The roots of the Metropolitan Community Colleges go back to 1915, when the Kansas City Polytechnic Institute was founded at 11th and Locust Street. 234 students enrolled. In 1919, the institution became the Junior College of Kansas City and was the first two-year college in the United States to award the associate's degree.
The Junior College continued to expand until 1964, when voters in suburban school districts - Belton, Center, Grandview, Hickman Mills, Lee's Summit, North Kansas City and Raytown - joined with the Kansas City School District to create the Metropolitan Community Colleges District.
Five years later, three colleges - Longview, Maple Woods, and Penn Valley - opened their doors. In the 80s and 90s, Blue Springs, Fort Osage, Independence and Park Hill School District voted to join MCC. A campus was established at Blue Springs in 1984 and in 1995, the main campus at Independence was built. In 1997, these two campuses became Blue River Community College.
In 1995, MCC business services and technical training were centralized in a remodeled part of the Kansas City Merchandise Mart. Several expansions later, this facility became MCC's fifth college in 2002, the Business & Technology College.
Now more than 43,000 students a year attend five MCC colleges spread across four counties. In its long tradition of excellence, MCC has brought opportunity to hundreds of thousands of people and has made an enormous cultural and economic impact on the area.
As a comprehensive system, the colleges offer transfer programs and nearly 70 occupational programs ranging from automotive technology to veterinary technology. The student body is characteristic of community college enrollments; students and staff reflect the ethnicity of the diverse local population.
Under the guidance of a six-member, elected Board of Trustees, the colleges are committed to their mission to provide quality, economic education and training in a caring and supportive environment. The colleges are actively responding to five strategic priorities identified through MCC's highly participatory planning processes:
- Development of an active learning community;
- Continuous quality improvement in curriculum, processes, and services;
- Appreciation for diversity in colleagues and curriculum;
- Incorporation of appropriate technology in instruction and administrative services;
- Recognition of the colleges' role in the communities we serve.
The colleges, 30 minutes or less from each other, are strategically located throughout the metropolitan area in settings which range from urban to rural. MCC employs approximately 900 full time faculty, staff and administrators and nearly 600 part time faculty. An active governance system encourages the participation of MCC faculty in the decision processes of the district.