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April 28, 2022 - State Regents Approve Early College Programs at Four Community Colleges

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At today’s meeting, the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education approved Early College High School (ECHS) programs at Connors State College, Murray State College, Oklahoma City Community College, and Tulsa Community College. The programs are approved for a five year period, concluding at the end of the spring 2027 term, with an interim report on program outcomes required at the conclusion of the spring 2025 semester.

ECHS programs help students graduate from high school with an earned associate degree or certificate at little or no cost, reducing the overall cost and time required to complete a college degree. Consistent with State Regents’ policy, institutions must design ECHS programs to benefit traditionally underserved students, who have the most to gain from the opportunity to begin pursuing a college degree while still in high school.

"By 2028, 66 of our state’s 100 critical occupations will require a college degree. As demand for a college educated workforce continues to grow, our public institutions work tirelessly to increase efficiency and accelerate degree completion," said Chancellor Allison D. Garrett. "Students who participate in Early College High School Programs perform better on state assessments and are more likely to enroll in college and earn a degree."

The State Regents approved requests from CSC and MSC to start new ECHS programs. CSC’s program will be offered in partnership with Muskogee High School. Students will earn an associate degree that will matriculate to a four-year degree.

To deliver its Accelerated College Experience (ACE) program, MSC will partner with Kingston High School, Madill Public Schools, Sulphur Public Schools, and Tishomingo Public Schools. Students will be able to select from a pre-baccalaureate associate degree track or workforce-oriented associate in applied science degree tracks in business management, computer information systems, or manufacturing technology.

OCCC and TCC received State Regents’ approval to expand highly successful existing ECHS programs, which will enable more students in their respective metro areas to participate. OCCC will partner with Oklahoma City Public Schools, Western Heights Public Schools, Santa Fe South Schools, Crooked Oak Public Schools, and Moore Public Schools. The goal is for students to complete at least 50% of an associate degree, or 30 college credit hours.

Through the Earn a Degree, Graduate Early (EDGE) program, TCC will partner with Union High School, McLain High School, Memorial High School, KIPP Tulsa University Prep High School, and Charles Page High School in Sand Springs. Students will earn an associate degree that will matriculate to a four-year degree.

CSC, MSC, OCCC and TCC will provide dedicated personnel to manage the ECHS programs, as well as student support services including enrollment assistance, academic advising, tutoring and career counseling. Local and regional partnerships will enable the colleges to support students throughout their ECHS experiences, allowing students to participate at no cost to their families.