A veteran public servant who previously worked as a trooper with the Missouri State Highway Patrol and the director of the Missouri Department of Public Safety and State Homeland Security Advisor, a role assigned to him by Governor Matt Blunt, Mark James is currently the chancellor of Metropolitan Community College (MCC).
During his tenure with the MCC, Mark James has worked to create more opportunities for students. He has focused College resources to help high school students earn both a high school degree and college diploma at the same time. Under the leadership of James, the MCC-Penn Valley campus partnered with the Kansas City Public School District to give highly motivated students the opportunity to graduate high school with an associate’s degree as high school juniors and seniors. The students spend their final high school years on the MCC-Penn Valley campus and are provided an early college counselor to allow them added support as they navigate through college and high school.
Since its inception, the Early College has grown by 670%. The program began in January of 2011 with 14 students. During the 2016-2017 academic year, 94 students enrolled in Early College program and 46 graduated in May of 2017. With the leadership of Mark James, MCC now offers six different programs college wide for high school students that provide career exploration, technical certification and dual credit up to an associate degree. In 2017, 76 students across all five MCC campuses earned both a high school degree and a college diploma.
Now entering retirement, after presiding over his final commencement as Metropolitan Community College’s Chancellor on May 17th, he leaves behind a legacy of helping MCC through dire financial straits while ensuring quality education and student services remained, thus allowing the college to maintain its status as Missouri’s fourth largest educational provider.