KCPS, MCC and FEC Launch New Middle College Program

Initiative will serve dropouts looking for an alternative educational path

(PHOTOS BY: Ray Weikal/KCPS)

Kansas City, February 12, 2018:  Kansas City Public Schools is once again expanding the number of educational options for students thanks to a new program developed with Metropolitan Community College and the Kansas City Full Employment Council.

KCPS, MCC and the FEC hosted a signing ceremony to launch the new Middle College Program at 1:00 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 9 in the Student Success Center at the college’s Penn Valley campus. Officials with the public school system, college and council talked about this exciting and innovative initiative.

The program targets KCPS students who have dropped out of school but are looking for an alternative path toward academic success. Through the Middle College Program housed at MCC-Penn Valley, these students (ages 16-24) will access success workshops, online coursework and direct instruction to earn a high school equivalency diploma.

“As a school system, we refuse to give up on any student at any time. That is a non-negotiable,” KCPS Superintendent Mark Bedell said. “We must learn how to engage each student as a unique individual. Many of you have heard me say this over and over again. Well guess what? I’m going to say it again: ALL means ALL. We will make sure that every single student has every possible opportunity to achieve their college and/or career goals. It’s that simple.”

The Middle College Program will also include tutoring, leadership development, adult mentoring, counseling, financial literacy education, entrepreneurial skills development, post-secondary education transition support, job placement support and more. The program has a goal of serving 30 young people this calendar year.

“The mission of a community college is access to higher education for all,” says Metropolitan Community College Chancellor Dr. Kimberly Beatty. “This new partnership is another way of helping Kansas Citians realize their dreams through education.”

Dr. Tyjaun Lee, president of MCC-Penn Valley, says she and the campus community are looking forward to welcoming the Middle College students.

“Some of these will be older students who wouldn’t feel comfortable returning to a high school setting,” Dr. Lee says. “Having the program on the MCC-Penn Valley campus will put the students around others closer to their age. Better yet, these students will have a chance to get comfortable in a college environment and hopefully realize that not only is a high school education attainable, so is a college diploma.”

Visit the KCPS Flickr site to view more photos from this event.