Preparing Students for the Next Generation of Careers

Missouri Governor Mike Parson visited Early College Academy to discuss STEM careers and workplace development programs


On Wednesday, Sept. 5, Missouri Governor Mike Parson visited the Metropolitan Community College – Penn Valley campus in Kansas City to meet with students from the KCPS Early College Academy (ECA) program.

Governor Parson’s visit was part of a tour of Missouri discussing workplace development along with career awareness for science, technology, engineering and math. While meeting with the ECA students, Governor Parson asked their goals of participating in the program.

“I want to be a computer hardware engineer,” senior Sacdiya Sayid said. “I have my eyes set on attending Rolla next year.”

As a champion for STEM careers in the state, that was welcome news for Governor Parson. Earlier this week, he signed a proclamation that will convene the Missouri General Assembly for a Special Session the week of September 10-14 to focus on the passage of computer science course access and awareness of career opportunities through STEM education.

“Most people want to do something that makes a difference,” Governor Parson said. “They want a say in what they are doing and feel like they are accomplishing something.”

Senior Natalia Flores understood the governor’s sentiment.

“I want to be a teacher here in KCPS,” Flores said. “I chose ECA so I can complete my associate degree and go to the University of Missouri and have that degree in just two more years.”

A KCPS teacher in the making is welcome news, too.

“Workforce development is a big part of our strategic plan,” KCPS Superintendent Dr. Mark Bedell said. “It is critical we do everything in our power to create completers, a sequence of courses where our students, no matter if they decide to move on to college or not, have options for employment once they graduate.”

ECA is a program designed to provide juniors and seniors the opportunity to graduate with both their high school diploma and an associate degree at the same time.

To learn more about ECA and other KCPS programs available, visit our website. To see more photos from the visit, visit our Flickr album.