MCC, KC Public Schools, Full Employment Council to announce dropout initiative

Metropolitan Community College, Kansas City Public Schools and the Kansas City Full Employment Council will hold a signing ceremony Friday, Feb. 9, to officially launch the Middle College Program, which puts high school dropouts on a path toward a diploma and post-secondary education.

The Feb. 9 ceremony and press conference will take place at the Student Success Center in the Campus Center building at MCC-Penn Valley. Officials with the college, the public school system and the FEC will be on hand.

The program targets KCPS students who have dropped out of school but are looking for an alternative path toward academic success. Through the Middle College Program housed at MCC-Penn Valley, these students (ages 16-24) will access success workshops, online coursework and direct instruction to earn a high school diploma or high school equivalency credential.

The Middle College Program will provide participants with tutoring, leadership development, adult mentoring, counseling, financial literacy education, entrepreneurial skills development, post-secondary education transition support, job placement support and more. The program has a goal of serving 30 young people this calendar year.

“The mission of a community college is access to higher education for all,” says Metropolitan Community College Chancellor Dr. Kimberly Beatty. “This new partnership is another way of helping Kansas Citians realize their dreams through education.”

Dr. Tyjaun Lee, president of MCC-Penn Valley, says she and the campus community are looking forward to welcoming the Middle College students.

“Some of these will be older students who wouldn’t feel comfortable returning to a high school setting,” Dr. Lee says. “Having the program on the MCC-Penn Valley campus will put the students around others closer to their age. Better yet, these students will have a chance to get comfortable in a college environment and hopefully realize that not only is a high school education attainable, so is a college diploma.”