Zora Mulligan, Commissioner

Department of Higher Education
205 Jefferson Street
P.O. Box 1469
Jefferson City, MO 65102-1469
573/751-2361
dhe.mo.gov

The Missouri Department of Higher Education (MDHE) carries out the goals and administrative responsibilities for the state system of higher education. A board made up of citizens from each of the state’s nine congressional districts—the Coordinating Board for Higher Education—oversees the Department of Higher Education.

The MDHE serves about 569,000 students through 13 public four-year campuses, 20 public two-year colleges, one public two-year technical college, 25 independent colleges and universities, and 145 proprietary and private career schools.

Major Public Policy Functions

Fiscal

  • Coordinate and submit a unified higher education budget request
  • Oversee implementation of the Higher Education Student Funding Act
    (commonly referred to as “tuition stabilization”)

Planning

Academic Programs

  • Review public and independent institutions’ academic programs and approve public institutions’ programs
  • Approve off-site programs offered by public institutions
  • Set competencies for first courses in major subject areas
  • Develop student transfer guidelines
  • Promulgate rules to ensure faculty credentials and student evaluations are posted on institutional websites

Institutional Relationships

  • Coordinate reciprocal agreements, which create opportunities for students to attend programs at institutions in other states for a reduced cost
  • Approve establishment of residence centers
  • Conduct binding dispute resolution
  • Impose fines on institutions that willfully disregard state policy
  • Encourage cooperative agreements between public institutions that do not offer graduate degrees and those that do for purposes of offering graduate degree programs on campuses of those public institutions that do not otherwise offer graduate degrees
  • Establish admission guidelines consistent with institutional missions
  • Establish guidelines to help institutions with decisions relating to residence status of students
  • Establish standards for the organization of community colleges

Financial Aid

  • Administer 12 grant and scholarship programs for undergraduate and graduate students, nine of which disbursed $98.7 million to 57,246 students in FY2010
  • Ensure institutional compliance with the tuition limitation provisions for returning combat veterans
  • Determine eligibility for tuition and fee waivers for certain students who have been in foster care or other residential care under the Department of Social Services

State Guaranty Agency for Student Loans

  • Administer Missouri Student Loan Program. Guaranteed $656.4 million for 89,584 students in FY2010
  • Provide counseling to over 70,000 student loan borrowers with delinquent student loans totaling over $868 million.
  • Administer the Missouri Department of Higher Education Default Prevention Grant Program, which in FY 2010 distributed over $550,000 in grants to eligible Missouri post-secondary institutions to use for campus-based default prevention activities.
  • Review, approve and pay lender insurance claims, which in FY 2010 numbered over 13,600 claims totaling over $130 million
  • Collected from defaulted student loan borrowers, which in FY 2010 amounted to over $73 million

Early Awareness

  • Administer the federal College Access Challenge Grant, which distributed approximately $900,000 to higher education institutions and non-profit organizations in FY 2010, to help improve the information provided to high school students about postsecondary opportunities and increase the state’s college going rate
  • Provide Missouri families with information and assistance regarding planning and paying for college, which in FY 2010 involved over 130 in-person presentations across the state, distributing over 350,000 informational brochures and publications, and offering a toll-free information line

Proprietary Schools

  • License and oversee all for-profit schools, some not-for-profit Missouri postsecondary education institutions, and out-of-state private higher education institutions offering instruction in Missouri

Missouri State Anatomical Board

  • Receives “unclaimed” human bodies requiring burial at public expense and distributes them for scientific study to certain qualified schools
  • Operates under state law (RSMo. 194.120-180)
  • Daily activities handled through local anatomical boards or secretaries in Columbia, Kansas City, Kirksville and St. Louis
  • Annual meeting of the entire board is in May in Columbia
  • Officers elected for two-year terms

Presidential Advisory Committee

  • Consists of 32 members, who are the presidents or chancellors of the state’s public four-year and two-year institutions and representatives of five accredited private institutions selected biennially under the supervision of the CBHE by presidents of all of the state’s privately supported institutions, but always to include at least one representative from one privately supported community college, one privately supported four-year college and one privately supported university
  • The committee meets at least four times annually with the CBHE
  • The committee advises the CBHE of the institutions’ views on matters within the purview of the CBHE