When Cox College, a private nonprofit in Missouri focused on healthcare, closes sometime after the spring 2025 term, its operations will be folded into a new nonprofit collaboration between a public school system, two higher education institutions and a local health system.
The Alliance for Healthcare Education — a collaboration of CoxHealth, Springfield Public Schools, Ozarks Technical Community College and Missouri State University — is intended to produce more healthcare professionals in the Midwest, according to an announcement last week from Cox College President Amy Wutke.
Cox College’s associate programs will move to Ozarks Technical, which will also work with Springfield Public Schools to create a program for high school juniors and seniors to simultaneously earn a high school diploma and an associate degree. Cox College’s bachelor's and graduate programs will go to Missouri State University.
The alliance is set to begin operating in fall 2025. It aims to become the largest producer of health sciences workers in the Midwest.
The involvement of Springfield Public Schools in the collaborative comes at a time when attention to the importance of career and technical education opportunities is on the rise.
In a May 2022 survey from ECMC Group, a nonprofit corporation focused on higher education financial assistance, 22% of teens said they were more likely to attend a career and technical education college. That number was up 10 percentage points from May 2020. Nearly half of respondents said they believe they can achieve success with education attained in three years or less.