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Governor Jay Nixon awards $450,000 grant to aid future careers of students

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NORTH KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Governor Jay Nixon Tuesday awarded a $450,000 grant to the Northland Center for Advanced Professional Studies. The program has been designated a Missouri Innovation Campus. The unique partnership between schools and businesses trains the workforce of the future.

The goal is to better prepare high school students for careers that will be in big demand while reducing the time it takes to earn a college degree and cut student debt.

Students from six Northland school districts, who are interested in health care careers, attend class at North Kansas City Hospital as part of the program. There, they learn how to record a patient's vital signs, measuring blood pressure, testing glucose and taking temperatures.

The partnership designed to constantly evolve to follow industry trends and the demands of what's needed in the marketplace.

"I think there was one shadowing experience where this doctor sent me home with homework every night," said Sahaja Atluri, a senior in the program from Platte County High School. "And he would give me a disease and he said, 'Do symptoms treatments, and medications,' what they would use. That was the best homework I've ever had. Every night I went home and I did all of this. It definitely was out of the box. That's not something I would learn usually in school."

Big employers like Cerner say they are constantly searching for talented individuals and programs like Northland CAPS immerse students in the working world, allowing employers to see if they would be a good fit for the long term.

The Northland CAPS curriculum is designed by industry professionals and students do receive college credit through Metropolitan Community Colleges and Northwest Missouri State University.