The Joplin School Board will meet for a work session Tuesday to discuss the district’s potential participation in Missouri Southern State University’s new Center for Advanced Professional Studies, also known as MOSO CAPS.

The CAPS program is a national model for collaboration among school districts, higher education and industry. It offers high school students, typically juniors and seniors, the opportunity to see life on a college campus while working toward a professional goal in local industry.

The Missouri Southern-based program aims to partner with the Joplin, Webb City and Carl Junction school districts. Students from those three public school districts would be mentored by area professionals and MSSU faculty while they are immersed in a professional setting, earning six college credits per year.

Missouri Southern’s CAPS program, to begin in August 2022, will be the 75th in the nation and the first housed on a college campus, officials said in July in announcing the program’s launch. Courses will evolve based on industry need, but three fields of focus have been identified as health sciences, human services, and business, marketing and entrepreneurship, the university said.

“Community partnership is the ‘why’ behind this program,” said Suzanne Hull, director of MOSO CAPS, in a July statement. “It is creating opportunities for students to explore what they think they want to do for a career, and it’s an opportunity for industries to grow their own workforce and be very selective.”

The proposed budget for the 2022-23 CAPS program is $299,760, according to documentation provided to the Joplin board. That is based on a projected enrollment of 120 students across the three school districts, with expenditures including salaries for the program director and other coordinators, use of the MSSU health sciences simulation lab, appropriate software and equipment, and other general operations.

Revenue would come from tuition paid by the three participating school districts, at an annual cost of $2,498 per student. For Joplin, for which 59 seats in the program are allotted, that amount would come to $147,382 per year, according to board documents.

The documents also show that Webb City would be allotted 35 slots, for a total cost of $87,430, and Carl Junction would be allotted 26 slots, for a total cost of $64,948. School districts would be required to pay their designated tuition amount regardless of their actual student enrollment, but they would be able to “sell” unused slots to other districts.

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Emily Younker is the managing editor at the Joplin Globe. Contact: eyounker AT joplinglobe DOT com.