Joplin, MO (SNS) – A historic partnership between Missouri Southern State University and the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences (KCU) will be formalized during a signing ceremony set for 11 a.m. Friday, Dec. 18, in Billingsly Student Center’s Connor Ballroom.

The “Yours to Lose – Advanced Medical School Acceptance Program” will allow up to 25 Missouri Southern students to be admitted into KCU’s new medical school at the same time as their acceptance to MSSU. The students would follow MSSU’s prescribed curriculum and quality standards.

KCU will open a new medical school in August 2017, and will enroll 150 students in the inaugural class. It will be located in Mercy Hospital Joplin’s former component hospital at 2817 St. Johns Blvd.

Dr. Paula Carson, Missouri Southern’s provost/vice president for academic affairs, said the exclusive partnership will allow the university to focus on helping students develop the work ethic and critical-thinking skills needed to be better medical students and, ultimately, better physicians.

“This partnership is allowing us to come up with innovative curricular ideas to ensure our students are in the best possible position to succeed,” said Carson.

“We can start preparing them for what medical school will be like. We’ll have a rigorous curriculum and non-traditional scheduling of courses that will better resemble the calendar and schedule of medical education. We can also focus some of our courses on specific skills students will need in this unique profession – such as developing a communication class with an emphasis on non-verbal communication and ‘bedside manner.’”

A number of high schools from Missouri – as well as several in Kansas, Arkansas, and Oklahoma – have been tabbed as “Yours to Lose” partner schools.

“This is a watershed moment for us,” said MSSU President Alan Marble. “It is groundbreaking for two universities to come together to offer a program like this. Together, we are creating a future for our students that is bright and filled with promise.”