By Mike Surbrugg
Globe Farm Editor
POINT LOOKOUT, Mo. - School of the Ozarks was started in 1906 by James Forsythe, a Presbyterian missionary, to bring high school classes to Ozarks' youth.
A junior college was added in 1956 and the four-year accredited school in 1965.
From its first day until today, the mission remains to provide Christian education, especially to those without sufficient income. Students work 15 hours a week, which provides tuition.
Those seeking to attend the college must pass an admission process and be aware that many are turned away because enrollment is a a maximum 1,500 students. About 1,000 live on campus.
A full-time student must enroll in at least 12 hours of credit classes, work 15 hours a week, take six hours of religion courses and each semester attend seven chapel services. A student can expect to spend 18 hours in class and 15 hours working each week.
Students can work a few more hours to have clothes laundered at no cost at the student-operated laundry. There are washing machines in dormitories.
New students sign an honor code to be honest, trustworthy, caring and responsible citizens.
The college receives no state or federal money, relying on work done by students, income from sales of college products and private donations.
Most freshmen work at landscaping on the grounds, the laundry, the dining hall or in the custodial department. Upper-class students request other jobs tied to their area of interest.
Students can operate bulldozers and other equipment. Students built the new Keeter Convention Center and Lodge, a much-enlarged version of the initial lodge. It has a student-operated dining area.
Students receive work grades that do not tie to academic rank, but become part of permanent transcripts. The college has a dean of work.
Ninety percent of students meet economic income guidelines . They come from 69 counties in southern Missouri, 43 counties in northern Arkansas, 11 counties in southern Illinois, nine in Northeast Oklahoma and from Cherokee and Crawford counties in Kansas.
The other 10 percent are from other states and foreign countries.
A steady train of tour buses, cars and campers from nearby Branson can be seen visiting the college on a daily basis.
By Mike Surbrugg
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