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Missouri Innovation Campus
Education at the Speed of Business
What is the Missouri Innovation Campus?
The Missouri Innovation Campus was designed through a collaborative effort of business partners, including the Lee’s Summit R-7 School District, Metropolitan Community College and the University of Central Missouri. The goal of the MIC is to connect businesses to a trained workforce that have specific skill sets to help make students competitive in the marketplace while reducing training costs. The Missouri Innovation Campus also uses an accelerated model designed to reduce student debt and increase retention and degree completion.
What is “innovative” about the MIC programming?
This customized training initiative is rigorous, relevant and can be used with all of the Missouri Strategic Initiative for Economic Growth “Target Clusters” that include advanced manufacturing, energy solutions, bio sciences, health sciences and services, and information technology.
The instructional program is delivered by instructors who use inquiry, team building, real-world problem solving and hands-on activities to assess both the hard and soft skills required by the specific business partners and their industries. Enriching this instruction are several internships—beginning in the summer after the student’s junior year of high school—where business partners can observe and assess the student’s abilities in “real-life” activities within the company over a period of two to three years.
Why is the MIC an “accelerated” model?
Students begin the program their junior year of high school by taking not only courses required to graduate from high school, but also college credit courses that will position them to graduate from high school with an associate’s degree. The final two years will be focused on completing a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Central Missouri.
This accelerated model is a four-year, year-round program that reduces baccalaureate degree completion by two years for students finishing their coursework on time as identified by their four-year plan.
How is the Missouri Innovation Campus funded?
One of the greatest obstacles to college completion is student debt. The MIC seeks new ways to assist students through student employment internships, tuition forgiveness, grants, shared tuition and low interest loan programs. Reduced costs also exist by reducing the number of years for degree completion.
How do the Missouri Innovation Campus business partners benefit from this initiative?
Business partners of the MIC benefit by hiring trained employees with specific skill sets and competencies aligned to the needs of the individual company. These skills and competencies have been assessed in multiple real-world settings through classroom instruction and on-the-job internships.
What are the next steps for the Missouri Innovation Campus?
The MIC programming began in August 2012 with the Lee’s Summit R-7 School District's STA IT Essentials cohort. The second MIC program, to be implemented in August 2013, will be the Engineering Technology cohort. Other career field curricula will be added in subsequent years, through the oversight of the University of Central Missouri, in collaboration with Metropolitan Community Colleges, the Lee’s Summit R-7 School District and business partners.