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The Lake News Online
  • CMU gauges interest in Versailles programs

  • Representatives from Central Methodist University were at Pioneer Restaurant Tuesday evening to gauge community interest in programming being offered in Versailles.
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  • Representatives from Central Methodist University were at Pioneer Restaurant Tuesday evening to gauge community interest in programming being offered in Versailles.
    The Fayette, Mo.-based university has several satellite locations, including two nearby in Osage Beach and Sedalia, partnering with State Fair Community College. CMU also offers online courses.
    But University leaders decided to test the waters in Versailles after being approached by resident Ray Speckman and an unofficial group of area residents who have been looking to promote some type of ongoing education courses in the city.
    "I've been involved on the periphery of education for a long time," said Speckman who served on the Board of Regents for a college in northwest Missouri as well as working as an adjunct professor before moving to the Versailles area. "I've seen how [education] can help people."
    After raising the issue, he said he found other community leaders were also interested in the idea. Together they approached CMU.
    Deborah DeGan-Dixon, an assistant dean with CMU, said they hoped to get a feel for what the educational needs in the area were as well as what the interest level is. The process to actually set up a new location is a long one, and so far, CMU is just getting its feet wet, she added.
    There were a few who attended the forum who were interested in taking classes, but area residents who are interested in starting or continuing a college education or simply taking enrichment classes can still share their interest if they missed the forum Feb. 25. Contact CMU's Aimee Sage at 660-248-6651 or asage@centralmethodist.edu.
    "We'll let this simmer for awhile and then see where it goes," Speckman said.
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