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Northwest Missouri State University

Frequently Asked Questions

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General Information

What are all the approved names for Northwest Missouri State University-Kansas City?

The initiative known as Northwest Outreach is now being referred to as Northwest Missouri State University-Kansas City or Northwest-Kansas City. Please use Northwest Missouri State University-Kansas City when referencing the facility for the first time. For all subsequent references, use the shortened name, Northwest-Kansas City. The following names are inappropriate: NWKC, NW-KC, Northwest-KC, or NW-Kansas City. Northwest-Kansas City is located in the Northland Innovation Campus in Gladstone.

What is Northwest Missouri State University-Kansas City?

Northwest-Kansas City will become an educational hub that provides educational solutions in the Kansas City metropolitan area. Northwest-Kansas City will facilitate dual credit programs with area high schools and through the Northland CAPS program, provide completion programs for area community college students, offer graduate programs for working professionals, and meet workforce development needs. Students will have access to more support services and programs than were available previously at the Kansas City Center. Please reference the facility as “Northwest-Kansas City” rather than a Northwest campus, teaching site, outreach center, or Kansas City Center.

What prompted the initiation of Northwest-Kansas City?

The decision to launch Northwest-Kansas City is the University’s response to its strategic objective of innovative enrollment growth, specifically the goal of growing off-campus and online enrollment.

Who will benefit from Northwest-Kansas City?

Place-bound Kansas City area students will have an opportunity to obtain a Northwest education. The Kansas City area community workforce will benefit from Northwest-Kansas City graduates securing employment in the metropolitan area. Northwest-Maryville faculty and staff will maintain the same quality of life due to increased University enrollments through Northwest-Kansas City.

For students

Will Northwest-Kansas City programs reduce the amount of students attending on the Northwest-Maryville campus?

The purpose of offering degree programs in the Kansas City area is to serve students who are place bound and therefore unable to attend classes on the Northwest-Maryville campus. These students may have permanent living arrangements, full-time jobs or family obligations in the Kansas City area that prevent them from traveling to Maryville for their entire degree program. The goal of recruitment efforts is to recruit future Bearcats, either on the flagship campus in Maryville or in Kansas City.

Will Northwest-Kansas City students have to take classes on the Maryville campus to complete their program of study?

Northwest-Kansas City will recruit students to programs that are primarily available on site in Kansas City. If a student were to choose to complete his/her program of study at Northwest-Maryville, the Northwest-Kansas City staff will ensure a smooth transition to the Maryville campus.

Will students at Northwest-Kansas City still receive benefits similar to a Maryville student?

Northwest-Kansas City students will be afforded all of the administrative services and benefits a student receives in Maryville. Arrangements will be made to distribute notebook computers, student ID cards, yearbooks and undergraduate level textbooks. The University’s student support areas on campus have been working closely with Northwest-Kansas City to ensure students will receive appropriate services onsite or via the campus in Maryville.

Can Northwest-Kansas City students participate in commencement on the Maryville campus?

Northwest-Kansas City staff will encourage students to participate in regularly scheduled commencement ceremonies on the Maryville campus. Accommodations will be made for students to pick up their cap and gown at Northwest-Kansas City the week prior to commencement.

For faculty

Who will teach the courses at Northwest-Kansas City?

Currently, the Northwest-Kansas City staff is accepting applications for “per course faculty” to teach courses at Northwest-Kansas City. These individuals will be hired on a per course basis. Potential “per course faculty” can visit the Northwest Office of Human Resources, Employment Opportunities page to apply.

How do we know qualified individuals will be hired to teach classes at Northwest-Kansas City?

The Kansas City metropolitan area presents a large pool of high-qualified professionals in all academic disciplines. Many have numerous years of educating and work experience related to our degree programs. The per course Faculty hiring process has been presented to the University Chair’s Council, with the goal of hiring the best available instructors. The process is based on the following principles:

  • Expansion without reduction or overburden 
  • All stakeholders have a voice
  • A systematic process with built-in flexibility for departmental uniqueness. 
    This process will be piloted to hire per course faculty for fall 2015 completion programs.
  • If you would like to refer a per course faculty member, please email the director of Northwest-Kansas City.

Can Northwest faculty teach a course at Northwest-Kansas City?

The goal is to hire the best available instructor. Although our goal is to minimize the time and expense of Maryville faculty commuting to and from Northwest-Kansas City to teach, if that is the best option for student success, then Maryville faculty will be reimbursed for their mileage. Please consult with your department chair or school director who will then reach out to director of Northwest-Kansas City.

Will Northwest-Kansas City have full-time faculty on site?

As the various completion programs grow to scale, Northwest-Kansas City will begin to hire non-tenure track, full-time faculty. 

Who will evaluate the faculty at Northwest-Kansas City?

The per course and full-time faculty of Northwest-Kansas City will be evaluated by the students via online end-of-course evaluations as well as by the respective department chair/school director and the Northwest-Kansas City director. All Northwest faculty, regardless of location, will be evaluated per Chapter 2 guidelines in the Northwest Missouri State University Faculty Handbook.

Will faculty at Northwest-Kansas City be considered faculty in the department structure on the flagship campus in Maryville?

Per course and full-time faculty of Northwest-Kansas City will be enculturated into the academic departments on the Maryville campus. They will be required to work closely with Northwest-Maryville department faculty to ensure course alignment and quality course delivery.

Who will be the advisor for Northwest-Kansas City students?

Academic departments on the Maryville campus will set course sequences for degree programs offered at Northwest-Kansas City. These sequences will be shared with onsite transfer specialists/advisors and program coordinators. Students will be able to contact these transfer specialists/advisors and program coordinators onsite for assistance in course registration. When appropriate, transfer specialists/advisor and program coordinators will be encouraged to consult with the Northwest-Maryville campus faculty.

How can Northwest faculty contribute to the Northwest-Kansas City initiative?

Northwest-Kansas City will continually seek new and innovative degree programs to be offered at its location. If you have an innovative degree program or initiative that will lead to accomplishing the Northwest strategic plan, contact Amy Washam, assistant director for Northwest-Kansas City, at


What degree programs will be offered at Northwest-Kansas City?

Northwest-Kansas City will offer graduate degree programs and bachelor’s degree completion programs. Students within graduate degree programs can complete all their coursework through Northwest-Kansas City. The bachelor’s degree completion programs will enable transfer students from area community colleges to leverage their completed associate’s degree into a bachelor’s degree.  Bachelor’s degree completion programs will vary in length, with the majority being completed two years after the student’s associate’s degree. Northwest-Kansas City hopes to continue partnerships with Metropolitan Community College, Kansas City Kansas Community College and Johnson County Community College to recruit potential students and assist with pre-advising to ensure the students have access to the shortest path to obtaining their bachelor’s degree through Northwest.

Will curriculum be the same as curriculum on the Northwest-Maryville campus?

Yes. Curriculum will still be developed and approved on campus by all appropriate committees and councils as the curricular expertise resides within the academic departments on the Northwest-Maryville campus. It is this expertise that will be offered at Northwest-Kansas City.

What is Northland CAPS and how is it related to Northwest-Kansas City?

Northland Center for Advanced Professional Studies (CAPS) is an education partnership involving Northwest, seven K-12 School Districts (Excelsior Springs, Kearney, Liberty, North Kansas City, Park Hill, Platte County and Smithville), Metropolitan Community College (MCC) and dozens of Missouri-based business partners. High school students are immersed in professional environments engaged in curriculum developed by industry professionals and high school program instructors – ensuring that what is taught in the classroom is relevant to the workforce. Learning is enhanced by project work direct from industry partners who engage to mentor students and ensure timely, accurate and real project results. Northwest has been given the opportunity to provide dual credit for some of the Northland CAPS courses.


Where will Northwest-Kansas City be located?

Beginning in the Fall of 2016, Northwest-Kansas City will be located on the fourth floor of the Northland Innovation Campus (NIC). The NIC is located at 6889 North Oak Trafficway, Suite 400, Gladstone, MO  64118. Until then, all Northwest-Kansas City completion programs are offered on the campus of Maple Woods Community College.

Will Northwest occupy the entire building?

Northwest-Kansas City will only occupy the fourth floor of the Northland Innovation Campus.

What will the Northwest floor include? (Square footage, number of classrooms, lounges, offices)

The fourth floor is a little more than 17,000 square feet. It will consist of six administrative offices, a reception area, 12 classrooms, a faculty lounge and meeting room, and a student lounge.  The Northwest floor will also include a Student Services Center where students can visit for information regarding application and enrollment processes, career services, financial aid, and other support services. 

Who will staff the facility?

The staff of Northwest-Kansas City will comprise the current Outreach staff as well as new professionals. New individuals will be hired into prescribed positions according to the needs of students and staff as Northwest-Kansas City grows.

When does the facility open?

Northwest-Kansas City will begin offering courses in the fall of 2016.

What is Northland Innovation Campus and how is it related to Northwest-Kansas City?

The Northland Innovation Campus (NIC) is the name of the building. The NIC is the result of an innovative partnership between the city of Gladstone, Mo., North Kansas City Schools and Northwest Missouri State University. The NIC is designed to provide 90,000 square feet of new office and programming space for NKC Schools and Northwest. CBC Real Estate Group is the developer for the facility, which is projected to be completed in the spring of 2016. Other members of the development team include McCownGordon Construction, Hoefer Wysocki Architects and BHC Rhodes.

What are the directions to the facility?

  • From I-29:  Take 152 Highway East exit. Follow 152 until you get to N. Oak Trafficway. Take the N. Oak Trafficway exit. Go south to 69th Street.
  • From I-35: Take 152 Highway West exit. Follow 152 until you get to N. Oak Trafficway. Take the N. Oak Trafficway exit. Go south to 69th Street.
  • From I-435: Take 152 Highway West exit. Follow 152 until you get to N. Oak Trafficway. Take the N. Oak Trafficway exit. Go south to 69th Street.

How far is the Northland Innovation Campus from the current Kansas City Center location at MCC-Maple Woods?

The new location is less than four miles from the MCC-Maple Woods campus.

Where will faculty, students, and visitors park? Is there a charge?

There will be a lot adjacent to the building available for faculty, staff and visitors. There will be no charge for parking.

Education Degrees

Can I get all the classes I need for my graduate program at Northwest-Kansas City?

Yes, all of the courses required for each of the Master's/Specialist Programs advertised at Northwest-Kansas City are available on site.

How long will it take to complete my Master's Program?

All programs operate on an open cohort basis, which means that you may enter a program any given semester. Depending on how quickly you want to progress, it is possible to complete a Master's Program of 32 hours in 18 months to 2 years. For a variety of reasons (time commitments, finances, etc.), you may desire to take longer than this amount of time.

What is the cost per graduate credit hour?

The fee schedule for one graduate credit hour can be located on the Fee Schedule page.

Do I have to take the GRE (Graduate Record Exam)?

Some graduate programs do list the GRE as a requirement for admission to the program. There are several programs, however, that have substituted other requirements for the GRE. It is very important that you read the admission requirements for their programs carefully to determine if the GRE is still listed as a requirement for admission.

When and where can I take the GRE (Graduate Record Exam)?

For more information on testing centers, dates, and times, please refer to the ETS website.

What is the TLE and DAE?

TLE is the Teacher Leader Exam while the DAE stands for Departmental Admission Exam. The DAE is used as a requirement for admission in the administrative Education Leadership Programs and the TLE is used for the Teacher Leadership Program. If you have taught two or more years, you may take the DAE or TLE rather than the GRE. The DAE and TLE are given at Northwest-Kansas City at no cost to you.

What is the writing sample and when do I take it?

The writing sample is a requirement for admission in most Master's level programs. This requirement may vary depending on the program you are seeking.  Some programs have writing samples while others only require the writing portion of the GRE.  Refer to admission requirements in your program of study for more information. 

For programs with a departmental writing sample requirement:  You will provide a sample of your writing skills by responding to a prompt provided by the specific department. The sample is evaluated on the basis of your ability to express your thoughts in written form, and your ability to demonstrate mastery of basic writing skills such as punctuation, spelling and grammar. Two separate dates are provided each semester from which you can choose to satisfy this requirement. 

What should I do if I want to begin a graduate program and enroll in classes?

If you are interested in applying to Graduate School and enrolling in classes, you should begin by completing the free Application for Graduate Studies. Application forms are available at Northwest-Kansas City or online. In addition to submitting an application, you should contact the school where you completed your undergraduate/graduate work to request that your transcripts be sent to Northwest. These transcripts must be official copies. After these two steps have been taken and you have received your program acceptance information, you are eligible to enroll in classes. Assistance is available at Northwest-Kansas City for enrollment.

When do I pay for classes in which I enroll?

You will receive a confirmation of enrollment in the mail.  This confirmation will not include the dates and times of classes (view class details on CatPAWS for more information).  The University will process each registration form and you will be notified by mail of your enrollment in specific classes. The enrollment form will be forwarded to the Bursar's Office where fees will be assessed and an invoice will be sent to you.  Your bill will be mailed around the 25th of each month. Payment is due by the 15th of each month.

Can I enroll for classes online?

You may enroll online for the upcoming semester if you are enrolled in classes during the present semester and have received your Alternate PIN from your advisor.

General Resources/Services

What is Bearcat Break and how do I know if I qualify?

Bearcat Break means there is no out-of-state tuition charged for residents of the following Kansas and Oklahoma counties:

  • Kansas -- Atchison, Doniphan, Johnson, Leavenworth, Miami and Wyandotte
  • Oklahoma -- Craig, Delaware and Ottawa

If you work in Missouri and live out-of-state in counties other than those previously listed, you and your dependents are eligible to have the nonresident portion of your tuition waived. The nonresident portion of the incidental fee will be waived up to the amount of Missouri taxes paid. To receive this credit, you must submit the name of the student whose account is to be credited and a copy of your previous year's Missouri taxes to the Bursar's Office via fax at 660.562.1400 or mail it to:

Bursar's Office
Administration Building
Northwest Missouri State University
800 University Drive
Maryville, MO  64468

How do I know if I qualify for financial aid?

Graduate students must be accepted into a program of study and enrolled in at least 5 credit hours of courses each semester in order to qualify for financial aid.  Other payment arrangements can be made with the Bursar's Office by contacting 660.562.1376.

Who do I contact to drop a course for which I have already enrolled?

You can either drop a course using CatPAWs or call the Graduate office at 660.562.1145. You ARE NOT AUTOMATICALLY dropped from the course for non-attendance or not submitting coursework.

How do I know what grade I received in a course?

You may access your grades online or order transcripts from the Registrar's office.

To access your grades and unofficial transcripts online:

  1. Visit CatPAWS
  2. Select "Enter Secure Area" and proceed to the next page where you will enter your student ID (919######); for your Pin number, use either the last 6 digits of your ID number or your birthday in MMDDYY format
  3. Once you have logged in, proceed to Student and Financial Aid
  4. Select Student Records
  5. Select Academic Transcript
  6. Submit the next page by leaving All Levels and Web selected in the drop down boxes
To order a copy of you transcript please contact the Registrar’s office at 660.562.1596 or print a request online.

What is CatPAWS and how do I log in?

CatPAWS is an online resource for students to access class schedules, transcripts, current bills & grade reports, etc.

  1. Visit CatPAWS
  2. Select "Enter Secure Area" and proceed to the next page where you will enter your student ID (919######); for your Pin number, use either the last 6 digits of your ID number or your birthday in MMDDYY format

How do I access my Northwest email?

  1. Visit Northwest Missouri State University
  2. Select "Student E-Mail" from the Resources menu
  3. Enter your email login and password that you retrieved from CatPAWS (see directions below for retrieval)
    1. Login into CatPaws
    2. Select "Personal Information"
    3. On the bottom of the page, select "Northwest Email Initial Information Retrieval"
    4. Read the terms and if you agree to the conditions stated, click on "AGREE"
    5. Your Northwest email address and initial password will be displayed; once you change your password, the displayed password will no longer be valid

Email login and passwords are the same as those used for university computers on campus. Enter your new S2# only and newly created password to log on to a campus computer. This username is provided so that you can gain access to the computing services provided by Northwest. By logging onto this account, you are accepting Northwest Missouri State University's computer policies as stated in the User's Guide. Should you have problems or questions regarding your University-assigned e-mail account please contact the Client Computing-Information Technology at Northwest at or by calling 660.562.1634.

How do I automatically forward my Northwest email messages to my other email account?

You can set this up in the options menu of Outlook Live.  Click here for instructions.

What is Northwest Online and how do I log in?

Northwest Online is used for online courses and to supplement face to face courses.

To log on to Northwest Online:

  1. Visit Northwest Missouri State University
  2. Select "Northwest Online" from the Resources menu
  3. Enter your S# as the UserID
    • Continuing students: Your password is your Social Security number with no dashes
    • For new students: Your password is your 919# with no dashes