Heartland Schools rank high on student safety

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - Southeast Missouri State ranks #1 safest 4-year college in the state of Missouri.

Three Rivers College ranks #3 for all colleges in Missouri.

"We have the systems in place to ensure that," said Doug Richards, the Department of Public Safety Director at Southeast Missouri State. "To help ensure the safety of students, faculty, staff, visitors, everybody on campus."

Richards says he's proud StateUniversity.com ranks Southeast Missouri State as the safest 4-year institution in Missouri for the second year in a row.

"It's a matter of trying to reach all the people, all the time, as quickly as possible, no matter where they're at," said Richards.

He says the department uses surveillance cameras around campus to monitor activity. They utilize mass text message alert systems, flash alerts on school computers, and outdoor alerts.

"Our goal is to reach the maximum people, in the shortest amount of time," said Richards. "Not everybody's going to be outside, not everybody is going to have their cell phone on, people driving into campus, those types of things, so you try to touch every area to reach the maximum amount of people."

Students say they feel safe on campus, even to walk at night. It's a plus for students, and the admissions department.

"Probably one of the most common questions we get from prospective parents when they come to tour our campus is how safe is your campus," said Southeast Missouri Admissions Representative Lenell Hahn.

"A lot of times it's top of their mind, some of their first questions, what is your campus safety program, emergency program, what is your crime rate on campus," said Richards.

"It's a huge reassurance for them that we have put measures in the university to assist with having a safe campus for our students," said Hahn. "Parents today are leaving their child for a home that they're going to be at for about 4 years, and they want to know that their child is going to feel safe there."

To see the rankings at StateUniversity.com click here.