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Spotlight: Kansas City Public School District's Middle College Program

The Middle College Program offers young people in the Kansas City area an unconventional path for high school graduation and a college education. It is the product of a partnership between the Kansas City Public School District, Metropolitan Community College - Penn Valley, and the Full Employment Council.

Through the Middle College Program, students gain access to a blended learning instructional model, utilizing both online coursework and direct instruction to provide students with the necessary support needed for academic success. One aspect that makes Middle College unique is that it is able to incorporate the high standards of a college environment while providing a safe and supportive community for the students enrolled.

The program, which was launched in February of 2018, focuses on students age 16 to 24 who have dropped out of the Kansas City public school system. It allows students to focus on completing only the credits they need to graduate.

The Middle College Program also includes tutoring, leadership development, adult mentoring, counseling, financial literacy education, entrepreneurial skills development, post-secondary education transition support, job placement support and more.

Additionally, higher test scores can yield scholarships to the Metropolitan Community Colleges.

The FEC is proud to be a part of the educational goals and initiatives set by Middle College in the greater Kansas City area, and looks forward to seeing the continued successes of future partnerships and the positive impacts on the community.

"Hope is the thing you long for when you want things to go a certain type of way. I hoped to graduate. I hope to be successful. I hope to be a great mother." - Kailani Shelman, Middle College Graduate

Nine facts about education in America:

  • The US is ranked only 36th in graduation rates.

  • 1.3 million high school students don't graduate on time yearly.

  • 97% of low-income students rely on school for internet access, but 40 million students do not have high-speed internet in school.

  • If 1.3 million dropouts actually graduated, the nation would see $337 billion more in earnings over the course of the students’ lifetimes.

  • A student living in poverty is 13 times less likely to graduate on time.

  • In the U.S., 14% of new teachers resign by the end of their first year, 33% leave within their first 3 years, and almost 50% leave by their 5th year.

  • In the workplace, 85% of current jobs and 90% of new jobs require some or more college or post-secondary education.

  • Roughly half of the students who enter a 4-year school will receive a bachelor’s degree within 6 years.

  • In schools made up of 75% or more low-income students, there are 3 times the number of out-of-field teachers than in wealthier school districts.

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