The Indiana Chamber of Commerce’s education and workforce initiative promoting outstanding talent and a skilled workforce.

By Emily Rogan, AACC 21st Century Center - 

Kansas City is a hotbed for information technology companies. So hot that employers are apparently having a hard time finding enough qualified job applicants to fill open positions. 

In 2013, the Kansas Department of Labor estimated that 819 jobs for computer and information systems managers would be available long-term in the community. All of those jobs would require at least a bachelor’s degree. 

As demand for IT professionals intensifies, Johnson County Community College (JCCC) in Overland Park, Kan., has teamed up with the University of Kansas and two local school districts to develop a program that aims to get students through college (with a bachelor’s degree) and into the workforce faster. 

How it works: Interested high school students enrolled in participating K-12 school districts—Olathe and Blue Valley are the two—will work with academic advisers to develop individual education plans that would allow students to: 

• Earn relevant college-level credits while still in high school. There is no limit to how many college credits students can earn while still in high school, but program administrators estimate 30 credits will be about average for the program. 
• Spend one year at JCCC to complete their associate degree. 
• Spend two years at the University of Kansas Edwards Campus to complete a Bachelor of Science degree in information technology. 

Supporters of the program say the efforts will save students money by allowing them to move through the system quicker, and at a significantly reduced cost. At $88 per credit, JCCC credits cost significantly less than the $290-plus per credit that local students can expect to pay at KU’s Edwards Campus. 

Read the full story here >> 

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