Northwest, MCC celebrate partnership, opening of new Kansas City Center

Representatives of Northwest Missouri State University and Metropolitan Community College (MCC) gathered Thursday, Jan. 9, to mark their collaboration and the relocation of Northwest’s Kansas City Center to the MCC-Maple Woods campus.

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Northwest classes at the new location begin in conjunction with the start of the University’s spring trimester Monday, Jan. 13. Northwest is using six classrooms and office space on the MCC-Maple Woods campus. The Northwest office and its classrooms are located on the lower level of the computing and business building.

Prior to the event’s ceremonial ribbon-cutting, Northwest President Dr. John Jasinski thanked MCC-Maple Woods for its partnership and said the Kansas City Center’s move provides multiple advantages and opportunities for MCC-Maple Woods students as well as individuals interested in continuing their education in the Kansas City metropolitan area.

“We’re bringing that quality education from Maryville and Northwest Missouri State University down to join what you do each and every day here,” Jasinski told MCC-Maple Woods leaders. “That quality instruction helps students go out and do what they need to do to better our communities and better the workforce.”

MCC-Maple Woods President Dr. Utpal Goswami, who began serving the college last July, echoed Jasinski’s statements. During his 30 years in higher education as a faculty member and administrator, Goswami has witnessed on multiple occasions the positive impact of partnerships involving two-year and four-year institutions. Thus, he is pleased to have such a partnership in place at MCC-Maple Woods.

“Our mission is very simple and straightforward: preparing students, serving communities and creating opportunities,” Goswami said. “This partnership is going to advance our mission. We will find ways to serve the community in ways that we have not been able to serve before.”

In addition to faculty and staff members representing both institutions, Sen. Brad Lager and Rep. Mike Thomson were in attendance for the ceremony as well as Gladstone City Manager Kirk Davis, several local school superintendents and board members, and Gladstone and Northland chamber of commerce representatives.

Lager praised Northwest and MCC-Maple Woods for partnering to enhance postsecondary education as well as the regional workforce, noting both institutions’ success in achieving state performance benchmarks.

“We have two of the top-performing schools in our state that made a strategic decision to partner together to advance the workforce,” Lager said. “If that doesn’t articulate where we need to go in this state, I don’t know what does.”

Since the 1980s, Northwest has partnered with remote institutions to offer its coursework. In 2000, Northwest began offering courses in Kansas City through a partnership with the North Kansas City School District but eventually outgrew that space, leading Northwest to establish a partnership with the Liberty School District in 2006.

Northwest Outreach Director Dr. Terry Barmann said the University’s partnership with MCC-Maple Woods is the next step in efforts to provide Kansas City-area residents access to Northwest’s quality instruction.

“It’s a new look. It’s a new site. But it’s the same vision,” Barmann said. “We will continue at the Kansas City Center to focus on student success – every student, every day. We do this by offering quality academic programs with the help of professors from our campus who teach about 80 percent of our classes. The other 20 percent are taught by highly qualified adjuncts who are in the K-12 arena every day.”

— Contributed by Mark Hornickel, media relations specialist at Northwest Missouri State University.