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Missouri Innovation Campus Program’s Cohorts Excel Academically as They Prepare for IT and Engineering Careers

By Janice Phelan, January 16, 2024


Members of the Missouri Innovation Campus program’s 2023-2027 cohort work on their resumes during the program’s Resume Building Workshop.

Students in the nationally recognized Missouri Innovation Campus program recently achieved academic honors while participating in this rigorous, career-focused degree initiative.

The one-of-a-kind program is made possible through a partnership including the University of Central Missouri, Lee’s Summit R-7 School District, Metropolitan Community College and more than 70 business partners. The program prepares IT and engineering graduates for a successful career, decreases the cost of a college degree and reduces the time it takes to earn a bachelor’s degree while eliminating the skills gap and providing real-world learning experiences through three-year, year-round, paid internships.

“Keeping IT and engineering talent in the Kansas City region is the ultimate goal of the MIC program,” said Stan Elliott, MIC program director.

During the fall 2023 semester, all four current MIC program cohorts continued a tradition of academic success while preparing for in-demand, high-paying careers, Elliott added.

The 2020-24 MIC program cohort will graduate next May with bachelor’s degrees from UCM – just two years after graduating from high school. This group is also completing the final year of their internships. After seven semesters, the cohort had a cumulative grade-point average (GPA) of 3.84 with 100 percent of the group achieving 3.0 or above and 45 percent earning a 3.5 GPA or higher.

The program’s 2021-25 cohort’s cumulative GPA was 3.35 with 72 percent earning at least 3.0 and 50 percent earning 3.5 or above. Students in this cohort are currently participating in their second year of the paid internship program and are on track to graduate in May 2025.

Participants in the 2022-26 MIC program earned a cumulative GPA of 3.57 with 93 percent reaching 3.0 or higher and 71 percent achieving 3.5 or above. A total of 21 percent of this cohort reached a perfect 4.0 GPA. These students are participating in the first year in the internship program.

The program’s newest students – the 2023-27 cohort – had a cumulative GPA of 3.58 after two semesters with 79 percent achieving a GPA of 3.0 or higher and 64 percent earning at least a 3.5. In addition, an impressive 57 percent had a perfect 4.0 GPA. 

This 2023-27 cohort is also developing their professional resumes and participating in mock job interviews with MIC business partners to prepare for their paid internship interviews in February. These students will begin their internships next June.

The Missouri Innovation Campus program, which launched in 2012 as a workforce provider for the Kansas City region, includes seven programs in the IT and engineering sectors with a full time employment rate of 99 percent. In addition, approximately 91 percent of MIC program graduates are employed by the business partner where they served their internship.

Students enter the MIC program the summer before their junior year in high school when they begin attending Lee’s Summit R-7’s Summit Technology Academy. The students take college-level classes from UCM and Metropolitan Community College alongside their high-school courses. This places the MIC students on an accelerated pathway to complete their UCM bachelor’s degree just two years after high-school graduation. The program has received national recognition for reshaping the path to a college degree.

The Missouri Innovation Campus program includes pathways to BS degrees in Science in Data Science, Drafting and Design Technology, Computer Science, Cybersecurity, Software Engineering, Business Administration in Big Data/Business Analytics and Business Administration in Computer Science Information Systems.

For more information, visit the MIC program webpage


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