Governor Jay Nixon has announced $9 million in community development block grant money that will go to nine so-called “Innovation Campuses” around the state. He says the program will “partner colleges and universities with public schools and private businesses to train workers for very specific workforce demands.”
Nixon says the idea is simple. “Missouri’s public colleges and universities will work with local nonprofit and government groups, business partners, school districts and other organizations to prepare students for careers in high-demand fields, while cutting the time it takes to earn a degree, thus reducing student debt.”
He made the announcement at three stops. The first was at Lincoln University in Jefferson City, which will be the hub of the Central Missouri Innovation Campus that will work to meet information technology needs in Central Missouri.
“During high school, innovation campus students will be directed toward courses and programs specifically designed to prepare them for careers in information technology and to cut the time needed to earn a degree. Through increased opportunities for dual-credit courses at Lincoln University and Linn State Technical Center, students will have the opportunity to earn college credit hours will still in high school. The program will accelerate degree completion, reduce the cost of education, provide applied learning experiences, graduate students with reduced or no student loan debt and increase employment opportunities.”
Also announced today are innovation campuses in Green County, St. Louis, St. Charles County, St. Joseph, Joplin, Johnson County, Cape Girardeau and Rolla. See more about those programs here.