North Central Missouri College – Trenton

April 29, 2024

North Central Missouri College

A Strategic Academic Roadmap


Progressive educational offerings setting the course of student success

North Central Missouri College (NCMC) catalyzes opportunity and transformation in the heartland of Missouri. Under the forward-thinking leadership of Lenny Klaver, President, NCMC has exemplified resilience and growth. From its humble beginnings as Trenton Junior College, NCMC’s journey embodies the spirit of progress and commitment to student success.

Lenny Klaver, President

NCMC has defied conventional metrics to emerge as a symbol of academic achievement. Klaver states, “We are the largest of the 12 service regions in the state, but we have the smallest population.” Klaver attributes this success to the institution’s dedication to its mission and vision—a commitment that has been steadfast throughout his tenure and that of his predecessor.

Anchoring NCMC’s philosophy is a culture of responsibility and a focus on student welfare. Klaver emphasizes the institution’s “uncommon attention” to its student body—a sentiment echoed in its approach to fostering relationships with donors, securing state funding, and engaging with the broader community. Through intentional efforts to expand its footprint and deepen its connections, NCMC has cultivated a reputation for excellence beyond its physical campus.

Klaver paints a picture of NCMC’s achievements, and it becomes evident that the institution’s success is measured in numbers or accolades and in the tangible impact it has on the lives of its students and the communities it serves. With a commitment to fiscal responsibility and a strategic vision for future growth—including the recent opening of a satellite campus in Savannah, Missouri—NCMC stands ready to continue its upward trajectory, propelled by legacy and a relentless pursuit of academic innovation.

Navigating the pandemic

Undoubtedly, one of the most formidable challenges of recent times has been the global COVID-19 pandemic. Klaver reflects on NCMC’s response to this crisis, highlighting the institution’s rural setting as both a challenge and an opportunity. Leveraging well-developed distance education systems, NCMC seamlessly transitioned to online learning platforms, ensuring continuity of education for its students. With an infrastructure and a commitment to accessibility, NCMC expanded its online offerings, empowering students to engage in flexible learning experiences tailored to their needs.

Yet, COVID-19 was not the only hurdle NCMC faced. Klaver identifies funding constraints as a perennial challenge, underscoring the institution’s shift from state-supported to state-assisted funding models. In a landscape where public funding for education remains strained, NCMC has proactively engaged with legislators and policymakers to advocate for increased financial support. Through strategic lobbying efforts and collaboration with statewide associations, NCMC has sought to secure vital resources to sustain its student success mission.

Additionally, NCMC grapples with demographic shifts inherent to its rural setting—a declining school-age population and the unique needs of adult learners. Although these challenges exist, Klaver emphasizes NCMC’s commitment to growth and inclusivity, guided by strategic initiatives to expand outreach and foster community engagement.

Klaver speaks to the institution’s strategic planning efforts as a cornerstone of its success, with two comprehensive plans—Plan 2020 and Plan 2025—serving as roadmaps for growth and sustainability. Grounded in collaborative decision-making and guided by SMART goals, these plans reflect NCMC’s accountability.


NCMC’s Strategic Vision for 2025

NCMC’s strategic vision has five pillars—academic excellence, student success, enrollment growth and management, campus and community, and a culture of responsibility—each serving as a guiding principle for institutional advancement.

Through targeted investments in recruiting, marketing, and advising, NCMC has expanded its programming, introducing 21 new or revised academic programs tailored to meet the evolving needs of students and the workforce.

The strategic plan outlines several key priorities essential to NCMC’s success. These priorities span various areas, including academic excellence, student success, community engagement, operational effectiveness, and fiscal sustainability. Specific goals and objectives are delineated within each priority area, clarifying the desired outcomes and the strategies needed to achieve them.

An integral aspect of the strategic plan is the establishment of performance metrics and indicators to track progress and measure success. These metrics, which include enrollment trends, student retention rates, graduation rates, and financial indicators, enable NCMC to assess its effectiveness in achieving its goals and make data-driven decisions to drive continuous improvement.

As NCMC implements its strategic plan, a framework for monitoring and evaluation has been established. This iterative process ensures that the institution remains responsive to changing circumstances and needs, allowing for timely adjustments and refinements as necessary.

Eight years of evolution

As North Central Missouri College (NCMC) set out on its transformation journey under Klaver’s leadership, the institution faced the formidable challenge of reversing a trend of declining enrollment. Over the past eight years, NCMC has not only overcome this challenge but has thrived, achieving significant growth and cementing its position as a vital regional educational hub.

Klaver provides insight into the trajectory of enrollment growth, citing a notable increase of 17% over the past seven years. Despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, NCMC witnessed record enrollment figures, reaching an impressive 1,844 students—a clear indication of the institution’s resilience and adaptability.

In a service region with prominent universities such as Northwest Missouri State University and Missouri Western State University, NCMC has distinguished itself through its commitment to affordability and accessibility. As larger institutions grapple with fluctuating enrollment trends, NCMC’s focus on cost-effective education and flexible learning options has resonated with students seeking high-quality, personalized educational experiences.


Market demands and industry trends

A key driver of NCMC’s success lies in its responsiveness to market demands and industry trends. Recognizing the shifting landscape of higher education, Klaver and his team have strategically realigned the institution’s academic offerings to meet the evolving needs of students and employers alike. This strategic pivot is reflected in NCMC’s transition from a balanced mix of four-year transfer degrees and career technology education to a predominantly career-focused curriculum, comprising nearly 70% career technology education and 30% transfer programs.

This adjustment reflects NCMC’s dedication to aligning its offerings with market demands and industry trends; as Klaver notes, “Recognizing the shifting landscape of higher education, we realigned the institution’s academic offerings to meet the evolving needs of students and employers alike.”

Furthermore, NCMC’s dedication to customized training programs underscores its role as a catalyst for economic development in the region. NCMC is vital in upskilling the local workforce and driving improvement in key sectors such as manufacturing and healthcare by forging partnerships with industry leaders and offering tailored training solutions.

Vision for the years ahead

North Central Missouri College (NCMC) stands on the threshold of a new era where innovation, growth, and community engagement converge to shape the future of education and workforce development. Looking forward to 2024, Klaver outlines a comprehensive vision highlighting NCMC’s transformative impact on the region.

“At NCMC, we’re not just building structures; we’re building opportunities for our students to thrive,” says Klaver.

At the forefront of NCMC’s strategic vision is the construction of a state-of-the-art student center underway embodying its dedication to creating a dynamic campus environment where students can excel academically, socially, and personally. By consolidating essential services and recreational amenities under one roof, the student center will serve as a vibrant hub of activity, fostering connections and nurturing a sense of belonging among students, faculty, and staff.

Through partnerships with regional healthcare providers, NCMC’s nursing program has earned recognition for producing highly skilled graduates who meet the growing demands of the healthcare industry. Similarly, NCMC’s emphasis on agricultural education and customized training programs reflects its dedication to supporting local industries and addressing critical workforce shortages.

NCMC’s mission is to advance agricultural education and innovation by expanding its Barton Farm Campus. With plans for a precision agriculture facility on the horizon, NCMC aims to equip students with the skills and expertise needed to address the complex challenges of the agricultural industry. From cutting-edge technologies to hands-on learning experiences, NCMC’s agricultural programs empower students to become leaders in their field while contributing to the region’s economic vitality.

NCMC also prioritizes co-curricular and extracurricular programs that enrich the student experience and foster personal growth. Whether through athletics, trap shooting, or e-sports, these initiatives provide students with opportunities to develop leadership skills, build camaraderie, and cultivate a strong school spirit. By investing in these programs, NCMC enhances the overall student experience and strengthens its ability to attract and retain top talent.

As NCMC embarks on this transformational journey, it remains guided by a shared purpose—a commitment to empowering individuals, transforming communities, and creating futures filled with boundless opportunities. With innovation as its compass and collaboration as its cornerstone, NCMC is poised to realize its vision of becoming a catalyst for positive change in the region and beyond.


North Central Missouri College

What: North Central Missouri College’s strategic roadmap, navigating challenges like the COVID-19 pandemic and funding constraints while emphasizing its vision for the future in academic innovation, community engagement, and workforce development.

Where: NCMC, situated in Trenton, anchors the expansive region spanning 17 North Central and Northwest Missouri counties.



Ellison-Auxier Architects, Inc. Ellison – Auxier Architects, Inc. –

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