High school students from the Independence and North Kansas City school districts will soon be able to earn college credit in technical programs, thanks to an agreement signed this week by the school districts and Metropolitan Community College’s Business & Technology campus.
The initiative, called the MCC-Business & Technology Early College program, allows high school juniors and seniors to complete up to 20 credits towards an MCC certificate or degree in one of two technical-skills categories. The program will launch in August 2013 with 36 students: 18 in engineering technology/design and 18 in industrial technology/electrical. Beginning in 2014, program officials expect 72 high school juniors and seniors to participate in the program each year.
The Early College program is designed for students who may not otherwise consider college or who are at risk of dropping out of high school. The students will enroll in college-level technical courses and will also receive targeted supplemental academic instruction to support their success and cultivate their commitment to complete a degree or certificate after high school graduation. The program came about after representatives from the two school districts independently approached MCC-Business & Technology President Debbie Goodall about creating a program to enhance student success in high school and increase enrollment in college.
“A career goal and readiness for college-level work are critical components of student success at the postsecondary level,” said Goodall. “MCC-Business & Technology is eager to launch this new program which gives high school students an opportunity to earn college credits in two occupational areas where skilled workers are in demand locally and regionally. It’s a win-win for the students and for our area manufacturing and engineering companies.”
Students enrolled in the Early College program will be at the MCC-Business & Technology campus for 2.5 hours per day, Monday through Friday, for the full semester. Upon completion of the program, students can continue taking classes to earn a certificate or degree or use their skills to begin entry-level work in their chosen career field.
The Early College signing ceremony, held Thursday, May 30 at MCC-Business & Technology, finalized the establishment of the partnership among MCC, PREP-KC, the Independence School District and the North Kansas City School District.
Early College is one of several dual-enrollment programs across Metropolitan Community College’s five campuses. The Trailblazer Collegiate Academy at MCC-Blue River, the Early College Academy at MCC-Penn Valley and the Monarchs Collegiate Academy at MCC-Maple Woods allow high school students to earn an associate’s degree at the same time they earn their high school diploma. MCC-Longview partners with the University of Central Missouri and the Lee’s Summit School District on the Missouri Innovation Campus, which offers similar benefits to high school-aged students.