At today’s meeting, the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education unanimously approved Blueprint 2030: Innovating and Elevating Oklahoma Higher Education for Tomorrow’s Workforce, a new strategic plan that reflects the State Regents’ commitment to leading a responsive, forward-thinking, and data-driven state system of higher education.
Developed to guide public higher education over the next several years, the plan is anchored by four fundamental goals – produce workforce-ready graduates, grow the student pipeline, focus on student success, and improve system efficiency and effectiveness.
“Graduates from our public colleges and universities serve Oklahoma daily, building companies, enriching our communities, and strengthening our state’s workforce,” said State Regents’ Chair Michael C. Turpen. “In Blueprint 2030, we share a comprehensive plan that is innovative, ambitious, and more importantly – achievable.”
Key strategies outlined in the plan to meet those overarching goals include:
Produce Workforce-Ready Graduates
- Align higher education programs with workforce demand, with a goal to produce 100,000 degrees and other credentials in STEM and critical occupations by 2030.
- Develop a robust statewide communication and outreach plan to engage employers.
- Better connect students to the workforce through increased availability of engaged learning opportunities.
Grow the Student Pipeline
- Increase FAFSA completion of high school seniors.
- Evaluate systemwide adoption of a Common Application to simplify and streamline the college admission process for students.
- Promote seamless transfer opportunities for students.
Focus on Student Success
- Develop and implement a systemwide plan to identify, re-engage and support Oklahoma’s adult learners.
- Strengthen online education and use technology to improve student success (e.g., predictive analytics/early warning systems, virtual support services, open educational resources).
Improve System Efficiency and Effectiveness
- Support institutional consolidations and collaborations.
- Establish a shared services center to reduce institutional administrative costs and maximize efficiencies.
- Incentivize institutional performance through the development of a new performance funding formula.
Formed by the State Regents in May 2022 under the leadership of Chair Jeffrey W. Hickman, the Strategic Planning Committee was comprised of State Regents, the Chancellor, and representatives from all three tiers of the public higher education system. The State Regents charged the committee to develop recommendations that will increase Oklahoma’s educational attainment, align higher education with state workforce needs, and leverage system resources more effectively and efficiently.
“We are grateful to the State Regents and college and university representatives who served on the Strategic Planning Committee,” said State Regent Courtney Warmington, who chaired the committee. “Their knowledge and experiences were invaluable as we studied our state system’s current challenges and strengths, identified areas for improvement, reviewed best practices, and engaged key stakeholders to gather information and perspectives.”
The committee established four subcommittees to facilitate the strategic planning process: Workforce Development, Student Pipeline, Student Success, and System Operations. Subcommittee meetings focused on in-depth exploration of issues, examination of best practices, and development of recommendations and potential key performance indicators.
“The role our state system of higher education plays in meeting Oklahoma’s workforce development goals has never been more vital,” said Chancellor Allison D. Garrett. “The majority of our state’s critical occupations require a college degree, yet our level of educational attainment ranks Oklahoma well below the national average. Our public colleges and universities are committed to producing the educated workforce needed to support current business expansion, attract new business, and grow our state’s economy.”
Blueprint 2030: Innovating and Elevating Oklahoma Higher Education for Tomorrow’s Workforce provides a comprehensive set of strategies designed to meet each of the State Regents’ four fundamental goals, as well as an overview of the state’s workforce challenges and trends and of the strategic planning process. The full plan, Strategic Planning Committee membership, and other plan resources are available online at https://www.okhighered.org/state-system/strategic-plan.