New master’s degree for teachers
Missouri Western began offering a new master’s degree for teachers this fall that is 100% online. The Master of Applied Science in Assessment Differentiated Instruction is for teachers or administrators in pre-K through 12th grade.

“Today’s Pre-K-12 classrooms are more diverse than ever, and finding effective ways to teach all students is more important than it’s ever been,” said Dr. Susan Bashinski, graduate program director and professor of education.

She said the degree program is designed so students can gain a deep understanding of how to effectively differentiate instruction for learners who are English learners, gifted, at-risk for school failure or who experience a mild to moderate disability. Graduates of the program will gain specific skills associated with differentiating content, processes and environments, and how learners demonstrate learning.

For more information, contact Dr. Bashinski at (816) 271-4394 or

Professor takes chemistry lab on the road
A mobile teaching laboratory hit the road this fall for high school chemistry students in rural Northwest Missouri. The bus will be used by the Department of Chemistry for its dual enrollment program.

Prior to using the bus, high school students enrolled in the college chemistry class were required to visit campus at least once per semester for an instrument-intensive lab. Dr. Mike Ducey, chair of the Department of Chemistry, said the bus makes it a lot easier for the rural high schools since the labs will now go to them and they won’t have the expense of traveling to campus.

He also noted that they only offered dual enrollment chemistry to high schools within a 70-mile radius of St. Joseph, but the bus makes it possible to increase that distance.

This past fall, chemistry faculty member and dual enrollment director Debbie Jeffries visited high schools so students could conduct an experiment of extracting caffeine from an energy drink and analyzing the caffeine. This spring, they will measure the amount of potassium in energy drinks.

“We are bringing real world, cutting-edge science to the region to share with high school students,” Dr. Ducey said. “We want to expose students to chemistry, and expose them to people who are excited about chemistry.”

Last year, the Department of Chemistry served approximately 250 students in its dual enrollment chemistry program.

“It’s important for us as scientists and for Missouri Western to serve the region,” Dr. Ducey said. “STEM education is hugely critical.”

Yearbooks – online and more!
Griffon yearbooks are now available online. Thanks to Rachel Lundy, collection specialist and archivist for the library; and Diane Holtz, senior content manager for Marketing and Communications, every edition of the Griffon Yearbook that was published can be accessed at

The 1916-1920 St. Joseph Junior College yearbooks consisted of just a few pages within Central High School’s yearbooks, and those pages are also available on the Missouri Western website. Thanks to Central High School Librarian Kristy Johnson, the Missouri Western library now contains a physical copy of the yearbook for every year one was published, including the Central High School yearbooks from 1916-20. To view the physical copies, contact Lundy at

Johnson noted that Central High School has almost every yearbook since 1891. She is only missing the following years and would love to acquire a copy of those: 1897, 1898 and 1903. Contact Holtz at if you have any of those editions.

Fast Track grants available for students
The Missouri Department of Higher Education is now offering a grant for students aged 25 or older, or students who have not been enrolled in school within the past two years, to help them complete their education in select programs. The Fast Track Workforce Incentive Grant is designed to ensure that tuition and fees are fully covered, and grants will be awarded for any remaining tuition and fees not covered by other state and federal student aid programs.

Many Missouri Western programs qualify for the grant; see for a complete list of qualifying programs. Grant recipients must maintain Missouri residency and work in Missouri for three years after graduation to prevent the grant from becoming a loan that must be repaid with interest. Eligibility requirements and how to apply can be found at