By Janice Phelan, November 17, 2022
Two Missouri Innovation Campus (MIC) programs were recently named Registered Apprenticeship Programs through the U.S. Department of Labor, following a comprehensive application and evaluation process. The two programs – Cybersecurity and Software Development – are the first MIC programs to earn this designation.
The Missouri Innovation Campus program is a partnership including the University of Central Missouri, the Lee’s Summit R-7 School District’s Summit Technology Academy, Metropolitan Community College and industry-leading business partners. It provides motivated students with career-ready skills and the opportunity to earn a bachelor’s degree just two years after high-school graduation – all with little or not debt.
Stan Elliott, MIC program director, and Gentry Scavuzzo, MIC internship coordinator, worked with the Department of Labor on the two applications. Both Cybersecurity and Software Development were approved during National Apprenticeship Week, held Nov. 14 through 20 this year.
SS&C Technologies will serve as UCM's initial business partner for the MIC Registered Apprenticeship Programs with additional partners announced soon. In addition, SS&C was one of the first business partners to join the Missouri Innovation Campus program in 2012.
“Registered Apprenticeship is an industry-driven, high-quality career pathway where employers can develop and prepare their future workforce, and individuals can obtain paid work experience, receive progressive wage increases, classroom instruction and a portable, nationally recognized credential,” according to the Department of Labor webpage. “Registered Apprenticeships are industry-vetted and approved and validated by the U.S. Department of Labor or a State Apprenticeship Agency.”
The national program also enables and encourages employers to participate in apprenticeships and access a larger, well-trained talent pool. This effort helps meet industry demands while reducing unemployment rates throughout the nation. Key components of the Department of Labor Registered Apprenticeship Program include an industry-vetted and approved process to ensure alignment with industry standards, a paid job for the students, structured on-the-job learning and mentorship, supplemental education, diversity, quality, safety and credentials.
According to the Department of Labor, a total of 93 percent of apprentices who complete a Registered Apprenticeship retain their employment with an average annual salary of $77,000.
The one-of-a-kind Missouri Innovation Campus program started in 2012 with one academic program and three MIC business partners. Since then, the program has expanded to include 70 business partners and five programs: Software Development, Software Engineering, Cybersecurity, Design and Drafting and Big Data/Business Analytics.
Students enter the program their junior year in high school, attending dual-credit courses at Summit Technology Academy as well as dual enrollment coursework the summer before their junior year.
Through this four-year program students are able to earn a bachelor’s degree just two years after graduating high school while also participating in three year, year-round, paid internships with one of the MIC program business partners.