A recent expansion of the partnership between the Knowledge is Power Program and Missouri State University seeks to bring new minority and low-income students from Kansas City to campus.

The university has partnered with KIPP, a nation-wide collection of charter schools, for two years according to Ryan Reed, MSU director of access and success programs. The partnership began with KIPP St. Louis Public Schools, but students from KIPP Kansas City Public Schools will now be eligible for the same benefits.

The partnership provides students from these schools access to a yearly scholarship of $2,000 as well as additional advising and support from Access and Success Programs, a branch of MSU Multicultural Services.

“With access partners, we partner with the organization to help them get to Missouri State,” Reed said. “And then once they come to Missouri State, they transition into our success programs, and then we monitor that student closely and report back to the organization how that student is doing.”

The office works with a number of other access organizations, including Boys & Girls Clubs of Springfield. Wyman Center is the university’s largest partner, with 20 students from the organization currently on campus.

Success programs largely consist of monthly workshops and meetings with advisors from Access and Success Programs as well as participation in the Bears L.E.A.D. program. Reed said while the office doesn’t have any special powers and can’t pull any strings within the university for these students, they do act as a “life coach,” offering advice and support for students that are typically first generation.

“We focus on helping students transition into college, helping them navigate this world that can be completely different than anything that they or their family has experienced,” Reed said.

Four students from KIPP St. Louis attend MSU, according to a press release from the university. The first group of students from KIPP KC will arrive in fall 2022.

Reed said he expects two students from KIPP KC next year, with the number of incoming students increasing as the partnership continues.

“It takes a little bit of time after you form a partnership to create that pipeline of students coming,” Reed said.

Follow Andrew Michael on Twitter, @OverAnder

Subscribe to The Standard's free weekly newsletter here.