PARK HILLS – A higher education institution with local connections is undergoing a name change.
It was decided May 1 that Central Methodist College would become known as Central Methodist University, beginning immediately. The college has been offering courses at Mineral Area College since 1989.
The new name was approved by the school’s board of curators on May 1. All identifying school materials are expected to be changed for the start of the fall semester.
President Marianne Inman said the change recognizes an expanded mission that includes expansion of professional and masters degree programs at other campuses.
“The term ‘University’ is clearly a more accurate representation of who we really are,” said Inman, who has been president of the institution since 1995. “The reach and scope of our programs and the diversity of students served and degrees offered all speak to the university concept. We believe that this change will reflect best who we are and who we are becoming.”
Inman noted that CMC is among more than 500 private four-year institutions of higher education nationally that enroll between 1,000 and 5,000 students. Some 61 percent of these are classified as universities.
“Central Methodist’s announcement of the name change is concurrent with the institution’s celebration of 150 years of service in higher education,” Inman added. An official birthday celebration will be held on campus during Homecoming weekend, Oct. 8-10.
The College has qualified for university status for many years. It offers more than 40 majors, with degree programs at the associate’s, bachelor’s and graduate levels, and has increasingly over the last two decades enjoyed a statewide presence.
“CMC at MAC,” as the program had been dubbed, offers degree programs in accounting, business administration, business education, criminal justice, public administration, nursing, psychology, and general studies.
A Central Methodist spokesman said the name change would not affect the programs except down the line the program might be referred to “CMU at MAC.”
The majority of Central Methodist at MAC students pursue degrees in education. The college offers both elementary education and early childhood baccalaureate degrees and a master’s degree in education.
Students typically attend MAC for two years and then Central Methodist for two years to earn a baccalaureate degree.
An articulation agreement signed last year will officially provided Mineral Area College students with a smooth transition to Central Methodist and guarantees the acceptance of the Associate of Arts degree as the first two years of a baccalaureate degree.
Founded in 1854, Central Methodist University is the only United Methodist Church-related college in Missouri, and welcomes qualified men and women of all faiths and from diverse backgrounds. It now has 2,500 students, 850 of them on the main campus in Fayette.
Central Methodist added programs with East Central College at Union in 1993 and another with State Fair Community College in Sedalia last year.
It also offers or plans to begin offering bachelors degrees in nursing science at hospitals in Rolla and Clinton.