For a program that currently serves just 17 students, the Missouri Innovation Campus in Lee’s Summit received a good deal of attention last week. At a visit to the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg, President Barack Obama called it “exactly the kind of innovation we need when it comes to college costs.”
The program achieves several important goals. By enabling high school students to earn an associate’s degree from a community college, it helps them graduate from college earlier and with less debt than more traditional education routes. By combining classwork with internships in information technology and engineering firms, it helps students become job-ready and enables employers to groom future workers.
The Missouri Innovation Campus is clearly an idea whose time has arrived. The challenge is to broaden its scope.