march 13, 2003

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SSC Receives $250,000 in Federal Money

Rep. Istook
Congressman Ernest Istook took the opportunity to visit with Seminole State College faculty, staff and students, including SSC health sciences student Shonna Lorance of Tecumseh and health sciences instructor Perthena Latchaw, while on campus recently.

Seminole State College’s Nursing Program received a boost from Washington, D.C. recently when Congressman Ernest Istook announced that the College would receive $250,000 in special appropriates for the advancement of the College’s “Fast-Track” Nursing Program and the Enoch Kelly Haney Center.

The grant requested by Istook for Seminole State College includes $50,000 to upgrade several of its nursing technology and service facilities, including the upgrading of software, hardware and web-based instruction. The remaining $200,000 of the appropriation will fund not only nursing, but also business and industry training and retraining needs through the Haney Center.

Dr. James W. Utterback, President of Seminole State College, said the funding comes at a critical time for the institution and the field of nursing.

“I am excited about this award. This special federal appropriation will enable Seminole State College to continue to expand vital services,” Utterback said.

Utterback stated that the College recently hosted Congressman and Mrs. Istook on campus. The couple had the opportunity to tour the Enoch Kelly Haney Center and Nursing Division, as well as visit with SSC faculty, staff and students.
The $50,000 for the “Fast-Track” Nursing Program will enable the College to offer state-of-the-art technology, web-based instruction and assist in transporting low-income nursing students to their clinical assignments, Utterback said.

The College’s “Fast-Track” program is an accelerated transitional nursing program enabling Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) to become Registered Nurses (RNs).

“The nursing shortage has become a crisis across the state of Oklahoma as well as the nation,” noted Utterback. “The College’s ‘Fast-Track’ program allows our students to expedite the advancement of their careers, which is imperative in order to respond to this crisis. The appropriation will help increase the number of qualified registered nurses in rural Oklahoma.

“We appreciate the continuing dedication and commitment the entire Oklahoma Congressional Delegation in supporting Seminole State College and rural education. We also appreciate the leadership Congressman Istook has provided in acquiring funding for the crucial field of nursing.”

Utterback also commented that the part of the appropriation that will go to the College’s Haney Center will help advance the local economy.

“The part of this special appropriation targeted to support the Enoch Kelly Haney Center is vital to the growth of the economy in this area,” Utterback said. “This award will enable us to offer special courses for the training and retraining needs for a variety of companies. We are looking forward to working with local businesses and industries to help stimulate and enhance the economy of the entire area. The leadership of Congressman Istook in this process is greatly appreciated by all of us associated with Seminole State College.”

In 2002, Seminole State College held the official opening of the Enoch Kelly Haney Center, a 43,000 square-foot faciltiy to house the SSC business and industry training program and nursing division.

The Haney Center is designed to meet the instructional needs of specific businesses and industries in the areas of management, sales, computer operations, technical service, industrial skills development, and other specialized training as requested.

Story Contact: Mona Ridley, 405.382.9525