Grand Opening Set for New Missouri Innovation Campus in Lee’s Summit

The grand opening of the new Missouri Innovation Campus, a collaboration between the Lee’s Summit school district and the University of Central Missouri, will be at 4 p.m. Sept 5, the sponsoring organizations announced this morning.

The new facility, at 1101 NW Innovation Parkway in Lee’s Summit, includes the Missouri Innovation Campus, plus Summit Technology Academy, which prepares high-school students for careers in engineering, computer science, health care and creative sciences; and UCM-Lee’s Summit, the university’s main off-campus learning facility. It will offer graduate- and undergraduate-level completion programs to metro-area students. Students enrolled in Summit Technology Academy as well as the Missouri Innovation Campus are from 14 metro-area school districts.

The innovation campus is a collaboration between the Lee’s Summit district, Metropolitan Community College and UCM. Programs there are designed to shorten the time it takes a student to complete a four-year degree, significantly reducing college debt and providing job-ready skills that are in high demand among employers.

The shared facility reduces operating expenses for both UCM and the school district, and allows the school district to move both the Missouri Innovation Campus and Summit Technology Academy programs from leased space into a building owned by the district. The new two-story building totals 135,000 square feet and is designed so that Lee’s Summit R-7 and UCM will share interior learning and conference spaces as well as parking, saving money for both organizations. The two partnering organizations have also worked collaboratively on procurement to help generate additional savings on furniture, fixtures and technology.

Through the MIC program, students begin their junior year of high school while attending Summit Technology Academy. By approximately the same time they earn a high-school diploma, they will have completed an associate degree from Metropolitan Community College, finishing their four-year bachelor’s degree from UCM two years later. The graduates will also have completed three years of paid internships with prestigious Kansas City metro-area companies, which helps defray the costs of their education.

In all, the innovation campus program is linked with 40 corporate partners with industry representatives assisting in development of curriculum that prepares students to immediately succeed in the workforce.