Higher education officials from across the U.S. meet in KC to discuss MIC, other workforce innovations

National Higher Ed Convening1When business, education and government leaders from across the U.S. meet in Kansas City this week, the focus will be on expanding and replicating proven workforce program models like the Missouri Innovation Campus. 

Brian Green speaking
MIC student Brian Green, who had the honor of introducing Pres. Barack Obama for his nationally televised speech in July, will participate in the National Convening on Higher Education Innovation this week.

The inaugural National Convening on Higher Education Innovation, to be held at the Kauffman Foundation Conference Center on Nov. 13 & 14, is intended to bring the conversation about innovative models to a national audience. One such model, the Missouri Innovation Campus, first entered the national spotlight in July when President Barack Obama visited Missouri to tout the accelerated higher education program as one that should be emulated in other cities.

Click here to read more about the Missouri Innovation Campus and the presidential praise.

The National Convening is sponsored by the Missouri Innovation Campus, the Office of Missouri Governor Jay Nixon, the Lumina Foundation and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. CEOs from Fortune 500 companies; community leaders; local, state and national education leaders; and representatives of the White House and the U.S. Department of Education will participate in discussions and serve as panelists and guest speakers for the event.

The first day will focus on taking the Missouri Innovation Campus to scale within metropolitan Kansas City and also on replicating the model in other cities throughout the country. The second day will be a working session focused on bringing competency-based tools across the Missouri Innovation Campus curriculum to allow students to make a seamless transition from the classroom to the internship components of the current program, according to a release from the University of Central Missouri.

Speakers and panelists include:

  • James Shelton, acting deputy secretary for the U.S. Dept. of Education;
  • Jamie Merisotis, president and CEO of the Lumina Foundation;
  • Dewayne Matthews, vice president for policy and strategy for the Lumina Foundation;
  • Jay Nixon, governor of Missouri;
  • James Kvaal, deputy director of the Domestic Policy Council for The White House;
  • Tom McDonnell, president and CEO of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation;
  • Cliff Illig, co-founder and vice chairman of the board for Cerner Corporation;
  • Chuck Ambrose, president of the University of Central Missouri;
  • Deborah Curtis, provost and chief learning officer for the University of Central Missouri;
  • David McGehee, superintendent of the Lee’s Summit R-7 School District;
  • Carrie Besnette Hauser, president-elect of Colorado Mountain College;
  • Brian Green, student at the Missouri Innovation Campus; and
  • Mark James, chancellor of Metropolitan Community College.


James will introduce Deputy Secretary Shelton for Shelton’s keynote address and will also serve as a panelist; other experts from MCC will serve as panelists as well.

“We will talk about scaling up the successful Missouri Innovation Campus model that Lee’s Summit R-7, UCM and MCC faculty have designed, as well as the need for additional innovative models to fit other kinds of workforce needs,” said James. “A vital component of these programs, which I will focus on in particular, is the need for more active business partners to engage with us like Cerner and others have already done.”

Click here for more information on the National Convening on Higher Education Innovation.