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International Expansion of University of Missouri High School Could Enhance Mizzou’s Enrollment and Diversity Efforts

Program educates students in all 50 states and over 65 countries

June 9th, 2016

Story Contact: Nathan Hurst, 573-882-6217,

COLUMBIA, Mo. – This Saturday, the University of Missouri High School celebrates the graduation of 151 students from around the world, with 2 students traveling from as far away as Saudi Arabia and Thailand. The high school program, which is part of Mizzou K-12 Schools, is housed in the Mizzou College of Education and provides accredited online and blended schooling for people across the U.S. and globally, serving students in over 65 countries. In recent months, the program has nearly doubled in size to more than 6,000 students with the addition of more than 2,500 high school students from Brazil. Mizzou administrators believe this rapidly growing international program will not only increase their undergraduate enrollments, but also further their diversity mission.

Through a program called MizzouDirect, University of Missouri High School students who establish approved graduation plans as freshmen, maintain satisfactory grade point averages throughout their high school careers as well as meet enrollment requirements, are pre-admitted by the MU international admissions office to attend Mizzou after graduation. Currently, 750 freshmen in Brazil and 100 students in Vietnam are enrolled in the MizzouDirect program. Kathryn Chval, dean of the Mizzou College of Education, says this program has provided Mizzou with exciting new student recruitment prospects.

“We are thrilled at the opportunities University of Missouri High School and MizzouDirect present to the Mizzou campus,” Chval said. “Not only are we providing access to an exemplary high school education to students around the world, but we also are opening doors for the recruitment of students who bring a wealth of diversity and life experiences. Within a few years, we could potentially have hundreds of new international students bolstering Mizzou’s enrollment numbers and diversifying our campus in amazing ways.”

Using an innovative blended program with a “co-teach” model, Brazilian students attend one of 56 brick and mortar Mizzou-branded high schools in the program to receive traditional face-to-face instruction from classroom teachers using curriculum developed by Mizzou College of Education experts. The students then submit their assignments online to be graded by Mizzou teachers in the U.S. The Mizzou teachers work closely with the classroom teachers at the schools in Brazil to provide comprehensive feedback, praising students for their successes and allowing them to learn from their mistakes. Mizzou K-12 Schools Director Zac March believes the program can be expanded further in Brazil and in many other countries.

“The sky is the limit in terms of how far we can expand this program,” March said. “Families around the world recognize the value, not only of a U.S. high school diploma, but a U.S. college degree as well. Our high school offers these families opportunities to educate their children and provides them with a simple path to admittance and attendance at a premier U.S. university. The global demand for such a program is huge and we are excited to expand as far as we can around the world.”

Even without the “co-teach” model, students receive high-quality instruction and feedback from Mizzou teachers. University of Missouri High School boasts SAT, ACT and Advanced Placement (AP) test scores that are much higher than national averages. The Mizzou College of Education is the only education college in the country to operate an online and blended high school program. For more information about the program, visit:

Editor’s Note: A few students participating in the graduation will be available for interviews on June 11. If you are interested, contact Nathan Hurst: or (573-882-6217).