Kansas City Area Community Colleges

Kansas City Area Community Colleges – South KC, including Grandview and Belton, will choose between two candidates running for the Metropolitan Community College Board of Trustees in District 6 on April 5.

Michael Brown currently serves on the board and is seeking a second six-year term. Brown said his main vision is to build a new MCC campus near E. 87th Street and I-435 near the Cerner Corporation. One potential site would be at The Glade, a 325-acre mixed-use community under construction that would house a biotech research center.

Kansas City Area Community Colleges

“This started with a conversation, but now it’s taken to art,” Brown said. “We’re so close… if I can push this over the edge.”

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Brown wants to see a small school that is easily accessible to students who graduate from the Center, Grandview, Hickman Mills and Raytown school districts. The goal is to create workers for work in renewable energy, digital data management, bioscience lab support and urban agriculture. He hopes to strengthen the partnership with Cerner and the Stowers Institute to achieve this.

According to Brown, there are many important aspects of MCC’s role as a stepping stone to a four-year college. He notes that attendance is down (at least 10%) since Covid and thinks that more students will enroll if they can find a good job at the end of the skills training.

“Kids are falling through the cracks,” said Brown, who also wants to see a medical school built, perhaps on an abandoned high school, to provide housing services. people and reading classes with the goal of graduating high school. “We can send these children into our schools.”

Brown works at the Kansas City Public Library and lives in the Hickman Mills community. He was previously elected to the Missouri House of Representatives from 2005-2013.

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Running against Brown is Chris Benjamin, who wants to support MCC’s mission to be a strong driver of economic development in the region “even more than today” by growing it borders, keep affordable services and about job training.

Benjamin said he will bring new energy to the board and wants to strengthen business and community relations, especially in areas like Belton, Grandview and Lee’s Summit. . He sees opportunities for MCC to grow in Cass County as well as the surrounding area by supporting career preparation for students entering various industries and wanting to start their own small businesses.

The Longview school is already doing this with car services, Benjamin said, but more can be done. He is currently meeting with the Belton School District to explore the possibility of evening business education.

One of the biggest challenges is getting more state investment into community colleges, he said. “There’s a lot we can do to show the state that this is economic development, not an investment in higher education.”

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Benjamin is a solicitor with KC Law Firm and lives in the Loch Llyod community. He previously served as chief of staff to the speaker of the Missouri House of Representatives and as an adviser to the majority of the floor leaders. He also served on the Missouri Senate staff. Greg Mosier’s first job as president of Kansas City Kansas Community College was to get students on campus. With chairperson Evelyn Criswell, he recently cut the ribbon on the assembly for Centennial Hall, which will have 258 students.

Research shows that students who are concerned about having a safe place in mine have lower scores than the average of their peers and more on anxiety and depression. But housing options are rare at the city’s community colleges — and not at other campuses in the Kansas City area.

Traditional community colleges are community colleges. Less than a third of the nation’s two-year schools have on-campus housing.

But on August 12, 258 students at Kansas City Kansas Community College in Wyandotte County will move into a shiny new residence hall. Named Centennial Hall, the building was designed to provide students with a safe, private and social learning environment.

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“I think I’m most proud of building our community and getting to know people,” said Kaitlyn Bradbury, a sophomore at KCKCC who is studying to be a counselor in Centennial Hall. “It’s part of the college experience.”

Kaitlyn Bradbury is a sophomore at KCKCC studying to be a counselor in Centennial Hall.

Greg Mosier, the college’s president, said that his school’s elected officials named housing on campus as a top priority during his tenure in 2018.

“This building is designed to show our students how much we care about their success,” Mosier said at the July dedication for Centennial Hall.

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Bradbury chose a community college because it was cheaper than a four-year school, and because it gave her the opportunity to continue playing softball at a competitive level. He can walk home, but he wants to be close to his friends, many of whom have moved to Wyandotte County from other parts of Kansas or out of state.

For years, KCKCC has helped athletes and other students rent apartments in senior housing near its campus. Last year, about 100 students had to move because of mold problems.

“At first I was put in a hotel and then I went home,” Bradbury said.

Finally, the school helped him find a different apartment. This school year, she is looking forward to less drama and more time to focus on her studies as a communications major.

Student Housing And Residence Life

Shawn Derritt, KCKCC’s superintendent of student services, said research has shown that safe housing on or near campus improves academic outcomes for students. student community.

“There is less disruption. They don’t have to go home,” he said. “They can participate in school activities. That allows that to focus on learning. “

Rural community colleges in Kansas and Missouri for years have offered some housing to students who commute to their school to attend football or track events. special education, or who just want a cheap option.

The location is different from other two-year schools in the city, such as KCKCC. Johnson County Community College does not have a campus, nor is it a campus of the Metropolitan Community College system in Kansas City.

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With the opening of Centennial Hall, KCKCC has become part of a movement of community colleges across the country to help students manage the ongoing housing shortage.

In a 2020 survey by the Center for Hope for College, Community and Equity, based at Temple University in Philadelphia, 52% of community college students who responded said they struggle to find housing or keep up with rent and debt. That’s higher than the 43% of four-year college students who report housing insecurity.

Research has shown that students who worry about having a safe place to live often have lower grades than their peers and experience more anxiety and depression.

Community college students, who are more likely than four-year students from low-income families and minority communities, cite the inability to pay for those feelings simple things like food and housing are the reason they give up their college credits. and work certificate.

Johnson County Community College

In response to the reported decline – since the outbreak, community colleges across the country have lost about 800,000 students – and awareness of the need for students students, many schools are looking for housing options. These include cooperation with non-profit organizations or lobbying for state funds to build housing.

“We’re not a four-year school, we’re not a research institute with billions of dollars to make things,” Mosier said.

To fund the $20 million Centennial Hall project, Mosier received the proceeds that will be repaid over time with student housing costs.

The contract for Centennial Hall calls for students to pay $5,700 in the fall and spring semesters. That’s about $630 a month, which is less expensive than the rent near the campus and includes utilities.

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Approximately 7,000 students are enrolled in KCKCC’s 2021 academic year, so one residence hall may not meet everyone’s housing needs. Children and spouses cannot live in Centennial Hall with students, and 140 of the rooms are reserved for student athletes, who find their way to KCKCC from all over the country and abroad.

Most students will live in suites with four bedrooms and a kitchen and bathroom. The building has several gathering spaces and study pods and a play and play area in the basement.

“I like that the dorms are like little apartments,” said Elizabeth Daniels, who will be the school counselor. “It’s a big, wide open place.”

Daniels, a 2020 graduate of Kansas City Kansas Public Schools’ Sumner Academy of Arts and Science, spent his first year at KCKCC home, studying online for his business major.

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The move to Centennial Hall will be his first chance to have a room to himself. At home, he shared a quarter with a sibling.

This story was originally published on the Kansas City Beacon, a member of the KC Media Collective.

Barbara Shelley is

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