OVERLAND PARK — School districts across the Kansas City metropolitan area are partnering with local community colleges and the University of Kansas Edwards Campus (KUEC) in Overland Park to offer students an accelerated pathway to a bachelor’s degree through KUEC’s Degree in 3 program. May 6 marked the latest addition to the program: Independence School District (ISD). ISD Superintendent Dale Herl, Metropolitan Community College (MCC) Chancellor Kimberly Beatty and KUEC Vice Chancellor David Cook signed a proclamation of intent for a new Degree in 3 partnership, which will enable high school students in the Independence School District to earn a bachelor’s degree from KU in only three years.
Students will earn college credits in high school, complete an associate's degree from MCC one year after graduating and complete their bachelor’s degree at the KU Edwards Campus two years later. ISD helps guide students toward potential careers through its Academies of ISD, and its foray into the Degree in 3 program gives these students a clear pathway to achieve their goals.
“We have been growing our academies over the past few years, offering our students real-world exposure and hands-on experience for potential career paths,” Herl said. “Degree in 3 is an amazing opportunity to provide students a streamlined, accelerated pathway to a bachelor’s degree. KU Edwards Campus’ MetroKC rate and Missouri’s A+ Scholarship Program add to the financial benefits of this unique program, which helps our students make a smooth transition to Metropolitan Community College and the Edwards Campus.”
Two of the largest education systems in the area, MCC and KU have a longstanding relationship, working to reduce the financial and time commitment barriers students face in completing their education at a four-year institution.
“We are excited to welcome Independence School District into Degree in 3,” MCC Chancellor Kimberly Beatty said. “Metropolitan Community College focuses on making sure we provide our students with the tools and resources necessary to enter the workforce and build successful careers. Working together with the KU Edwards Campus and local high school districts ensures we’re doing everything we can to set them up for success.”
This new partnership will include the following educational pathways: business administration; biotechnology; exercise science; law and society; literature, language and writing; molecular biosciences and public administration. This is the latest addition for Degree in 3. KU and existing partner school districts and community colleges formalized the program during a signing event at the KU Edwards Campus in June 2018. The addition of ISD comes on the heels of USD 232 (De Soto) joining the program in January 2019.
“The growth of Degree in 3, on both sides of the state line, is a true testament to area educators’ dedication to innovating with the times in order to give students the necessary tools and resources for higher education and successful careers,” Cook said. “We are delighted to add Independence School District to the Degree in 3 program.”
Degree in 3 partner institutions:
- Blue Valley CAPS
- Kansas City Kansas Public Schools Diploma+
- Olathe 21st Century Academies
- Shawnee Mission Signature Programs
- Southland CAPS
- Summit Technology Academy
- USD 232 (De Soto)
- Johnson County Community College
- Kansas City Kansas Community College
- Metropolitan Community College
- KU Edwards Campus
About Independence School District
The Independence School District is one of the fastest-growing school districts in the Kansas City area, serving 14,500 students in 29 schools. The Missouri Chamber of Commerce named the Academies of the ISD, the Education Innovator of the Year, for demonstrating forward-thinking strategies to better prepare students for their futures. The ISD allows every high school student the opportunity to choose their academy, earn dual credit, an industry recognized credential and an associate’s degree. The ISD is proud to offer more than 90 courses for college credit with 400 college credit hours available. ISD high school students are starting and running businesses, flipping houses and teaching classroom lessons. The ISD also puts a strong emphasis on elementary and early education to engage our early learners for a lifetime of successful education. The Independence School District is committed to ensuring that every student is empowered for future success with a high-quality educational experience.
The University of Kansas is a major comprehensive research and teaching university. Its mission is to lift students and society by educating leaders, building healthy communities and making discoveries that change the world. The KU Edwards Campus at 127th Street and Quivira Road in Overland Park brings the high-quality academic, professional and continuing education programs as well as research and public-service benefits of KU to the Greater Kansas City community in order to serve the workforce, economic and community development needs of the region.
About Metropolitan Community College
Metropolitan Community College (MCC) is one college with five campuses. MCC is Kansas City’s oldest and largest public institution of higher education; 2018-19 marks its 104th academic year. The College was founded in 1915 as the Kansas City Polytechnic Institute. In 1919 it became known as the Junior College of Kansas City. Our campuses — MCC-Blue River, MCC-Business & Technology, MCC-Longview, MCC-Maple Woods and MCC-Penn Valley — and a robust online program educate more than 30,000 students annually through credit and noncredit courses and business services.
Photo: Metropolitan Community College Chancellor Kimberly Beatty, KUEC Vice Chancellor David Cook and Independence School District (ISD) Superintendent Dale Herl celebrate a proclamation of intent for a new Degree in 3 partnership on May 6 at the KU Edwards Campus. High school students in ISD will be able to earn a bachelor’s degree from KU in only three years.