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University Relations

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


Governor’s Announcement in North KC Includes Grant Funding for The MIC

Contact: Jeff Murphy
WARRENSBURG, MO (Jan. 6, 2015) – In a press event that took place Jan. 6 in North Kansas City, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon announced the University of Central Missouri will receive a $350,000 grant in support of The Missouri Innovation Campus (MIC) initiative and a $100,000 grant to support competency-based education, which also will be applied toward efforts at The MIC.

The grants announced by the governor are made possible through the national non-profit organization, USA Funds, which in 2014 selected Missouri to receive a $1 million grant to expand the state’s Innovation Campus initiative. The initiative was launched in 2012 with the opening of The MIC, a joint effort between UCM, Lee’s Summit R-7 School District, Summit Technology Academy, MCC, and numerous business partners in the Kanas City metropolitan area.

The MIC students who attend the R-7 district’s Summit Technology Academy during their junior and senior years of high school earn their associate degrees from MCC at approximately the same time they receive their high-school diplomas. MIC students also will earn their four-year bachelor’s degree from UCM just two years after high-school graduation. Additionally, while participating in The MIC, these students are engaged in high-tech paid internships which prepare them for well-paying technology careers, and allow them to graduate with little to no student debt.

In addition to supporting Innovation Campuses, USA Funds also provided Missouri with an additional $1 million grant to provide greater access to competency-based education. UCM’s share of grant funding is $100,000. Missouri State University, Springfield, also will receive $100,000, and Truman State University, Kirksville, will receive a $400,000 competency-based education grant.

In a press release issued by the Governor’s Office, Anna Gatlin, USA Fund director, state engagement and relations, noted, “Missouri competency-based education initiatives help students earn quality postsecondary credentials in less time and at less cost, while also preparing them for high-demand occupations. Consistent with USA Funds’ focus on postsecondary education Completion With a Purpose, we are pleased to support these innovative college and career preparation initiatives as models for the state to adopt.”

UCM President Charles Ambrose noted, “UCM and its partners are looking at competency-based education as a way to help accelerate the time it takes for students to complete a degree and reduce the cost of higher education by focusing more on what students actually learn than time spent in a particular course. The MIC environment, which includes student internships as a way to develop job-ready skills, is especially well suited to this type of learning platform. UCM is currently working with Motivis Learning, Inc., to develop tools needed to incorporate competency-based education at The MIC.”

The $350,000 Innovation Campus grant received by UCM will be applied toward program expansion at The MIC, providing funds for curriculum development, staffing and marketing efforts.

In addition to Innovation Campus grants awarded to UCM in support of The MIC, the governor announced a  grant to Northwest Missouri State University to support the Northland CAPS Innovation Campus, which was the site of his announcement, and a $180,000 financial award for Missouri State University.