January 17, 2003


SWOSU Signs Contract to Operate Three More Adventure Programs

Southwestern Oklahoma State University, with campus locations in Weatherford and Sayre, recently signed contracts with the Oklahoma Office of Juvenile Affairs to manage adventure programs at Enid, Lawton and Lake Tenkiller.

The three sites will be similar to the current Southwestern Oklahoma State University Adventure Programs at Foss Lake and Ghost Mound, according to Dr. Ken Rose, interim dean of the SWOSU School of Arts and Sciences.

The sites provide treatment, programming and education for adjudicated youths ages 13 to 17 years of age with active supervision on a 24-hour basis.

Rose said SWOSU provides a service to the State of Oklahoma, and SWOSU students and faculty benefit with opportunities in student employment, student practicums, faculty research and cutting-edge treatment methodologies in such areas as wildnerness programming, social work, psychology and education.

"Southwestern welcomes the opportunity to partner with another state agency for the benefit of Oklahoma citizens," SWOSU President John Hays said. "The partnership with OJA has been effective and provides opportunities for both agencies to better serve its constituents."

SWOSU has worked with OJA at the Foss Lake Adventure Program since 1995 and the Ghost Mound program since 1999. The Foss Lake program is located between Clinton and Elk City, while the Ghost Mound program is south of Hydro.

"The Office of Juvenile Affairs is dedicated to developing unique partnerships insuring quality services are provided to Oklahoma's troubled youth," OJA Director Richard DeLaugher said. "This relationship with Southwestern Oklahoma State University is a testament to a state agency and a higher education institution's ability to think outside the box and make great things happen for Oklahoma."

There are three main components of the SWOSU plan. One is to build self-esteem and self-worth in the youngsters, plus develop their communication skills. Another intent is to improve academic skills, while the final component is consultation with parents. The university also adds a wildnerness component designed to build decision-making and teamwork among the boys through various activities such as a ropes course, sailing, canoeing, mountain climbing and scuba diving.

Story Contact: Brian Adler, SWOSU Director of Public Information, (580) 774-3063