JANUARY 14, 2004

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Northwestern recognized nationally for economic and workforce development practices

A national higher education organization has recognized Northwestern Oklahoma State University for its exemplary practices in economic and workforce development.

The American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) cited Northwestern in its national report: “Economic and Workforce Development Best Practices.” The report was compiled to highlight the role AASCU’s 430 member institutions, mainly public colleges and universities, play in regional economic development. After reviewing the information collected, a committee of more than 40 college presidents chose to recognize only eight institutions in its report.

"To be only one of a handful of institutions highlighted in this report is a significant honor and places Northwestern in the national spotlight when it comes to economic development,” said Dr. Paul B. Beran, president of Northwestern. “Clearly, this report shows the tremendous impact that regional universities have in economic development efforts. It is a message we plan to share with state leaders.”

Northwestern’s business incubator, a part of the school’s Center for Business Development was one of three university practices highlighted in the report. Certified by the Oklahoma Department of Commerce, the incubator began operations in February 2002 and offers business services to start-up or growing companies. The business incubator houses five clients, all of which are eligible for special state tax incentives.

A partnership with Workforce Oklahoma also was cited. Northwestern and the Workforce Oklahoma-Northwest Local Workforce Development Council entered into a memorandum of understanding in the spring of 2002 that provided the agency with office space in the Center for Business Development and provided a framework for future partnerships. Workforce Oklahoma provides workforce investment, education, training, and human resource programs for businesses and individuals.

Distance learning and online services offered by Northwestern also were lauded, including services such as online registration, online fee payment and an online help desk as well as CD tutorials for online learning success.

A complete copy of the report is available at www.aascu.org.

Contact: Steve Valencia, 1-580-327-8478