The primary purposes of the Certified School Strategic Initiative (CSSI) are to serve as an additional information resource regarding program outcomes at schools certified to operate by the Department of Higher Education & Workforce Development and to highlight laudable instructional program performance at those schools.


Steering Committee (Members and Meeting Notes)

Pilot Project

Next Steps



The Coordinating Board for Higher Education’s coordinated plan, Preparing Missourians to Succeed: A Blueprint for Higher Education, includes five broad goals designed to address the state’s higher education needs. Department staff were tasked with identifying initiatives in each functional area that would contribute to the success of the coordinated plan. In consultation with the Proprietary School Advisory Committee (PSAC), department staff determined Missouri’s certified schools may have the most visibility within the strategic plan under Goal 3: Quality – Missouri will produce graduates with high-quality postsecondary degrees and certificates that are valuable and relevant to individuals, employers, communities and the state.


Invitations to discuss a strategic framework to address this goal were sent to leaders of Missouri’s certified schools. Twenty representatives from 17 different institutions attended the June 29, 2018, meeting in Jefferson City. A summary of the initial meeting is available here.


Steering Committee

The initial group determined the need for a steering committee to guide the development of a pilot project. Volunteers were solicited from certified schools, and a CSSI Steering Committee was established. The Steering Committee has met twice to establish the parameters of the project. Summaries from those meetings are available for review:


October 3, 2018

November 28, 2018


At the October 2018 meeting, the Steering Committee identified three program areas for the pilot project: Licensed Practical Nurse, Certified Nurse Assistant, and Information Technology (leading to a recognized industry certification). During the November 2018 meeting, the Steering Committee selected benchmarks for each program.  Based on that discussion, MDHEWD staff developed an application template.


Pilot Project

A pilot project and an application for participation have been developed. Certified schools offering the following programs are invited to participate (participation is voluntary):


  • Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA)

  • Practical Nurse (LPN)

  • Information Technology (leading to certification(s), e.g., CCNA, Security+, etc.)


As this is a pilot project, we encourage all schools with the above programs to complete and submit the application even if the data do not appear to qualify the program(s) for recognition. While the outcomes of the project will be public information, as a pilot, the MDHEWD does not anticipate distribution of this information to a wide audience. If the results of the pilot deem the strategic initiative to be workable, full implementation would proceed in 2020.


Pilot Application (Word)


Pilot Application (Excel)


Schools that do not currently offer one of the three programs in the pilot project are encouraged to review the institution and programmatic criteria and provide feedback to the department on how programs offered at your institution might be evaluated should the project move forward.


The deadline for participation in the pilot project was April 30, 2019


Next Steps

The CSSI Steering Committee and department staff will evaluate and share results with participating schools on or about June 30, 2019.  The certified school community will also be apprised of lessons learned and next steps.


Your participation in the pilot project will assist the Steering Committee in evaluating the success of the pilot in meeting the stated objectives and to allow for the adjustment of any process and/or evaluation instrument.