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Seminole State College

SSC Medical Laboratory Receives New Equipment
Seminole State College students working in the medical laboratory will be trained with some of the latest technology available, thanks to an award from the Labs Are Vital™ grant program.

Arthur Petty, technical specialist for Abbott Diagnostics, helps Perthena Latchaw set up a new hematology analyzer in Seminole State College’s Medical Technology Laboratory.SSC’s Medical Laboratory Technology Program is one of 15 clinical education programs from across the United States selected to receive diagnostic equipment, supplies and service through a $1 million donation sponsored by Abbott Diagnostics.

SSC’s laboratory is now the home to a new a CELL-DYN 1800, a hematology analyzer. The machine is the same equipment currently used at Seminole Medical Clinic. The donation of the state-of-the-art equipment, valued at $30,000, included free supplies and service for three years – worth an additional $30,000.

Perthena Latchaw, Medical Laboratory Technology Program director, received word in July of the award. Last week, the equipment was delivered to the campus.

According to Latchaw, access to current equipment allows students to have real experience working with modern technology and effectively reduce time spent in clinical experiences.

“Many qualified students apply to our program each year and we are faced with turning some of them away due to clinical space. I believe that if we are able to shorten the clinical experience, then we will be able to increase our class size and prepare more students to enter the field,” said Latchaw.

The donation is a major component of Labs Are Vital™, an Abbott Diagnostics initiative that seeks to revive the laboratory profession and improve the quality of lab life. According to the Labs Are Vital™ Web site, the program seeks to address one of the most serious problems facing the clinical lab today: college and hospital-based training programs that are increasingly underfunded and in short supply.

“We are doing a good job, but I know we will do a better job with a quicker smoother, transition to the workplace for our students. We cannot thank Abbott Diagnostics enough for their contribution. This equipment will help us better serve our students, and in turn, help them better serve patients,” said Latchaw.


Seminole State College Awarded $2.3 Million for Upward Bound Grants
Seminole State College has received word that it will receive more than $2.3 million in federal grant money for a Veterans Upward Bound Program and an Upward Bound Math–Science Program. The current Veterans Upward Bound grant was renewed for $273,278 annually for four years, and a new Upward Bound Math-Science grant for $250,000 annually was awarded for five years. These grants are in addition to two Upward Bound grants awarded to the college in spring 2007.

The college received official notification of the U.S. Department of Education awards from the offices of U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe, U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn, U.S. Congresswoman Mary Fallin and U.S. Congressman Dan Boren.

SSC received one of only two new Upward Bound Math-Science grants funded by the USDE in the state of Oklahoma. There are only 110 Upward Bound Math-Science grant programs nationwide. There are only 44 Veterans Upward Bound programs funded in the nation – three of which are in Oklahoma.

SSC’s application for the Math-Science grant scored a perfect 100 percent as judged by three independent readers. The Veterans Upward Bound grant application received two scores of 98 percent and one of 96 percent.

The Veterans Upward Bound program is designed to generate skills and the motivation necessary to complete a secondary education and enter and succeed in postsecondary education. Services include individualized instruction in math, lab science, foreign language, composition and literature. The program also assists participants with career exploration, financial aid, study skills, cultural enrichment activities, tours of area colleges and enrollment assistance.
The grant funds offices both on the SSC campus and in Midwest City near Rose State College.

The program serves 120 veterans who have served at least 180 days of active duty after Jan. 31, 1955, who were discharged or released from active duty under conditions other than dishonorable.

Areas served by the grant are: Canadian, Hughes, Logan, Okfuskee, Oklahoma, Pottawatomie and Seminole counties.

One year remains on SSC’s current Veterans Upward Bound grant. The new award will fund the program for four years beginning Sept. 1, 2008, and continuing through Aug. 31, 2012.

The new Upward Bound Math-Science Program will provide intensive instruction in mathematics and science, including hands-on experience in laboratories, in computer facilities and at field sites.

The project will include a six-week summer residential camp. The summer program will include individualized instruction in various academic areas as well as ACT preparation workshops, cultural enrichment activities, tours of area colleges and enrollment assistance. The program also provides a summer “bridge” program for graduating participants to allow them to enroll in up to nine hours of college credit.

The program will serve 50 students in grades nine through 12 from Butner, Holdenville, Macomb, Paden, Seminole, Shawnee, Strother, Tecumseh, Weleetka and Wewoka schools.

Funding for the new Upward Bound Math-Science Program began Sept. 1, 2007, and will continue through Aug 31, 2012.

Dr. Jim Utterback, SSC president, complimented the college staff on their efforts to obtain these grants.

“TRIO Programs Director Kathy Hoover and her staff did an outstanding job in obtaining these grants. The benefits of the Upward Bound programs are far-reaching. Additionally, bringing these federal dollars to campus has a tremendous economic benefit on the college, Seminole and surrounding communities,” he said.

Utterback continued by saying that each time a new grant program is added, or expanded, at the college, it has the equivalent economic impact of bringing a new small business to the area.

SSC now operates seven federal grant programs. With the new award, SSC federal programs will employ 21 full-time and 30 to 40 part-time people. The programs have a combined annual operating budget of approximately $2,096,672.


East Central Workforce Development, using a Workforce Investment Act National Emergency Grant, is working with Seminole State College to provide retraining services to dislocated workers from any of the area VF Jeanswear (Wrangler) plants.


The Nichols Building after extensive renovations by the Seminole State College Educational Foundation. The building will be the new home of the AmeriContact call center after the official grand opening on Oct. 23, 2006. Click photo to view larger image.The AmeriContact call center is moving into a new home at 600 W. Strother. The call center was recruited to Seminole in late fall of 2003 by the Seminole Economic Development Council with assistance from Seminole State College. A temporary business incubator was created for the company in the Haney Center on the SSC campus. The college has continued to provide space, resources and support for the business over the past three years.

The front entrance of the renovated building. Click photo to view larger image.After opening on Dec. 15, 2003, the company quickly grew to 50 employees and began extended shifts to accommodate business contracts. Now the Seminole business employs more than 75 employees and has plans to expand to 200 in the new facility.

Through the efforts of the Seminole State College Educational Foundation, the former Nichols Grocery Store was purchased in 2005 and has been renovated into a state-of-the-art business incubator.

The old Nichols Grocery Store prior to renovations. Click photo to view larger image.The project’s financial assistance was acquired by former state representative and current U.S. Congressman Dan Boren through the Central Oklahoma Economic Development District (COEDD). The building will be named in his honor at a ribbon cutting ceremony on Oct. 23, 2006, at 2 p.m.

New carpeting and electrical wiring are part of the new interior of the building. Click to view larger image.The partnership between the SSC and the AmeriContact call center was recognized by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education in April 2006. The award was part of a State Regents program honoring higher education institutions and businesses for their outstanding collaborations which lead to furthering the education of Oklahoma’s workforce. Additionally, SSC was awarded a competitive economic development grant through the State Regents in December 2005 to aid with this project.