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2021 Public Agenda

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The public agenda provides a better understanding of the critical policy issues, goals and objectives that shape the direction of the Oklahoma State System of Higher Education and describes the major initiatives that are in place to achieve the policy objectives.

Key Policy Goals and Objectives

Goals

Objectives

Key Initiatives

Task Force on the Future of Higher Education

The State Regents’ Task Force on the Future of Higher Education conducted a comprehensive assessment of Oklahoma public higher education, including academic models, online education, structure, fiscal services, operational efficiencies, workforce development, and information technology. After 10 months of study and deliberations, the Task Force unanimously issued a set of comprehensive cost-saving, innovative strategies to increase degree completion in our state.

Oklahoma's Promise

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 2020, 15,317 students received Oklahoma’s Promise scholarships, and over 95,000 students have earned the scholarship since the program’s inception.

Concurrent Enrollment

The concurrent enrollment program allows outstanding juniors and seniors to earn college credit while still in high school, which strengthens student preparation, reduces family college costs, and decreases the time required to complete a degree. In the last academic year, there were over 14,000 students enrolled in concurrent courses, generating nearly 133,000 credit hours.

Workforce Development

Oklahoma higher education links academic programs directly to employment needs in the state’s wealth-generating ecosystems. Degree and certificate production in critical STEM disciplines has increased 54% over the last nine years, engineering degrees have increased 75% over the last decade, and the number of health professions degrees conferred increased by 4.2% over the previous academic year. Strategic innovations include the development of microcredentials, which provide alternative learning pathways directly aligned with skill requirements identified by business and industry. More than half of Oklahoma’s critical occupations require a college degree, and approximately 90% of the highest paid critical occupations require a degree.

OKcollegestart.org

The state’s web-based college planning portal for students, parents, adult learners and educators empowers students to create individual portfolios, explore career options and campuses, prepare for the ACT and SAT exams, and apply online for Oklahoma’s Promise, among other features. Site content is available in multiple languages, and a companion site allows educators to develop system-defined Individual Career Academic Plans (ICAP) and send and receive electronic transcripts.

GEAR UP

Oklahoma GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs), the fourth consecutive federally funded grant program administered by the State Regents, is designed to prepare middle and high school students for college success through direct student support services, including college campus tours, ACT preparation and testing, college exploration courses, one-on-one guidance from school specialists, and Oklahoma's Promise and FAFSA completion assistance.

Adult Degree Completion

Two distinct programs are available through Reach Higher, the state system adult degree completion initiative. Through Reach Higher’s FlexFinish program, 21 institutions offer flexible class options and enrollment to meet the needs of working adults pursuing a Reach Higher associate or bachelor’s degree. Reach Higher: DirectComplete offers comprehensive services and support to adult students returning to pursue degree programs at 14 participating institutions that lead to employment in Oklahoma’s critical occupations. A new website, ShowWhatYouKnowOK.org, empowers students to determine how previously earned college credit, licenses, certifications, military training, advanced standing scores, and knowledge gained through other learning experiences can be applied toward a degree program.

OneNet

OneNet operates Oklahoma’s most advanced research, education and 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 in support of advanced academic research programs. In addition, OneNet serves K-12 and career technology schools; public libraries; local, tribal, state and federal governments; health care providers; and nonprofit organizations.

Online Education Task Force

The Online Education Task Force’s primary areas of focus are to eliminate barriers to online education, encourage educational innovation while maintaining academic rigor across multiple learning platforms, provide professional development for faculty teaching online, and facilitate access to open educational resources to reduce costs for students. The Online Consortium of Oklahoma, a Task Force initiative, recently launched a website, OCOLearnOK.org, that provides 24/7 access to current resources available through online education initiatives in Oklahoma. Site features include collaboration opportunities in several key areas; new communication tools, including email subscription lists and a calendar of upcoming online professional development opportunities; and an on-demand library of recorded webinars targeting the critical areas necessary to support and engage online learners.

Campus Safety and Security Task Force

The Campus Safety and Security Task Force supports best practices for the ongoing safety of students, faculty, staff and visitors at Oklahoma's public and private institutions and technology centers through targeted training and partnerships with key state agencies, including the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management, Oklahoma Office of Homeland Security, and the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services.


Contact

Dr. Glen D. Johnson, Chancellor
chancellorjohnson@osrhe.edu

LeeAnna McNally, Vice Chancellor for Governmental Relations, lmcnally@osrhe.edu

Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education
405.225.9100
www.okhighered.org