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Missouri innovation campus | University News

Missouri Innovation Campus Program’s Academic Rigor and Industry Internships Give 2023 Graduate Michael Kraxberger Competitive Edge

By Janice Phelan, February 28, 2024



Michael Kraxberger is on the fast track to a successful career after completing his four-year degree earlier than most other students his age. He took advantate of the Missouri Innovation Campus academic program.

Graduating high school with an associate degree while gaining technical experience are among the reasons University of Central Missouri 2023 graduate Michael Kraxberger selected UCM’s nationally recognized Missouri Innovation Campus program.

Kraxberger recently moved to Raleigh, N.C. to work in the Cisco Sales Associate Program (CSAP). At age 20, he is the youngest in this elite program and among just 11 candidates accepted from a pool of applicants in the tens of thousands. He works as an associate systems engineer with this job title changing to associate solutions engineer in the near future.

A 2021 graduate of Lee’s Summit High School, Kraxberger chose UCM due to its Missouri Innovation Campus (MIC) program. 

“Finding the opportunity to graduate high school with an associate degree and get college schooling and technical experience simultaneously really puts you ahead in your career and enables you to get roles like CSAP,” he said.

Kraxberger, who earned his UCM bachelor’s degree in software development, also commended the MIC program’s three-year, year-round, paid internships – which are unique to this accelerated degree model.

“The opportunity for internship experience in a market saturated with new employees alongside the ability to become part of a tight-knit community enabled me to succeed in and out of the classroom,” he added. “I made many close friends and I still keep up with them today.”

The MIC professors provide another competitive edge for students enrolled in the program. 

“Many of my professors drove all of us in the MIC program to finish strong and provide excellent work,” Kraxberger said, “and I think that commitment to work ethic is the biggest takeaway you can receive from a university.”

The MIC program has been recognized at the regional and national level for reshaping the way students experience education and innovation. A partnership between UCM, the Lee’s Summit R-7 School District, Metropolitan Community College and close to 70 leading businesses, the MIC program provides motivated students with career-ready skills while connecting businesses to a highly trained workforce.

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, earning their high-school diploma and associate degree at the same time. This places the MIC students on an accelerated pathway to complete their UCM bachelor’s degree just two years after high-school graduation.

For more information about the Missouri Innovation Campus program, visit this webpage.


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