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February 27, 2006 :: More Colleges and Tech Centers Enter Into Alliances to Expand Student Opportunities

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An initiative designed to increase the number of Oklahoma high school students and adults going to college has expanded even further across the state.

Six community colleges have entered into cooperative alliance agreements with 10 technology centers that will allow adults and qualified high school students to enroll for college credit in technical courses that lead to an Associate in Applied Science (AAS) degree or certificate from the partnering technology center

The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education recently approved agreements between Connors State College, Warner, and Indian Capital Technology Center; Murray State College, Tishomingo, and Pontotoc and Southern Oklahoma technology centers; Oklahoma City Community College and Mid-America and Moore Norman technology centers; Oklahoma State University Technical Branch - Okmulgee and Central and Green Country technology centers; Redlands Community College, El Reno, and Caddo Kiowa and Canadian Valley technology centers; and Seminole State College and Gordon Cooper Technology Center.

Each of the participating institutions will begin enrolling students for courses taught at the partnering technology centers in fall 2006.

“These alliances create more student-centered partnerships between our colleges and universities and technology centers, which allows for efficiencies of federal, state and local resources,” Chancellor Paul G. Risser said. “By increasing access to technical college-level programs and courses, high school and adult students will be able to expand their employment opportunities.”

This now brings to 10 the number of community colleges and 16 the number of technology centers that are currently participating in this initiative.

The State Regents approved similar agreements last spring to serve as cooperative alliance pilot projects for the state and then subsequently approved three additional cooperative alliance agreements in December.

High school students interested in enrolling in technical programs or courses at these participating institutions must be in the 11th or 12th grade and enrolled in an accredited high school or be at least 16 years of age and receiving high school-level instruction at home or from an unaccredited high school. Students must have at least a 19 on their ACT, a 15 on the ACT PLAN test or at least a 2.5 GPA. In addition, students must provide a letter of support from a high school counselor and written permission from a parent or legal guardian.

“Cooperative alliances provide an efficient and effective way to use the cooperative agreements of the past,” State Regents’ Chairman Cheryl Hunter said. “We expect to see more college graduates in our state because of these alliances, as well as improved services and opportunities for students.”

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