Lee’s Summit R-7 honored as District of Distinction by national magazine

// Posted By Janie Rohlfing

Publication recognizes district’s Missouri Innovation Campus

The Lee’s Summit R-7 School District was one of 24 districts from across the nation honored in the July edition of District Administration magazine. The Missouri Innovation Campus, a partnership with the R-7 School District, higher education and business, is featured in the monthly magazine, also available online.

Through the national magazine’s Districts of Distinction program, districts are recognized for leading the way with new ideas that work. Honorees were selected based on the quantifiable results and replicability of their initiatives. This is the sixth round of honorees in the recognition program, and districts are selected by the magazine’s editors.

Located within Lee’s Summit R-7’s Summit Technology Academy, the Missouri Innovation Campus has been recognized at the regional and national level for reshaping the way students experience high-school and college education. By engaging business partners and community organizations, the Missouri Innovation Campus is able to accelerate the time it takes students to earn higher-education degrees. They also graduate from college with little or no debt.

The program is a partnership involving Lee’s Summit R-7, the University of Central Missouri, Metropolitan Community College and numerous business partners. Students enter the program as high-school juniors, earn an associate degree from Metropolitan Community College just after high-school graduation and receive their bachelor’s degree two years later. A major component of the successful program is three-year, year-round paid internships with industry-leading businesses, further preparing students to join the workforce.

Through the Missouri Innovation Campus, students have the opportunity to earn bachelor’s degrees in systems engineering technology, drafting and design technology, computer science and cybersecurity. There are currently 85 students enrolled in the MIC and 40 business partners participating in the internship program.

Thanks to a unique partnership with the University of Central Missouri and a voter-approved school district bond issue, the Missouri Innovation Campus will soon have a new home. A new facility for Summit Technology Academy, the Missouri Innovation Campus and UCM-Lee’s Summit is scheduled to open in August 2017.

Through the school district’s partnership with UCM, Lee’s Summit R-7 is paying approximately 40 percent toward the new school with UCM paying the remaining 60 percent. Based on an agreement between both organizations, the R-7 School District will be the sole owner of the facility with UCM paying its portion through a lease agreement.

jlMIC-DistrictOfDistinctionSeveral Missouri Innovation Campus students are pictured with Dr. Kirk Nooks of Metropolitan Community College.

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