The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

October 24, 2012

New Joplin program brings college to classroom discussion

JOPLIN, Mo. — Katelyn Hunter dreams of one day being a veterinarian — and she has an idea of what she’ll need to do to get there.

“I think if I don’t go to college, I won’t be able to be a vet,” the Joplin fifth-grader said. “And I think it (college) will give me all the classes, and teach me all the different kinds of animals and how to take care of them.”

Katelyn and her classmates at Columbia Elementary School are part of a new program called Operation College Bound, which launched last month and is designed to get students thinking about college, even at a young age. It’s being piloted this year at Columbia, and its creators hope to eventually take it to all schools in the Joplin School District.

“Really our goal here is to plant that seed in each of our kids that college is a possibility, making sure that each student, no matter what background they come from, knows that it’s possible to go to college,” said Sarah Mwangi, Columbia’s principal.

Superintendent C.J. Huff said the program ties directly into the district’s focus on improving the graduation rate, which was 79.1 percent in 2011, 81.6 percent in 2010, 75.1 percent in 2009 and 73.5 percent in 2008, according to data from the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. The state average hovered between 86 percent and 87 percent during those four years, according to the department.

“This is just an opportunity to pilot a program that will hopefully take us to that next level,” Huff said.

Huff said he hopes that by launching a conversation about college, the program will increase the chance that students will graduate from high school “if they can envision beyond where they are now.”

The program focuses on the importance of a college education because of research that has demonstrated the positive outcomes of possessing a college degree, Mwangi said. Median earnings for young adults with a bachelor’s degree were $45,000 in 2010, compared with $37,000 for those with an associate degree, $29,900 for those with a high school diploma or its equivalent, and $21,000 for those without a high school diploma, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, a division of the U.S. Department of Education.

Text Only
Local News
  • Ballot issues dominate GOP event

    A maze of campaign yard signs lined the sidewalk at Big Spring Park, leading up to a line of local candidates for public office with rolled-up sleeves shaking hands with potential voters.

    July 24, 2014

  • Mike Pound: It’s time for some football

    The arrests, the announced suspensions and the contract disputes can mean only one thing: Somebody is ready for some football.

    July 24, 2014

  • Landfill opponents seek answers

    The Baxter Springs High School auditorium was filled with hundreds of Cherokee County residents Thursday night as Galena city officials answered questions and listened to comments regarding a proposed landfill at Riverton.

    July 24, 2014

  • Hanaway says leadership missing under Gov. Nixon

    When Republican gubernatorial hopeful Catherine Hanaway walked into the banquet room at Granny Shaffer’s Restaurant this week, she was greeted by some of Joplin’s more prominent business leaders.

    July 24, 2014

  • Neosho athletes bring home silver

    For 19-year-old Dominque Dechant, it was the trip of a lifetime. She and three other athletes from Neosho traveled last month to Newark, New Jersey, as part of the Missouri Special Olympics girls basketball team.

    July 24, 2014

  • r072414msw.jpg VIDEO: Carterville company expands to third generation

    What began as Ray “Mac” McCoy’s side job in his home 55 years ago has grown not only in square footage and reach, but in generations. This summer, a third generation took over the reins of MSW — Mac’s Specialty Woodwork — that now exceeds 90,000 square feet and creates custom furniture for chain restaurants coast to coast.

    July 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • Shrine Bowl band, cheerleaders, players arrive in Pittsburg this week

    Band members were the first Kansas Shrine Bowl participants to arrive at Pittsburg State University this week.

    July 24, 2014

  • Galena council rescinds landfill decisions

    The Galena City Council voted Wednesday to rescind decisions it made two weeks ago regarding a proposed landfill at Riverton.

    July 23, 2014

  • Miami council waives fees for barbecue event

    The Miami City Council voted Tuesday to waive $3,750 in usage fees for Miami Elks Lodge No. 1320 for an upcoming barbecue championship at the Miami Fairgrounds.

    July 23, 2014

  • Carthage prepares for Marian Days

    The 37th annual Marian Days celebration will start in two weeks, and planning is well under way for the event that will bring tens of thousands of Catholics of Vietnamese descent to Carthage.

    July 23, 2014

Must Read


Amendment 8 in Missouri proposes a special lottery ticket to help fund state veterans homes. How will you vote?

For it.
Against it.
     View Results
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter