48 Blue Springs City Guide
• Other colleges
Regional colleges plant campuses in our midst
The Examiner/KELLY EVENSON
The Blue River banner leads the 2012 graduating class.
MCC-Blue River MCC-Blue River Community College opened in 1997, and more than 3,500 students now attend the campus at 20301 E. Missouri 78, in Independence, each semester. Classes are available in day, night or online sessions. All applicants are accepted. A variety of programs are offered by the academic divisions of business technology, mathematics, public safety, humanities, natural sciences and social sciences. Students can choose a transfer program or a career program. The transfer program allows students to transfer credits to a four-year college or university to continue with their education. A career program leads to an associate’s degree. In addition to these degrees, which can be earned in everything from arts, teaching and computer science to engineering and applied science, certificates are available to students. Certificates are earned in career and technical programs such as biotechnology or automotive. Blue River is the home of the Trail Blazers men’s and women’s soccer teams and is a member of the National Junior College Athletic Association. It offers student groups such as the Science Club, Phi Theta Kappa, Center Place Restoration Campus Ministries,
Student Activities Council, Drama Club, Re-Entry Club and the Organization for the Purpose of Political Discussion. Selective programs are available, such as the police and fire academics at the Public Safety Institute. The academies include time in hands-on, real-world type situations and at the Precision Driving Track. Although most students take classes during the day, night classes are available. There are even options for high school students through the Trailblazer Collegiate Academy. The goal of the two-year program is to put high school students on a fast track to post-secondary success while helping to curb the cost of tuition. Students can earn an associate degree by the time they graduate high school. The reading and English scores from the ACT exam will be used for acceptance into the program. Students must have at least a 3.0 grade point average and be able to read and write at a college level. MCC-Blue River also offers a large community and continuing education program with online courses as well as skills-based, short-time programs. For more information, visit the website at www.mcckc.edu/blueriver or call 816-220-6500. – Kelly Evenson
The Independence campus of Graceland University is home to the School of Nursing as well as the Global Campus. Its main campus is in Lamoni, Iowa, which serves around 1,200 undergraduate students each year. Graceland University, 1401 W. Truman Road, has been operating in Independence for more than 30 years. In addition to the nursing program, there are undergraduate and graduate programs in education as well as a graduate studies program in religion. Independence serves as the headquarters for the online programs as well as the Center for the Study of the Korean War and the International Health Center. Through a partnership with MCC-Blue River, a business administration program is offered with at Blue River. For more information, visit Graceland University’s Web site at www.graceland. edu or call 816-833-0524.
National American University
The National American University site in Independence has been serving residents since 1990 and has been considered one of the university’s flagship locations. Associate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees are available in a variety of programs including medical assisting, paralegal studies and health care management. Those who cannot attend campus classes have the option to take online courses in order to complete their degrees. The NAU campus in Independence is at 3620 Arrowhead Ave. For more information, visit NAU’s Web site at www.national.edu/Locations/Independence or call 816-412-7700.
Columbia College-Kansas City is a branch of Columbia College in Columbia, Mo. Offering more than 500 online classes and 19 online degree programs in addition to campus classes and degrees, Columbia College is an affordable option for those wanting to continue their education. The college, which is specifically geared for military personnel and working adults, offers associate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees. The eight-week courses meet once or twice a week, and there are five sessions each year starting in January, March, June, August and October. There is also the flexibility of starting and stopping classes based on work, military and family obligations. The Kansas City campus is in the Blue Ridge Bank Tower at 4240 Blue Ridge Blvd. in Kansas City. For more information, call 816-795-1515.
WILLIAM WOODS UNIVERSITY
William Woods University is offering Eastern Jackson County area residents the opportunity to pursue an education degree without quitting work. Programs offered are master of education and a master of education in athletics/activities administration. Prospective students are encouraged to contact the university’s Graduate and Adult Studies at 1-800-995-3199 or contact William Woods by email at AdultEd@ WilliamWoods.edu or more information. These programs make it possible for people with full-time jobs to complete a baccalaureate or a graduate degree while remaining employed. The programs are designed to prepare students for career advancement and to enhance their marketability in the job market.
– Jeff Martin