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Missouri State University introduces online classes for international students during COVID-19 crisis

Missouri State University, long-established and one of the leading universities of the Midwest United States, has announced plans to start the ‘Fall Semester’ with a hybrid teaching approach for overseas and domestic students from 17th August 2020. Considering the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) guidelines, the university is making modifications to traditional course delivery formats as a response to the COVID-19 crisis.

Missouri State University has configured and laid out a detailed plan with the primary goal in preparing classes for the fall to enhance safety for students, faculty, and staff.  Small classes will be moved to larger classrooms to allow for social distancing. Some large classes will be split between two classrooms with the faculty member in one classroom with some students and other students in another classroom participating via the Zoom application.

Many students around the world are in a state of anxiety and uncertainty due to the updates on the spread of COVID-19.  The lifting of travel restrictions is also awaited to allow global flexibility. While in this period of uncertainty, Missouri State University is embracing this shift as the situation demands providing international graduate students an opportunity to move forward with online studies with no further delays. In the fall of 2019, the university had 694 online sections.  This fall, there will be approximately 920 online sections.

Although the university moved to online courses for the spring and summer sessions, Missouri State has kept the campus open to provide housing and food to international students who are unable to travel home during this pandemic. This is one of the key points that separates MSU from many other U.S. universities that fully closed their premises in the middle of March.
 
The university had made the following provisions for international students due to the challenges and disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic:
•    The university’s International Excellence Scholarship for undergraduate students may be used for online courses
•    A reduced fee structure applies for online courses – at less than $3,000 (USD) total per semester for graduate studies and less than $4,000 (USD) per semester for undergraduate studies
•    New admission criteria with the waiver of GRE and GMAT exams for graduate applicants
•    Waiver of application fee

Speaking about the new options for students, Mr. Brad Bodenhausen, Associate Vice President of International Education and Training, said, “We have explored ways to offer high-quality experiences for both online and seated courses. The Faculty at Missouri State has gained relevant training and intensive experience teaching classes in alternative formats during our current period of online-only delivery.  This has been challenging and transformational at the same time.  Our goal is to make sure Missouri State degree programs remain accessible and valuable to international students, whether they engage in-person in Springfield, Missouri or virtually from anywhere in the world.” 

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