Missouri Western State University is making the investments necessary to establish a long term commitment to offering classes off Downs Drive. here are two locations where students can take credit and non-credit courses. One is the downtown St. Joseph campus at 6 and Robidoux streets that some may already know about, but, many students donâ€™t know about the Kansas City Northland location.
Western has been in the Northland facility just off I-29 at the 64 street exit since August of last year. Western has a seven-year lease at this location, which is the third location since venturing into North Kansas City in 1986.
However, this time Westernâ€™s seal is set in the stone and brick mortar of the Tuileries Plaza building located at 6336 N. Lucerne Ave.
Provost and Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs Joseph Bragin said, â€œBeing in the Northland exposes us to a population that may not be willing to get in their cars and drive up I-29.â€ Bragin also explained that being there fulfills an obligation to Platte County Missouri residents who were originally taxed to support Missouri Western when it began as a junior college.
Not only does enrollment continue to expand in the education classes offered at the Northland facility, but the university plans to have more classes there soon in other disciplines. Northland Coordinator Venny Pruitt said, â€œWe plan to extend our classes soon to include Engineering Technologies, Criminal Justice and Government. I am very excited about what is going on at our Northland location.â€
The faculty for these classes, in some cases, have to commute from St. Joseph to the northland campus, but many of them already live in the area or between St. Joseph and North Kansas City. For some faculty, the Northland facility is close to home and not out of their way as they go to and from Westernâ€™s main campus. With other faculty, the drive is far out of the way. This leads to the difÂficult problem of coming up with a formula to reimburse the instructors for the mileage they are traveling. Bragin said, â€œWe are trying to come up with a policy to handle this because fuel has become a real expense for that faculty who travel to serve our students. We do not want to have any disincentives for our faculty that work there.â€
The commitment goes even further than the expense of the lease and faculty. Market Coordinator and Analyst for Western Institute, Christa Byer said, â€œOf the newly approved $50,000 Western Institute marketing package $8500.00 has been set aside for the Northland location.â€ Some of that money is also set aside to help market the downtown St. Joseph campus on North 6 Street. This location has been the home of the Law Enforcement Academy since Missouri Western leased the Scottish Rite building in fall 2006. Recent improvements were needed to allow for new classes coming to the downtown location. Those improvements include the addition of three classrooms, two offices and a new reception area. Missouri Western paid for the expense of the newly developed areas at the Scottish Rite. Bragin said, â€œIt was a bargain considering the cost of our lease at that location. The Masons are also a great bunch of people to work with.â€ The work crew is putting on the finishing touches this week to the new renovations. One of the new rooms is for tutoring adult students, which is one of the future offerÂings of the downtown campus. The other two classes are going to be used for a variety of credit and non-credit courses including personal improvement type classes.