A group from Western Oklahoma State College celebrated 2017 Higher Education Day at the state Capitol on Tuesday.
The administrative staff attending included WOSC President Dr. Phil Birdine, Academic Affairs Vice President Lisa Greenlee and student ambassadors who shared the experience with state Rep. Charles Ortega (R-Altus) in the House chamber in Oklahoma City.
Republican Lt. Governor Todd Lamb, state Senate President Pro Tempore Mike Schulz (R-Altus), Majority Floor Leader Rep. Jon Echols (R-Oklahoma City), Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education Chancellor Glen D. Johnson and Southwestern Oklahoma State University President Randy Beutler were slated to speak to promote the value and importance of higher education in the state.
Event organizers’ focus was to ask lawmakers to rescind a 16 percent cut to higher education.
According to the regents website, about $810 million in appropriations to public higher education for fiscal year 2017 is a setback and is $4.8 million less than the amount appropriated for fiscal year 2001.
The organization platform contends that 84 percent of Oklahoma resident students who earn bachelor’s degrees remain in the state and are employed in Oklahoma one year after graduation, thus adding to state and local economies.
The 2017 Legislative Agenda includes a look at concurrent enrollment programs that allow outstanding 11th- and 12th-grade students to earn college credit while still attending high school.
Most colleges such as WOSC offer concurrent enrollment and a tuition waiver scholarship with a maximum of six credit hours per semester.
According to the WOSC website, the program could potentially save students a total of $3,036.60 and could help them earn up to 36 credit hours per year.
According to the regents website, 11,722 students took part in concurrent enrolled in fiscal year 2016.
The Legislative agenda also includes a discussion on the presence of weapons on campuses.
The regents agenda includes promoting Oklahoma’s Promise scholarship, which the organization contends provides college funding for about 18,900 students.
For more information, contact Carey Monroe at 580-477-7701.
Reach Katrina Goforth at 580-482-1221, ext. 2077.