‘RooMentum’ program eliminates barriers for MCC students headed to UMKC

Student Isai Cabezas (right) speaks at the RooMentum signing ceremony Sept. 17 at the MCC Administrative Center. Looking on are UMKC Chancellor C. Mauli Agrawal and MCC Chancellor Kimberly Beatty. (Photos by Clay Bussey/MCC)

“RooMentum” might sound like something you’d rub on a sore back. But it’s really a combination of the University of Missouri-Kansas City mascot — the Roos — and the momentum for students created by a new partnership between UMKC and Metropolitan Community College.

That momentum should propel students toward faster completion of a four-year degree. But in general the three facets of the RooMentum agreement, announced at a ceremony Sept. 17, are all about greater access and equity, MCC Chancellor Kimberly Beatty said.

“We want to fulfill the dreams of those students” who might not have thought a college degree was possible, she added.

The event drew representatives from both institutions as well as local media.

“No one can succeed at higher education unless they clear the hurdles that stand in the way of enrollment,” agreed UMKC Chancellor C. Mauli Agrawal, who joined Dr. Beatty at the signing ceremony.

For some students, the hurdles are financial, he said. For others, it’s the preparation for college-level work. The RooMentum initiative was designed to “lower the barriers to college enrollment and college success, barriers that are too prevalent in this community.”

The three components of the new MCC/UMKC transfer agreement:

  • The RooMentum “On Track” Program (starting this fall) is designed for first-time, full-time college students who may not qualify for direct admission to UMKC. This program provides students an opportunity to explore academic and career interests, improve academic preparation and develop key academic strategies to enhance their success. Once students complete the On Track curriculum at MCC, they will automatically be admitted to UMKC.
  • The RooMentum “Pathways” Program (starting Spring 2020) creates transfer pathways that promote successful completion of a bachelor’s degree in as few total credit hours as possible. Pathways will let MCC students “connect with classes and opportunities at UMKC” related to their major and ease the transition to upper-level coursework, Agrawal said.
  • Bachelor of Applied Science (targeted for approval in Spring 2021 and implementation in Fall 2021): Students will simultaneously work toward an associate in applied science (A.A.S.) degree at MCC and a bachelor of applied science degree at UMKC.
From left: UMKC’s Kim McNeley, Barbara Bichelmeyer and C. Mauli Argawal with MCC’s Kimberly Beatty, Kathrine Swanson and Caron Daugherty.

MCC student Isai Cabezas, who was on hand for the RooMentum announcement, said he plans to take courses at both MCC and UMKC next semester, eventually earning a bachelor’s degree in chemistry. He’d then like to attend the UMKC medical school.

MCC Chancellor Beatty (center) with Caron Daugherty (left), MCC vice chancellor for instruction, and Barbara Bichelmeyer, UMKC executive vice president and provost

Cabezas said his experience at MCC has been positive. “The staff and students are really amazing,” he said, adding that he appreciated the low student-teacher ratio.

Most students in the RooMentum programs will begin their college careers at MCC, but they’ll be considered enrolled at both schools, with access to libraries, academic advisors and other resources at both institutions.