Video: From MCC to Kansas City’s Mayor


100 Years, 100 Stories 

Video: Before he was elected as Kansas City Mayor, Sly James was a student at Metropolitan Community College.

“I came home from the Marine Corps. It has been a while since I had been in school and I was looking for a place where they would recognize that it was going to take me a moment or two to get up to speed,” explained James.

He attended classes at on the MCC- Penn Valley campus.

“One of the things that I was most happy and pleased about was the ease of the entire enrollment process. The ability to use the GI bill and those types of things that really helped me ease back into an academic setting. Everybody was really helpful and everyone was really friendly, but most importantly they were very instrumental in helping me pick and choose a course. I had some pretty great one-on-one counseling, someone to walk me through things and get me re-acclimated and back into an academic setting.

The class offerings were exactly what I needed and the professors were there and immediately available,” touted James about his experience.

MCC gave Mayor James the Foundation to continue his higher education goals.

“It was extremely easy for me to transfer to Rockhurst after MCC-Penn Valley. All of the credits transferred and they were easily accepted. I felt like I was ready and very prepared,” said James.

After he graduated from Rockhurst University, he then went on to earn his law degree from the University of Minnesota. Now as Kansas City’s mayor, he places a large focus on education and employment and relies on MCC.

“They are very much involved now in preparing people for careers. I think that is extremely important that we have an institution that is focused on the job market to put people back into the job market or to retrain them after they have lost employment in one sector to go into another. I would say that MCC is a good option for anybody who wants a quality education. When you are able to serve a wide variety of people a broad number of people over a significant geographic area, then you leave an imprint and that imprint is one I believe that has basically nourished the renaissance of Kansas City here in recent years. It makes education crystal clear for people coming out of high school who want to decide what they want to do with their life. MCC works,” said James.


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