Last week, Governor Mike Parson signed House Bill 297 into law that designates Southeast Missouri State University as an institution of higher education with a statewide mission in the areas of computer science, cybervsecurity and visual and performing arts. The Coordinating Board of Higher Education started reviewing the statewide missions of public institutions back in 1995 to make sure Missouri’s higher education system was providing balanced high-quality programs. The CBHE has revealed that as of right now, there are eight institutions hold statewide mission designations. Southeast Missouri State University applied for the designation and the university started the application process in May of 2019. In order for the university to earn recognition it had to prove to the board that it offered at least one program of unusual strength in the areas of cybervsecurity, computer science and visual performing arts. The university’s cybervsecurity students are nine time Missouri Collegiate Cyber Defense Champions. University officials say Southeast Missouri State University is the only university in the state that has a separate campus designated to the arts. The university’s River Campus has hosted over 300,000 patrons since it was first opened in 2007.