Gov. Nixon Grants $9 Million to \"Innovation Campuses\"

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JEFFERSON CITY -  Governor Jay Nixon announced Wednesday morning almost $9 million in grants to create "innovation campuses" throughout the state.  An innovation campus offers training in high-demand fields for students still in high school by pairing them with a local business and advisers.  If students start the process in high school, they will be able to reduce the time needed to complete their degrees and the overall cost of their education.

Lincoln University, along with eight other universities in the state, received approximately $1 million to help create the innovative campus in Mid-Missouri.  This initiative creates more opportunities for students in mid-Missouri high schools to take dual-credit courses at Lincoln University and Linn State Technical College.  The program is working specifically with Jefferson City High School, Helias High School and Fatima High School. Students in other area high schools can apply.

Director of the Division of Continuing Education Kathy Pabst and extended studies for Lincoln University, said students will train in IT jobs and computer science.  These fields are in high-demand in mid-Missouri. Pabst said it's not required for students to stay in the Jefferson City area, but program organizers hope they do to help the area's economy. 

People who meet the low to moderate income status are encouraged to apply.  51 percent of the innovative campus scholars must have low to moderate income status. The program will be open to scholars in high school, community and technical colleges, and those who have completed some form of higher education.

A high school student must have junior or senior standing with at least a 3.0 GPA and a recommendation from the school principal or counselor.

A community college or technical college student must have completed an associate degree and completed a minimum of 36 hours with a C or better.

Higher education students must have nine hours of computer science course work completed with a C or better.

Organizers don't yet know how many of each type of student will be accepted into the program.  Pabst anticipates students will be able to take part in the program as early as spring of 2013.  She said the innovation campuses need to be advertised, something she and her colleagues plan to discuss this Wednesday afternoon.

Other innovation campuses that received $1 million in grant funding are in Greene County, St. Louis, St. Charles County, St. Joseph, Joplin and Cape Girardeau. Johnson County received $996,975 and the Missouri Enterprise in Rolla got $945,000.