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December 2, 2005 :: State Regents’ New Cooperative Alliance Initiative Expanding Across the State

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An initiative designed to create more student-centered partnerships among Oklahoma colleges and career technology centers is expanding.

Oklahoma State University-Oklahoma City, Tulsa Community College and Western Oklahoma State College, Altus, have formed cooperative alliances with nearby technology centers which will allow adults and qualified high school or home-schooled students the opportunity to enroll for college credit in technical courses at the partnering technology center that lead to an Associate in Applied Science (AAS) degree or certificate.

Technology centers participating in the cooperative alliances are Metro Technology Center, Oklahoma City; Tulsa Technology Center; and Great Plains Technology Center, Lawton. Through these cooperative alliances, education officials hope to increase the number of high school students and adults going to college.

Officials say that cooperative alliance agreements among many more colleges and technology centers are currently in the works.

“These agreements will increase access to postsecondary education for many Oklahomans who want to expand their career options,” Chancellor Paul G. Risser said. “Our state’s public colleges and universities, as well as our technology centers, will be strengthened through these partnerships. By efficiently combining resources from the colleges and the technology centers, services and opportunities for students will also improve.”

The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education approved similar agreements last spring to serve as cooperative alliance pilot projects for the state. Three community colleges – Northern Oklahoma College, Tonkawa; Oklahoma City Community College; and WOSC – and three technology centers – Autry Technology Center, Enid; Francis Tuttle Technology Center, Oklahoma City; and Southwest Technology Center, Altus – began enrolling students this fall.

High school students must score at least a 19 on the ACT or a 15 on the ACT PLAN test in the 10th grade or have a minimum 2.5 grade point average to be admitted to an AAS program. They must also provide a letter of support from a high school counselor and written permission from a parent or legal guardian.

“Even though there are just a handful of institutions that are currently participating, several hundred high school and adult students are already enrolled and benefiting from these alliances,” State Regents’ Chairman Cheryl Hunter said. “We expect many more students to enroll in the near future as more and more colleges and technology centers jump on board this worthwhile initiative.”

For nearly two decades, Oklahoma colleges and technology centers have entered into cooperative agreements that tend to be institution-centered and based on individual agreements between one college and one technology center for one specific AAS program.

Currently, 346 cooperative agreements involving 123 AAS programs are offered through 18 colleges and 29 technology centers in Oklahoma.