University of Central Missouri: Missouri Innovation Campus Program Interns Apply Classroom Knowledge at Top Area Businesses

High school juniors enrolled in the nationally recognized Missouri Innovation Campus (MIC) program were recently matched with Kansas City area industry-leading companies as part of the program’s unique internship program. The MIC program is a partnership involving the University of Central Missouri, Metropolitan Community College, the Lee’s Summit R-7 School District and businesses.

Since 2012, the program has provided students with the opportunity to earn a bachelor’s degree in a high-demand field just two years after high-school graduation – with little or no student debt. An important aspect of the successful program is its three-year paid internship programs, beginning just after each student’s junior year in high school. The interns are able to apply what they are learning in the classroom while working as a valued team member at the companies.

MIC program participants begin this early bachelor’s degree program at the Lee’s Summit R-7 School District’s Summit Technology Academy where they are enrolled in one of these capstone courses – Software Development: Java/Python, DevSecOps (development, security and operations)/Advanced Network and Cyber Concepts, Business Finance and Fintech (financial technology) or Digital Electronics/CIM (computer integrated manufacturing).

This spring, 22 MIC program students were placed at the following MIC partner businesses: UMB (six interns), Olsson (one), NIC (two), Lead Bank (one), SS&C Technologies (three), Ultrax Aerospace (one), Fishtech (two), Black & Veatch (one), Burns & McDonnell (one), Rx Savings Solutions (two) and MTW Solutions (two). The new interns are enrolled in programs such as cybersecurity, design and drafting, software development, big data or software engineering at the MIC.

Getting ready for their internship interviews and placement is another valuable component of the students’ studies. Starting last fall, students began participating in MIC program activities such as a resume writing workshop, interviewing skills workshop, mock interviews and job readiness/soft skills workshop. In addition, families are invited to attend a parent informational meeting about the internship program.

The students will begin their internships in June with each business creating a real-life job experience for their interns over their three-year placement. Among the program’s graduates, 91 percent traditionally accept a position with the company where they interned with close to 99 percent accepting a job with a MIC program partner.