With its rich history, diverse culture and myriad educational opportunities, Springfield, Missouri is the perfect place to pursue your degree. This Queen of the Ozarks (as it’s commonly called) is a beacon of arts, culture and influence, where Southern hospitality meets big city diversity. Perhaps that’s why the city is undergoing such a dramatic population boom, with a net growth of 11.89 percent between 2000 and 2009. While you pursue you degree, you can immerse yourself in a vibrant, communal atmosphere that fondly caters to students and residents from all walks of life. Whether you’re looking for a public or private education, online or on-site, you can find exactly what you’re looking for within the borders of this grand city.
Colleges in Springfield
If you're looking for a quality education, look no further than Springfield. Twenty-two percent of Springfield residents over age 25 have at least a bachelor’s degree, and local universities are seeing consistent growth in admission and graduation rates. This bustling city is home to 22 colleges, including Missouri State, one of the state's leading public universities.
Missouri State University (MSU) is the second largest college in the state, with more than 23,000 students in attendance. This is a college with a purpose, as students and faculty are fully committed to giving back to the community. According to the school's public affairs mission, MSU students make a difference through community engagement, cultural competence, and ethical leadership. If you're passionate about diversity, you'll be pleased to learn that MSU is home to students from all 50 states and more than 85 countries all around the world. Come and experience the cultural and educational melting pot that is Missouri State University.
If you're leaning more toward a private university education, you're in luck. Springfield has a wealth of worthy options to choose from such as Drury University (which consistently ranks among U.S. News & World Report's Top 10 Universities in the Midwest), Baptist Bible College, Evangel University, Columbia College, and Webster University. The majority of private colleges in Springfield have a religious affiliation, and many—such as Drury and Evangel—have a liberal arts emphasis. Best of all, these universities all have fewer than 5,000 students, so you can learn in an intimate environment with students and faculty members who share your goals and values.
A private education doesn't have to cost much more than a public education. For instance, Cox College offers associate, bachelor's, and master's degree programs in a variety of medical- and health-related fields, all for little more than what you would pay at a public college like Missouri State University. You can also save money by taking advantage of some of the city's online educational opportunities, but more on that later.
Looking to obtain a two-year degree or start earning credits toward a four-year degree? Then you'll want to check out Ozarks Technical Community College (OTC). Since 1990, OTC has been bolstering the education of students from far and wide, by offering a wealth of comprehensive programs that run the gamut from workforce training to technical education. The campus also offers a wide range of general education programs to accommodate students pursuing a broad range of disciplines and vocations. OTC currently has nearly 15,000 students, including 1,300 first-generation college students. The campus caters to individuals from all walks of life, so why not begin your educational journey in this exciting environment?
Online Colleges in Springfield
Maybe you don't have time to rush to crowded lecture halls five days a week. Maybe the demands of parenthood or a full-time job are just too much to accommodate the rigors of a daily class schedule. Don't worry. Once again, Springfield has you covered. This fair city has a wealth of online educational opportunities, which enable you to take classes on your own time, while still obtaining the degree that you strive for.
Both Missouri State University and Ozarks Technical Community College offer online education opportunities for students. These programs offer online as well as hybrid (online + in-class) courses, and they provide the same quality coursework and instruction that you would receive in a traditional classroom environment. OTC utilizes the course management system Blackboard and offers associate degrees in arts, business, accounting, marketing, teaching, biological clinical science, and dental assisting as well as certificates in business technology, and business and marketing. MSU offers over 30 undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs as well as over 300 online courses each semester. The university also has nine satellite campuses that offer more than 14 “at-a-distance” degree programs. Courses at satellite campuses are taught by MSU faculty or by qualified instructors from the local community who have specific expertise. These classes utilize the university’s interactive video network for live classroom-to-classroom connections. Some of the city's private institutions, including Drury University and Columbia College, also offer complete online degrees and certificates.
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Top Industries, Careers and Employers
When you seek employment in Springfield, you may find it with one of the city's top employers, such as Mercy Hospital, CoxHealth Systems, or even Missouri State University. Springfield is also home to the corporate headquarters of many nationally and internationally renowned businesses, including O'Reilly Auto Parts, SRC Holdings, and Prime, Inc.
As you can probably imagine, agriculture is integral to the local economy. After all, Springfield is the Queen of the Ozarks. Other major industries include dairy farming, transportation, education, government, and health services. With its low unemployment and growing job rate, Springfield can be the ideal place to build a career and start a life.
|Company Name||Estimated Number of Employees|
|Mercy Hospital Springfield||9,004|
|Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.||3,567|
|Springfield Public Schools||3,206|
|Missouri State University||2,583|
|Bass Pro Shops | Tracker Marine||2,554|
|United States Government||2,400|
|State of Missouri||2,326|
|Citizens Memorial Healthcare||1,900|
|City of Springfield||1,607|
|O'Reilly Auto Parts (HQ)||1,458|
|Chase Card Services||1,397|
|SRC Holdings (HQ)||1,200|
|Prime, Inc. (HQ)||1,029|
|Ozarks Technical Community College||1,011|
|Springfield City Utilities||965|
|Kraft Foods, Inc.||888|
|American National Property & Casualty Co. (HQ)||835|
Colleges & Universities in Springfield
Colleges & Universities in Springfield
|Missouri State University-Springfield||23,399||$5,820||Public|
|Drury University||7,817||$20,500||Not For Profit (Private)|
|Evangel University||2,230||$16,910||Not For Profit (Private)|
|Cox College||911||$10,487||Not For Profit (Private)|
|Central Bible College||755||$12,050||Not For Profit (Private)|
|Baptist Bible College and Graduate School||601||$6,720||Not For Profit (Private)|
|Assemblies of God Theological Seminary||561||N/A||Not For Profit (Private)|
Community Colleges and Vocational Schools in Springfield
|Ozarks Technical Community College||19,054||$2,916||Public|