Gov. Jay Nixon will join President Barack Obama at the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg on Wednesday July 24. UCM was the foundation for the Governor’s Innovation Campus initiative, which offers students accelerated degree programs and apprenticeships in high-demand fields, reducing the time it takes to earn a degree and cutting student debt.

“We are very proud that the President has chosen to visit the University of Central Missouri, where our Innovation Campus initiative got its start,” said Gov. Jay Nixon. “By offering accelerated degrees in high-demand fields, Innovation Campuses reduce student debt and ensure Missouri workers have the skills to compete for 21st century careers.  Missouri now leads the nation in holding down college tuition increases, and our highly skilled workforce continues to attract major investments from high-growth industries.  This visit is a great testament this outstanding institution and the leadership of President Chuck Ambrose.”

Gov. Jay Nixon has focused on making strategic investments to ensure all Missourians have access to a quality, affordable post-secondary degree that prepares them for careers in high-demand fields.  Since the 2008-2009 school year, tuition and fees at Missouri’s public four-year colleges and universities have had the lowest increase in the nation – going up just 5 percent in four years.

Last fall, Gov. Nixon announced $9 million in Innovation Campus grants, including $996,975 for the University of Central Missouri, to establish partnerships between local high schools, community colleges, four-year colleges and universities, and area businesses.  Under the leadership of President Chuck Ambrose, the Missouri Innovation Campus at the University of Central Missouri offers accelerated degree programs in the fields of science, technology and engineering, reducing the time and cost needed for students to earn their degrees. Apprenticeships at participating businesses provide students with applied learning experiences, and businesses with a pool of highly trained candidates for positions.

Earlier this month, Gov. Nixon signed bipartisan legislation that officially defined the Innovation Campus initiative in state statute and recognized the University of Central Missouri as having met the Innovation Campus criteria by working to lower the cost and time required for students to complete a degree and by connecting students with local businesses to establish a path to a career in a high-demand field.

This press release provided by the staff of Gov. Jay Nixon.

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