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December 6, 2005 :: Summer Academies Get Funded for Additional Year

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The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education have awarded grants totaling nearly $323,000 to college campuses across the state to help fund their Summer Academies for 2006.

Designed for students who will be entering the eighth through 12th grade next fall, the annual academies immerse students into hands-on opportunities that enhance math and science skills by introducing exciting opportunities and concepts in fields such as aerospace, medicine, architecture, technology, forensics, engineering, biology and more.

“It’s no secret that our state needs more college graduates in fields such as science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). These Summer Academies are very useful in helping introduce young people to possible STEM careers,” Chancellor Paul G. Risser said. “This program also affords them a chance to spend time on campus and get a taste of college life.”

When the Summer Academy program first started, there were many more academies offered, lasting anywhere from one to four weeks. But because of budget cuts for higher education in 2003, the year the state experienced substantial revenue shortfalls, the State Regents reduced funding for the program. Those reductions have resulted in fewer academies. Higher education officials are hopeful, however, that funding for the Summer Academy program will return to pre-2003 levels.

“The Summer Academy program is certainly a worthwhile program in our eyes,” State Regents’ Chairman Cheryl Hunter said. “Unfortunately, the hits higher education took a couple of years ago have taken a toll on this and other important programs the State Regents administer. It’s important that we get the Summer Academies back up to speed.”

A total of 18 academies on 14 college campuses across the state will receive the grants. Each grant award averages nearly $18,000, ranging from $7,900 to $34,500.

Download a list of the colleges and universities receiving the grants, as well as other useful information here. (PDF, 34K).