As a student of history, there is one fact I can give you: technology marches on and changes everything. We often worry about technological changes running amok, the story line of many a science fiction novel. However, on the other hand, we often take the benefits for granted and move on without due recognition. Fortunately, this past week we were able to stop and smell the roses, so to speak.
On Thursday, July 11, the University of Central Missouri campus played host to Governor Jay Nixon's signing of SB 381, the Innovation Campus bill. I attended the signing along with fellow Representative Denny Hoskins and Senator David Pearce as well as other legislators. We are all very pleased with this bill which moves Missouri ahead in providing the best in higher education.
The mission of the Innovation Campus program is to prepare students for the workforce through facilitating the cooperation of Missouri businesses with Missouri colleges and universities. The accelerated degree programs of the innovation campus model are designed for careers in science, technology and other high demand fields while reducing total cost. SB 381 allows Missouri students to be among the most qualified graduates in the marketplace. As stated in the bill summary:
This bill creates the Innovation Education Campus Fund to provide funding to innovation education campuses. An innovation education campus is defined as an educational partnership between high schools or school districts, a Missouri four-year public or private institution of higher education, a Missouri-based business or businesses, and either a Missouri public two-year institution of higher education or Linn State Technical College. An innovation education campus may receive moneys from the fund provided they demonstrate compliance to the Coordinating Board for Higher Education with the following criteria: they actively work to lower the cost for students to complete a college degree; the program decreases the amount of time required for a student to earn a college degree; the campus provides applied and project-based learning experiences for students, as described in the act; students graduate from the campus with direct access to certain opportunities with a Missouri-based business in partnership with the innovation education campus, as described in the act; and the innovation education campus engage and partners with industry stakeholders. . . Any moneys received by an innovation education campus will not be considered part of the annual appropriation to an institution of higher education or a school district. . .
SB 381 officially recognizes UCM as being an Innovation Campus participant as they have already placed students in training programs with businesses like Cerner, DST, Black & Veach, Burns & McDonnell, Honeywell, and KCP&L.
I believe I am very fortunate to live in the 51st District that is dedicated to improving the future of Missouri. All of institutions of higher learning in District 51 are innovative and constantly moving forward when it comes to delivering educational services. State Fair Community College is completing the construction of the Waste to Energy plant just north of Sedalia. This center is intended to be the leader in energy instruction and innovation concerning energy expansion. I was honored to join the opening of the Maastricht Institute at Missouri Valley College this spring. This has been an innovative and ongoing event for many years that brings international business to the Heartland.
It is an honor to serve the 51st District in the Missouri House of Representatives. Each week I will issue a capitol report to keep you informed of activities in Jefferson City. Any concerns or issues you might have are of great interest to me. I look forward to your input and thoughts, so please feel free to contact me at any time if you have questions, concerns, or ideas to improve our state government and the quality of life for all Missourians. My telephone number is 573-751-2204 or you may contact me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for working with me to make Missouri a great place to live.