2017 Public Agenda
Higher Education: Strengthening Oklahoma's Workforce
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The purpose of the public agenda is to provide a better understanding of the critical policy issues, goals and objectives that shape the direction of the Oklahoma State System of Higher Education. It is based on the needs of the state as identified through ongoing strategic planning, and it describes the major initiatives that are in place to achieve the policy objectives.
Key Policy Goals and Objectives
- Increase the number of college graduates.
- Enhance access and improve the quality of public higher education for all Oklahomans.
- Better prepare students to meet the challenges of a global economy.
- Implement Complete College America initiatives to increase the number of degrees and certificates earned in Oklahoma by 67 percent by 2023.
- Enhance capacity to successfully enroll, retain and graduate students.
- Increase systemwide efficiencies and cost savings.
- Strengthen financial support for Oklahoma college students.
- Improve instructional quality.
- Utilize performance funding to enhance student success and academic quality.
- Broaden economic development activities.
- Advance access to and quality of technologies to support systemwide programs and services.
Complete College America
The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education have identified degree completion as their top priority. Oklahoma has been named the national model for Complete College America (CCA), with a plan focused on promoting college readiness, transforming remediation, strengthening pathways to certificates and degrees, expanding adult degree completion efforts, and rewarding performance and completion. Oklahoma’s CCA goal is to increase the number of degrees and certificates earned each year in our state by 67 percent by 2023.
Mathematics Success Initiative
Key elements of Oklahoma’s CCA agenda include increasing freshman-to-sophomore retention and graduation rates and enhancing the efficacy and efficiency of remediation and freshman gateway courses. The Mathematics Success Group has developed a strategic plan to improve mathematics preparation of students entering college, reform mathematics remediation to be more effective, and strengthen mathematics preparation for all majors. Oklahoma’s Mathematics Success Initiative involves all public institutions and has received recognition and support from national organizations.
Oklahoma’s Promise is recognized by many as America’s best college access program and is considered a model that combines emphases
on academic preparation and financial support for college. In FY 2016, 18,210 students received Oklahoma’s Promise scholarships
totaling $65 million.
Eight of Oklahoma’s public regional universities and 14 public community colleges and technical branches offer flexible class options and enrollment periods through Reach Higher, the state system adult degree completion program, to meet the needs of working adults. With a Reach Higher associate or bachelor’s degree, students receive the leadership training, communications skills and business knowledge they need to get ahead.
The state’s student information portal provides college planning and preparation information and tools for students, parents, adult learners and educators. Through the site, students can create individual portfolios, request and track transcripts, utilize high school planning timelines, explore career options, access campus information and apply for Oklahoma’s Promise, among other features.
Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) is a federally funded program that helps prepare middle and high school students for college success. Academic preparation programs, financial aid education, leadership/STEM summer camps, campus tours, ACT preparation and testing, professional learning opportunities for educators and parent events support the GEAR UP goals of increasing both high school graduation and enrollment in postsecondary education.
Technology centers across the state have partnered with higher education institutions and branch campuses in cooperative agreement programs. Students may earn college credit through assessments and contractual arrangements toward Associate in Applied Science degrees offered by a state system college or university.
Since its inception in 2005, the concurrent enrollment program has allowed outstanding juniors and seniors the opportunity to earn college credit while still in high school. In 2015-16, there were more than 12,600 student enrollments in concurrent enrollment and cooperative agreement credit courses generating nearly 108,000 credit hours.
OneNet operates Oklahoma’s most advanced technology network to provide the infrastructure to support high-speed broadband services at an equitable rate. OneNet provides the technology and connectivity necessary to meet the mission-critical needs of Oklahoma’s colleges and universities; K-12 and career technology schools; public libraries; local, tribal, state and federal governments; health care providers; nonprofit organizations; and programs engaged in research.
Online Education Task Force
The State Regents convened the Online Education Task Force in 2012 to develop a coordinated, systemwide approach to online learning as a component of Oklahoma higher education. The primary areas of focus are to eliminate barriers to online education and encourage educational innovation while maintaining academic rigor across multiple learning platforms.
Campus Safety and Security Task Force
The State Regents established the Campus Safety and Security Task Force to support
best practices for the ongoing safety of students, faculty, administrators and visitors
at higher education and technology center campuses. Task Force members represent
public and private institutions, technology centers, and key state agencies, including
the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management and Oklahoma Office of Homeland Security.
Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education
P.O. Box 108850
Oklahoma City, OK 73101-8850
Dr. Glen D. Johnson, Chancellor