Crowder College: A look at the present

By Jesse O. Walls
Managing Editor

If a person opens the student handbook, the first words they see are “Crowder College…Building  a civil, serving, literate, learning community of responsible citizens.” These words that come before the mission statement are the proud foundation of the principals the college was built on, and what it continues to strive for in its instructors, faculty, students and alumni. As Crowder celebrates its 50th year and moves forward into its next 50, it is evident that community plays a key role in Crowder’s past, as well as its plans for the future.

“It’s the great thing about a community college, we help communities remain and grow,” said Dr. Alan Marble, President of Crowder College. “We’re an active participant in the communities we serve.”

With 10 locations covering more than nine counties, Crowder continues to expand, offering classes in different locations to help students who have a distance to drive continue their education.

McDonald County location

On Nov. 15, Crowder officials broke ground in Jane for the new McDonald County location, which is slated to be ready for the Spring 2014 semester.

“We generally have about a hundred students each semester,” said Sherry Wilson, developmental education chair and administrator for the McDonald County classes. “The new facility will be the McDonald County center, [and] the biggest plus of the location is that the drive time for students living in McDonald County will be considerably shorter.”

According to Wilson, with the new facility sitting close to the state line, there are hopes that this will help recruit students from neighboring states. “The primary benefit is the new opportunities for education and the associated community development that accompanies education.”

The McDonald County location will be a full service location, offering all the general courses, as well as everything else a student will need to be a Crowder student.

Bachelor’s Programs

Along with location expansion, Crowder has also started offering Bachelor’s programs through Missouri State University (MSU) and Missouri Southern State University (MSSU). There are currently 5 Bachelor’s programs offered, with a couple of options for a few of the programs. One of the more recent programs is the Bachelor’s of Science in Business Administration (BSBA) Management degree, offered through MSSU.

“Having it here, local, is a huge benefit,” explained Kali Bard, business division chair.  Having these programs available through Crowder helps students who otherwise might not be able to achieve their Bachelor’s because of distance and high gas prices. “The largest benefit would be the access to the Bachelor level.”

Up and coming Bachelor’s programs include a new Bachelor’s of Social Work, which will be offered on the Neosho campus this fall. The program, which is offered from MSU, is “really a bridge to the Master’s degree,” according to Patsy Garner, teacher education coordinator.

This will be the fourth bachelor’s program offered through MSU, and more are being discussed.

“We [Crowder] don’t want to become a four year institute, but we want to offer opportunities for people to complete a four year degree,” said Garner. “I think it’s part of our mission to the community.”


The Crowder community is also one of diversity. This semester alone there are 65 international students representing 30 countries.

“I think the people here, the advisors and staff, are much more friendly than other places,” said Sofia Sanchez Salcedo, general studies major and international student from Argentina.

The friendly atmosphere and the affordable tuition seems to attract people from near and far, but could there be more to why international students take interest in Crowder.

“We have the English Language Institute,” said Kyajuana Gilbert, student services advisor and International coordinator, “and that’s really attractive to a lot of students who may not have

English Language Institute (ELI) is a program to help international students study and learn English, as well as make friends from other countries in the process.

Crowder 50th Celebration

So how is Crowder planning to celebrate its 50th anniversary?

According to Cindy Brown, director of public information, the celebration will kick-off on April 2.  As of press time, the festivities are known to include a dedication, with James B. Tatum, Crowder’s longest serving board member, speaking, as well as many others.  There will also be a campus picnic.

“We plan for the day to be a time for reflection and celebration of the past, but also a day of confident expectation for the future,” said Dr. Marble of the planned day of celebration.  “We recognize that we are standing on the shoulders of giants and that allows us to see a future of enormous opportunity.”

Additionally, after the homecoming dance was postponed, it was purposely rescheduled to coincide with the 50th anniversary.