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Education

St. Joseph residents are fortunate to be served by an excellent public school system, as well as alternative schools and opportunities for continuing education. The St. Joseph public school system serves the educational needs of more than 12,000 students within its three high schools, four middle schools, and 18 elementary schools. The School District of St. Joseph (AAA District Accreditation) offers a staff with 50 percent of the teachers holding master’s degrees and a teacher-pupil ratio of 1:24. Private and parochial schools enroll 1,649 students in 10 elementary schools and four high schools.

Missouri Western State University, with an enrollment of approximately 5,300, blends traditional liberal arts and sciences and career-oriented programs with opportunities to earn associate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees, and certificates. Classes are offered days, evenings, weekends, on TV, and online. With its emphasis on students gaining experience beyond the classroom, Western graduates are well prepared for their careers.

Western recently opened a state-of-the-art science and technology incubator on its main campus, and is building an addition, Remington Hall, that will double the size of Agenstein Hall, which houses the science and math departments. It has also recently developed the Steven L. Craig School of Business. Along with Western’s main 744-acre campus on Downs Drive in St. Joseph, classes are also held at its Downtown University Center, 6th and Robidoux, and at Tuileries Plaza in the Kansas City Northland.

Hillyard Technical Center meets both industrial and individual needs in areas such as architecture, computers, business technology, and personal development, with an enrollment of 600 daytime and 1,500 evening students.

Vatterott College is a private technical college offering degree and certification programs in cosmetology/manicuring, HVAC, computer office assistant, medical office assistant, accounting, computer electronics, computer drafting, and computer programming.

Northwest Missouri State University (NWMSU), located approximately 45 miles north of St. Joseph in Maryville, is a four-year regional university offering bachelor’s, master’s and Specialist in Education degrees, as well as one- and two-year certificate programs. With an enrollment of 6,200, Northwest has distinguished itself among American universities.

NWMSU offers graduate classes from its downtown St. Joseph location. The facility occupies 14,000 square feet in a historic building and includes four classrooms, four offices, and two small reception areas. Advanced degree courses are available in school counseling, educational leadership, and business administration.

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