Executives at seven colleges and universities in the region are optimistic that a new approach will help them earn a higher degree.
The Tulsa Higher Education Consortium was born out of work to improve the experience of Tulsa Community College students when transferring to other local institutions, and the organization wants to continue to streamline this process to make it easier for students to obtain their diplomas.
Consortium CEO Laura Latta said it should be remembered that the 40,000 students from the seven member institutions are a diverse group, so a one-size-fits-all education will not work. Nearly half of students are 25 or older and have jobs, homes, and families, and students of color will likely be the majority of students in the area over the next 10 years.
“Naturally, these students experience different stressors, motivations, and incentives to complete their degree programs. Keeping in mind the student body, part-time and full-time college options and inclusive and responsive education , to the cultures and living situations of students is critical, ”Latta said in a video released Thursday at the state of education event of the Tulsa regional chamber.
Latta was supposed to be the keynote speaker for the event in person, but in the video she said she recently tested positive for COVID-19 despite having been fully vaccinated.
THE Consortium will also serve as a coordinating body for its member institutions. Latta said there are about 60 similar groups across the United States who share information and connections with local businesses.
“This sharing of resources has helped institutions weather COVID storms and help students connect with companies that are now hiring much more frequently,” Latta said.
Rogers State University President Dr Larry Rice said the consortium can meet the needs of any business if it knows what those needs are. He said Google had never had a problem running its Pryor data center, and electric car maker Canoo was confident that Oklahoma schools from kindergarten to college could meet its needs.
“It took all of us at the table to convince them that County Mayes was the perfect place to build a factory that would require 2,000 employees. So we can do it, ”Rice said.
Canoo announced last month that it will build its electric vehicles at the MidAmerica Industrial Park in Pryor.
The members of the Consortium are Tulsa Community College, Langston University, OSU-Tulsa, OU-Tulsa, University of Tulsa, Rogers State University and Northeastern State University.