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Valorie Coleman
Public Relations Director
College of the Ozarks
Point Lookout, MO 65726
Office: (417) 690-2212
Email: pr@cofo.edu

December 18, 2017

College of the Ozarks President Jerry C. Davis addresses U.S. Department of Education Summit

POINT LOOKOUT, MO. — College of the Ozarks President Jerry C. Davis has been shaping the culture and safeguarding the mission of College of the Ozarks for 31 years, and his insights into innovative higher education qualify him to speak into the national landscape. He was invited by U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos to speak at the U.S. Department of Education “Rethinking Higher Education Summit” last Thursday, Dec. 14, about the innovative programs for which the College is known.

“There is exciting work being done across the country by those who are willing to rethink the traditional ways in which we have educated students,” said DeVos in a Department of Education press release. “They are unafraid to embrace new technology and utilize data to customize education in a way that is focused on unlocking the unlimited potential of every student. It’s thrilling to have so many brilliant minds join us for this summit to have an open dialogue on how best to highlight new innovations, remove structural barriers and expand opportunities for our nation’s students throughout their education journey.”

Davis focused on graduating students who are debt free and the importance of teaching patriotic education.

“Employers have concerns that we are trying to address head on,” Davis said in his presentation. “One is what most people perceive to be a decrease in the work ethic of young people in the United States. Another one is concern about the citizenship or civic engagement behavior of college students, and the third one is the horrific loans that the parents envision themselves having to take out in order to get an education for their son or daughter.

“College of the Ozarks is one of a handful of work colleges in the United States in which all students are required to work. It’s also one of two colleges where students pay no tuition — zero, not $6,000, not $10,000, not $50,000. They don’t have to pay tuition: They have to work. We are in business to serve the least among us, lower income students.

“We deal with a lot of kids with family need. It takes a very personal environment to help kids like that. Having come from a dysfunctional type home myself and having run work colleges for 40 years, I can tell you that everything cannot be solved with the computer.”

This was the first national education summit of its kind.

College of the Ozarks administrators hope the unique and highly successful no-loan, no-debt approach to higher education at C of O can be used as an example and inspiration to others.

“In order to help students graduate without debt, higher education must make the no-debt and no-loan approach a priority instead of increasing the tuition and fees every year and expecting students to shoulder more debt,” said Dr. Sue Head, vice president for cultural affairs and dean of character education. “Higher education is moving quickly to technology for delivery, and Dr. Davis cautioned that hard work, honesty, timeliness, and cooperation cannot be taught online.”

“In the real world, you get fired for absence of those traits,” Davis said.

Other organizations and institutions that presented included Coursera, EdX, Minerva Project, Valencia College, The Jack Welch Management Institute, University of Maryland University College, Southern New Hampshire University, and Arizona State University.

To view the link to Davis’ presentation on C-SPAN, visit the following: https://www.c-span.org/video/?c4699561/president-davis-education-reform-summit

For additional information, contact Public Relations Director Valorie Coleman at (417) 690-2212.

About College of the Ozarks

College of the Ozarks is a private, Christian, liberal arts college, located in Point Lookout, Missouri, on a 1,000-acre campus. Christian values, hard work, and financial responsibility comprise the fundamental building blocks of the “Hard Work U.” experience. The College earns numerous accolades yearly, including No. 1 Best Value Regional College in the Midwest and No. 1 Most Innovative School in the Midwest by U.S. News & World Report for 2018. To achieve its vision, the College pursues academic, vocational, Christian, patriotic, and cultural goals. These goals are mirrored in School of the Ozarks, a laboratory school that completes the K-college model.

The Keeter Center — the College’s award-winning lodge, restaurant, and conference facility — was ranked a Top Small Hotel in the U.S. by TripAdvisor for 2017. It features historic lodging, fine dining, and meeting rooms. With more than 350 student workers, it is the largest work station on campus. Follow College of the Ozarks at www.facebook.com/collegeoftheozarks or on Twitter @CofOHardWorkU.

 

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12.18.17 – Valorie Coleman

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