose from 15 majors and can complete their associate’s or bachelor’s degrees through a combination of seated, blended and online courses, providing a unique service in an underserved region.

The Somos program is funded entirely though the federal Department of Education CAMP grant. Drury will receive $373,047 in the grant’s first year, which does not require any local matching funds over its five-year lifespan. Drury will receive $1.94 million total over the five-year grant period.

“The CAMP program provides vital resources to help students pursue a higher education and all of the opportunities that come with it,” says U.S. Senator Roy Blunt. “I’m proud this grant award will allow the exceptional faculty and staff at Drury University to reach more students and their families, and enable them take the next step toward realizing the American Dream.”

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Media Contacts:

Dr. Elizabeth Gackstetter Nichols – Somos Program Director:  (417) 873-6925 or enichols@drury.edu

Ann Saunders – Drury Monett Campus Director: (417) 235-2007 or asaunders@drury.edu

Drury University receives building donation in Monett

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., October 19, 2015 — The building that is the current home of Drury University’s College of Continuing Professional Studies in Monett has been gifted to the university by Glen and Sharon Garrett.

Drury began offering classes in Monett in 2007. In 2011, the location moved to its current facility located at 400 4th Street where the university has leased a portion of the building until now. Glen and Sharon Garrett, owners of the building, are donating the entire building to Drury. This is the first CCPS location that will be fully owned by the university. The 23,000 square foot facility is valued at $522,500 by the Barry County Tax Assessor’s Office.

“This generous donation by the Garretts will provide Drury University the opportunity to expand the services we currently offer to students in the Monett area, both in terms of physical space and number of classes,” says Drury President Dr. David Manuel. “We’re thankful that Glen and Sharon share our vision for higher education in the area.”

Students at the CCPS Monett campus can fully complete associates degrees through a combination of online and evening classes in areas such as leadership studies, health science, psychology and more.

Drury will host a celebration of the gift at 4 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 20 at the location at 400 4th Street in Monett. The event is open to the public. Announcements regarding renovation plans will be made later in the year.

Media Contact: Kristy Nelson – Director of Marketing, College of Continuing Professional Studies. Email: knelson008@drury.edu; phone: (417) 873-7313.

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Open house targets prospective graduate, non-traditional students 

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., July 21, 2015 — Prospective non-traditional students can get their questions answered in person at a Drury University open house event Thursday.

The College of Continuing Professional Studies and the College of Graduate Studies will hold a joint open house from 4 to 6 p.m. Thursday, July 23 at Reed Auditorium in the Trustee Science Center. Staff members and program directors will be on hand to answer questions about degrees, career options, admission requirements and financial aid. Trustee Science Center is located on the west side of Drury Lane, just north of Chestnut Expressway.

The College of Continuing Professional Studies (CCPS) offers bachelor and associate degree programs at Drury’s main campus in Springfield and at branch campuses in Ava, Cabool, Fort Leonard Wood/St. Robert, Lebanon, Monett, Rolla and Thayer. The College of Graduate Studies offers masters degrees in business administration, communication, education, teaching, and studio art & theory.

Programs in both areas feature flexibility so that students can pursue a degree in a timeframe that works best for them. CCPS currently offers 14 undergraduate degrees that can be completed totally online, as well as many seated courses. Graduate courses are offered in the evenings, online, and in alternative formats such as weekend experiences, and 8-week or 16-week courses.

For more information about graduate programs, call (417) 873-7530 or visit Drury.edu/graduate. For more information about CCPS programs, call (417) 873-7373 or visit Drury.edu/ccps.

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Passion for media and history come together in propaganda research

As a filmmaker and TV production professional, Nathan Maulorico knows that every shot tells a story – sometimes ones the viewers may not even be aware.

Lately, Maulorico has been putting his passion for history to work in order to find the stories behind the shots themselves.

The recent Drury graduate was invited to present findings from an undergraduate research paper at the annual Mississippi State University Symposium for Undergraduate History Research earlier this month. The paper examines how film propaganda techniques of the past influence the visuals we see in modern advertising and movies.

Nathan Maulorico

Nathan Maulorico

Maulorico, 33, has been making short films since his teen years and has worked on reality TV productions for about a decade with credits that include “Dance Moms,” “Clash of the Ozarks” and work with Bobby Flay. He graduated from the College of Continuing Professional Studies in December with degrees in advertising, public relations and history. Drury was the right place to combine these interests, he says, and this research was a rewarding way to cap off that experience.

“This project was a personal challenge to me to figure out how I can mesh all of those together,” he says.

Maulorico watched more than 30 films and clips of many others as part of his research. They dated from 1912 to modern times and came from nearly a dozen countries. He watched with an eye for known propaganda techniques, and for continuity between eras.

“I looked for the techniques that were being used in those early films and they were adapted in modern films, advertising and news media,” he says.

While much writing and research has been devoted to old propaganda vehicles – particularly films made in Nazi Germany – there’s been less written about the parallels in modern media, Maulorico says. Most of us don’t think propaganda affects us, but it’s out there.

“People think it only has to do with these old Nazi movies but really, propaganda is happening all around us,” he says. “Whether it’s politics or advertising, somebody is trying to influence what you’re doing every day.”

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 Story by Mike Brothers, Drury’s director of media relations.

CCPS open house on Thursday targets non-traditional students

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., April 13, 2015 — Drury University’s College of Continuing Professional Studies will hold an open house for prospective students from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., Thursday, April 16 at the O’Reilly Family Event Center.

During the event, prospective students can visit with campus representatives to discuss programs offered, degree highlights and various career fields. Admissions representatives will be on hand to discuss the application process and admission requirements, and financial aid professionals will be available to answer questions about federal student aid, scholarships and other assistance.

The event will feature door prizes and light refreshments. Parking is available in Lot 12 just south of OFEC or in Lot 7 on Summit Avenue north of Harrison Stadium. For more information, call 873-7373 or go to www.drury.edu/ccps.

About CCPS

The College of Continuing Professional Studies (CCPS) offers bachelor and associate degree programs primarily in the evening at Drury’s main campus in Springfield and at branch campuses in Ava, Cabool, Fort Leonard Wood/St. Robert, Lebanon, Monett, Rolla and Thayer as well as through extension sites at Licking and OTC’s Richwood Valley Campus in Ozark.

CCPS programs are designed to meet the needs of adult students with hectic lifestyles that make traditional degree completion impractical. Online courses for undergraduate and graduate programs enhance the flexibility and quality of the educational experience. CCPS currently offers 14 undergraduate degrees and two graduate degrees that can be completed totally online.

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Media Contact: Kristy Nelson, M.A., Director of Marketing for Drury CCPS. Office: (417) 873-7868 or email: knelson008@drury.edu.

Two of Missouri’s best new teachers trained at Drury

Two of Missouri’s best new teachers received their professional training from Drury’s College of Continuing Professional Studies.

Callie Beard, an elementary school teacher in the Lebanon school district, and Fernando Sustaita, a middle school teacher at Nixa, were recently given the Outstanding Beginning Teacher Award by the Missouri Association for Colleges of Teacher Education.

The recipients were selected based on evaluations of outstanding graduates completed by their college or university, and recommendations from the school districts where they teach.

Callie Beard teaches elementary school students in her Lebanon classroom.

Callie Beard teaches elementary school students in her Lebanon classroom.

“I was stunned, shocked and elated,” says Beard, who teaches social studies and communication arts to fifth graders.

After spending her first two years at another school, Beard switched gears seeking more financial flexibility and classes closer to her hometown of Lebanon. She took classes through Drury’s Springfield, St. Robert and Lebanon campuses. Many of her instructors were teachers in the immediate area.

“They could draw from their own personal experience,” Beard says. “They had classroom examples ready; they were familiar faces.”

Sustaita knows about switching gears, too. After 15 years in the business world, he decided to make a career change and become a teacher. Now in his second year at a seventh grade history teacher in Nixa, he also coaches three sports (cross country, basketball and track), drives busses for the teams, serves on school committees.

“When I want to do something, I go in 110 percent,” he says. “I don’t hold back.”

Fernando Sustaita teaches history at Nixa, and also coaches cross country, basketball and track.

Fernando Sustaita teaches history at Nixa, and also coaches cross country, basketball and track.

Seeing students succeed drives him, Sustaita says. And that’s the same kind of treatment he received from his professors when he was a student earning a Master of Education at Drury, he says. In fact, he still reaches out to them for advice and mentorship, even after graduation.

“I trust the education system there,” he says. “I trusted my advisors. And I know that wherever I’m going to go, people are going to look at that degree and hold it to a high standard.”

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Story by Mike Brothers, Drury’s director of media relations.

Vietnam veteran earns art degree — and respect from faculty

Drury art student Richard Hunter is proof that it’s never too late to learn something new. The 64-year-old graduated on Dec. 13 with an art degree. Hunter is a retired Vietnam veteran, and though he doesn’t consider himself a natural artist, he certainly has made an impression on his professors and classmates.

This year he received the Boyko Weltanschauung Award, which is presented to students who have made the biggest impact on art department faculty, and challenge instructors to re-examine their teaching strategies and think about why they teach. Hunter is just the second recipient in 11 years.

“As one of our older students, I find him completely open to critiques of his works and is one of the hardest working students that I have ever known,” said Rebecca Miller, a photography professor. “His life experiences bring so much to the classroom that he will be one of those students I will remember fondly for years to come because of his positive outlook on life.”

Richard Hunter in the ceramics workshop at Pool Art Center.

Richard Hunter in the ceramics workshop at Pool Art Center.

Hunter prefers working with ceramics and photography. As a beekeeper, he’s particularly inspired by bees and the hexagon shapes they make, which he’s incorporated into his art. He is also drawn to graffiti art and has photographed the traveling artwork on trains rolling through town.

One of Hunter’s biggest inspirations is his younger classmates.

“One of things I’ve absolutely loved is that I get to be around young artists and that I have had a chance to see art through their eyes,” said Hunter. “Being with young artists makes me feel young again! It stirs up my imagination.”

Hunter has also enjoyed working on the art department’s annual Veterans Day tradition of taking portrait photos of veterans free of charge. He would eventually like to start a volunteer art therapy program to aid disabled veterans.

“Art really helps disabled veterans to relax and seems to help heal people both mentally and physically,” said Hunter. “I just want to share what I have learned and maybe even learn from them.”

Hunter appreciated that his professors adjusted to his learning style and worked with him on an individual basis. The small school environment made him feel comfortable, he says.

“The teachers have really bent over backward to inspire me, encourage me to do good work and look at my art in different ways,” he says. “They’re willing to be more personal and they’re willing to listen.”

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Story by Kaleigh Jurgensmeyer, English and Writing major at Drury. A version of this story first appeared in the Springfield News-Leader.

Drury named a “Military Friendly School” for fourth straight year

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Sept. 23, 2014 — For the fourth year in a row, Victory Media has recognized Drury University as a Military Friendly School. The 2015 Military Friendly Schools list honors the colleges, universities and trade schools doing the most to embrace America’s military service members, veterans and their spouses as students.

“Earning the 2014-2015 Military Friendly Schools designation puts Drury University in the top 20 percent of all eligible schools approved for G.I. Bill funding, and it tells prospective military students that Drury is pre-vetted with leading programs and policies to support military students,” says Sean Collins, Vice President at Victory Media, adjudicator of Military Friendly ratings and publisher of G.I. Jobs.

The Military Friendly Schools website (www.militaryfriendly.com) features interactive lists and search tools to help military students find the best school to suit their unique needs and preferences. Those selected by Victory Media exhibit leading practices in the recruitment and retention of students with military experience.

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Drury has a long tradition of serving those who have served our country. In the days after World War II, buses brought soldiers from Fort Leonard Wood to classes held on the Springfield campus. Today, one of Drury’s 11 branch locations is at Fort Leonard Wood.

“Being in the service can give a person the feelings of a fast-paced and stressful environment,” says Katelyn Vernon, president of the Drury chapter of Student Veterans of America. “But the thought of changing your path in life and returning to school is almost more stressful. Luckily, Drury is there with you every step of the way. The staff is knowledgeable of all the requirements from the Veterans Administration, which ensures everything is processed quickly and smoothly. I am proud that I had the opportunity to attend Drury and was able to share and influence other students with my experiences in the service.”

Victory Media’s annual Guide to Military Friendly Schools will be distributed in print and digital format to hundreds of thousands of active and former military personnel.

For more information on how Drury helps veterans find academic and career success, go to www.drury.edu/military.

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