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University Relations

University of Central Missouri
Administration 302
Warrensburg, MO 64093
Phone: 660-543-4640
Fax: 660-543-4943


MCC and UCM Announce Cass County Partnership

Contact: Jeff Murphy
WARRENSBURG, MO (Sept. 24, 2010) - Officials from Metropolitan Community College and the University of Central Missouri on Thursday, Sept. 23, announced a major partnership in conjunction with the Cass County Commission to bring new higher education and workforce training opportunities to county residents.

Cass County Partnership
Charles Ambrose, right, president of the University of Central Missouri, responds to a media question about a new partnership between UCM, Metropolitan Community College and Cass County during a joint press conference Sept. 23 in Belton. Other participants from left are emcee Gary Mallory, Cass County presiding commissioner; State Sen. David Pearce, R-District 31; and Mark James, chancellor of Metropolitan Community College

The new Cass County Partnership for Advanced Training and Education puts in motion a plan by MCC and UCM to provide higher education programs and workforce training throughout Cass County. Pulling from the full resources of UCM and the five campuses within MCC, officials see this project as a new way of thinking about how students of all ages get a college education.

 “This is a project that the entire state will be watching as an example of how education should be delivered to our residents,” said State Sen. David Pearce, R-District 31. “We need to be efficient. We need to be lean and mean.”

 The partnership grew out of a desire by the Cass County Commission to make higher education more accessible to the almost 100,000 residents in the county.

“We have seen higher retention rates and academic success when we engage in relationships with students in their hometown or high schools,” said MCC Chancellor Mark James, referring to several successful programs piloted by MCC-Longview in Belton to enroll high school students to college classes at that campus. “With this new partnership, now we can use the resources of every MCC campus as well as all of the great programs and resources that UCM offers.”

Beyond traditional college classes, the new partnership will collaborate with businesses in Cass County to create customized workforce development training to prepare employees for new technology or workforce innovations.

“UCM’s history of services to Cass County goes beyond the traditional classroom and includes assisting small-business owners through our Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies and Development,” UCM President Charles Ambrose said. “Through this partnership, we want to help Cass County residents meet and exceed their life’s goals.”  “This partnership with Cass County and MCC is a great way to meet people’s needs.”

Officials emphasized that before classes can be offered or training can begin, it will be up the residents of Cass County to decide what kind of educational programming they would like to see introduced in the community.

To find out more or to voice your opinion, go to or call 816-348-2080.