SEPTEMBER 17, 2003


NOC, OSU partner in Gateway Program

Billed as “A Partnership for Oklahoma,” the NOC/OSU Gateway Program began classes Aug. 18 with an enrollment exceeding 500 students, according to Director Debbie Quirey.

The program, officially launched in conjunction with a grand opening of Northern’s Stillwater facility Aug. 15, resulted from a partnership between the Northern Oklahoma College and Oklahoma State University to provide greater access to higher education for Oklahoma’s college-bound students and a better chance of success for them in the classroom.

Developmental courses in math, English, reading and science are offered this semester at the facility, located in the Cowboy Mall, adjacent to the OSU campus. Current OSU students who have academic deficiencies in these areas can take these courses simultaneously at NOC Stillwater and strengthen their academic credentials.

Northern students from Stillwater and the surrounding area also may take Stillwater-based NOC courses. Gateway students will have the same privileges OSU students receive, including meal plans, library access, housing and access to OSU facilities such as the student health center.

“Our primary responsibility is to provide all developmental course work for Oklahoma State University,” Quirey explained. Increased student retention for those needing remediation is one of the program’s primary goals. In addition to the classes, services such as testing, placement, financial aid and registration are available. With the help of assistant Leslie Johns, the site is open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. to accommodate students in both day and evening classes who need tutoring services.

Classes are limited to 40 per section and feature technology-based, self-paced instruction, “techniques for which Northern is well known among the developmental studies population,” Quirey commented. “We’ve been very successful on the Tonkawa and Enid campuses helping underprepared students to achieve success in their college careers. I am looking forward to helping OSU students to be equally successful.”

According to OSU System CEO and President David Schmidly, the Gateway program is a landmark opportunity for Oklahoma.

"The program is a model for higher education, built around five words: access, seamless, success, partnership and efficiency,” he said. He explained that more college graduates are needed, so access to higher education is needed. Community colleges, partnering with universities to provide seamless education for student success, have a mission to prepare young people for university entrance, allowing the university to focus on its teaching, research and outreach missions. The efficiency of this model is important to the taxpayer.

NOC President Dr. Joe Kinzer said the Gateway Program is a “win-win-win project—a win for students, a win for the Stillwater community and a win for OSU and NOC. We look forward to fulfilling our role in the Stillwater community and in this program.” Kinzer recognized former OSU President Jim Halligan for his early contributions and ideas for the partnership.
He predicted that the Gateway program will benefit countless numbers of students in the Stillwater area in the future.

“We’re trying to serve students who might not otherwise come to OSU, but will now have that option because we are here,” he concluded.

Contact: Marjilea Smithheisler (NOC), 1-580-628-6444 or Nester Gonzales (OSU), 1-405-744-6260