Oklahoma State University-Tulsa has announced a new OSU College of Professional Studies designed to address the educational needs of Tulsa’s working adults and the workforce needs of local industries and agencies.
The Tulsa-based College of Professional Studies will focus on undergraduate degree completion programs, a professional skills hub and experiential learning opportunities.
“The OSU College of Professional Studies will provide flexible, focused degrees that maximize credit for prior learning, transfer credit and military credits,” said Pamela Fry, president of OSU-Tulsa. “By giving adult students credit for their lived experience, we can quickly increase the number of Tulsans with bachelor’s degrees – and not just any bachelor’s degree, but an OSU degree tailored specifically to their career paths.”
Tulsa metro behind nation in residents with college degree
A recent Market Street report showed the Tulsa metropolitan area 7.5 percentage points behind the rest of the nation in 25 to 44-year-olds with bachelor’s degrees. An estimated 90,000 Tulsans have some college credit, but no four-year degree – a major barrier to career advancement and attracting companies to the city.
OSU-Tulsa collaborated with several major Tulsa-area employers as it developed the new college and its degree program offerings.
“At TTCU, as a credit union founded by teachers, we value and support education,” said Tim Lyons, President and CEO of TTCU Federal Credit Union. “Many working adults have some college credit, but life has paused their education. This program will benefit TTCU employees who want to complete their degrees, strategically advance service to our members, as well as assist working professionals in Tulsa, giving them the support and flexibility they need to succeed.”
Classes start this fall
The college’s initial degree offering will be a Bachelor of Professional Studies in Organizational Leadership and a Bachelor of Professional Studies in Public Health.
“This is a new form of workforce development, providing a clear pathway to overcome the college degree barrier,” said Jesse Guardiola, director of minority recruitment and workforce development for the Tulsa Police Department. “The Public Safety degree option is intended to help low-income, minority, high school seniors and Tulsa Community College students gain access to higher education and result in TPD hiring diverse and highly qualified officers.”
Programs in the College of Professional Studies will not duplicate programs offered by OSU in Stillwater or online and will focus on working adults. Class offerings are anticipated to begin in fall 2021.