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Dive Brief: 

  • Cox College, a private nonprofit in Missouri focused on healthcare, is closing sometime after the spring 2025 term, with plans to move its associate programs to Ozarks Technical Community College and its bachelor’s and graduate programs to Missouri State University. 
  • The president of Cox College, Amy Wutke, announced Tuesday that the institution will fold its operations into the newly formed Alliance for Healthcare Education, which is intended to produce more healthcare professionals in the Midwest.  
  • The alliance is a collaboration among CoxHealth, a health system affiliated with Cox College, as well as Ozarks Technical, Missouri State and Springfield Public Schools. The group plans to establish the alliance as a nonprofit, which is slated to open in fall 2025. 

Dive Insight: 

Cox College’s history stretches back to 1907, when it was established as the Burge Deaconess Training School for Nurses with an inaugural class of just three students. Since then, the college has gone through two name changes and added a slew of other healthcare-focused programs, including in diagnostic imaging, occupational therapy and radiography. 

Enrollment has hovered under 1,000 students over the past decade, with 852 students attending last fall. And unlike many other private colleges that have recently closed, it has consistently operated in the black over the past few years, tax filings show. 

According to a news release, the alliance aims to become the largest producer of health sciences workers in the Midwest.

Plans for Cox College to merge into the alliance are pending approval of its accreditor, the Higher Learning Commission. Representatives from the college did not respond to requests for comment Wednesday and Thursday.

“Cox College has grown to become one of the largest allied health colleges in Missouri, but we cannot meet all healthcare workforce growth demands alone,” Wutke said in the college’s announcement to students and alumni. “By combining our resources and expertise with our partners, we will significantly increase the number of healthcare professionals for our rapidly-growing region.”

Current students at Cox College will be able to finish their diplomas at the institution. The college will also continue to enroll new students into its programs through the spring 2025 term. 

At that time, Cox College students will be able to complete their education at the institution or enroll with either Missouri State or Ozarks Technical through the alliance. 

Once Cox College’s programs that started in the spring 2025 have completed, the institution will close and move its operations to the alliance and the member institutions. 

As part of the initiative, Ozarks Technical will 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. 

Going forward, the alliance hopes to bring other participants into the fold, including other high schools, according to the announcement. 

The alliance’s governing board will comprise the chief executives of the four institutions. It will also include at least one community board member.