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Public-Private Partnership in Joplin Helps High School Students Earn Associates Degrees


What happens when government, business, public schools, and colleges collaborate? In Joplin and seven other cities in Missouri, the answer is that high school students can graduate with a high school diploma and an associate’s degree, too.

Joplin’s Innovation Campus began in 2012 as a partnership between Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce, Missouri Southern State University, Crowder College and Joplin High School/Franklin Technology Center. The program enables qualifying students to enroll in associates-degree-focused dual credit courses. The partnering institutions help kids cover the cost of enrollment through grant funding.

The idea behind Innovation Campuses is twofold. First, Innovation Campus programs help student reach their career goals more quickly. Second, Innovation Campus programs help them get further into their college degrees without incurring student debt.

According to the Governor’s office, similar programs are being created in St. Joseph, Springfield, St. Louis, Jefferson City, St. Charles, Cape Girardeau, and Rolla. (Source)

“This is exactly the type of strong public-private partnership we need to grow our economy and keep our state moving forward,” said Governor Jay Nixon of the St. Joseph campus partnership between Missouri Western, Metropolitan Community College, and the St. Joseph Metro Chamber of Commerce. That partnership began in 2012. (Source)

Innovation campuses are helping to train students for careers, particularly for careers in high-demand fields like nursing and technology, though programs are available in a variety of fields of study. Partnerships between schools and local businesses mean that those businesses commit to “creating or retraining a specific number of jobs”. (Source)

Continue to learn about the initiatives underway in the state of Missouri to prepare students for college and career by bookmarking the Missouri Parent Blog and following Missouri Parent on Facebook and Twitter.

About Missouri Innovation Campuses & SB 381
Missouri’s Innovation Campuses were created under Missouri Senate Bill 381, sponsored by Senator Will Kraus, R-Lee’s Summit. The bill states that Innovation Campuses are: “a partnership comprised of one or more Missouri public community colleges or Linn State Technical College; one or more Missouri public or private four-year institutions of higher education; one or more Missouri high schools or K-12 education districts; and at least one Missouri-based business.”

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