By Robert Barron
Ed Vineyard, vice president of Northern Oklahoma College, thinks the Enid branch of the school has a number of things to offer that help recruit students to the Enid junior college.
The first is being local. More than 90 percent of the students enrolled at NOC-Enid are local.
“The longer we’re here, the more people realize what a quality education they can get right here in Enid,” he said.
NOC opened its Enid branch in 1996 and in the last 10 years has gone from about 600 students to more than 1,200.
The original 600 students were mostly part-time and today’s scholars are mostly full-time students.
One new program that will be offered is an astronomy degree. Classes toward that degree, such as study of the planets and solar systems, will be added. The lead faculty member is Fritz Osell.
Osell has been discussing the classes with astronomy staff at the University of Oklahoma to make sure the NOC classes will join with theirs.
Another popular program experiencing growth is the criminal justice program. It started two years ago and already has 60 majors. It is a night degree program with students averaging nine to 10 hours per semester.
Sixty-two hours are required to complete the NOC degree.
An area Vineyard is especially proud of is serving the traditionally under represented portion of Enid population.
Minority enrollment at NOC is higher than the percentage of minorities in the Enid population.
“We’ve done a good job of reaching out to African-Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, Pacific Islanders here,” he said.
NOC offers associate degrees in child development, criminal justice, education, English, social science, general studies, business administration, medicine pre-professional, pharmacy pre-professional, nursing, biology/zoology and professional pilot training.
NOC also offers about 20 cooperative degrees with technology centers, mostly in health and electronics.
One rule observed at NOC is to make sure they do not place any obstacles in front of people that do not need to be there, Vineyard said. NOC markets itself as the traditional college atmosphere. They offer dormitories, athletics, clubs and organizations, academics and research with the NOC observatory.
“It’s a complete college experience,” he said.
At Northwestern Oklahoma State University Enid, Cheryl Evans likes a new program that will be offered soon.
The school’s master degree program will soon offer two programs important in helping teachers make more money.
The modified education program for masters of teaching is one of the areas of instruction.
When teachers complete the program they will be prepared to sit for their national board certification exam. If they pass, a new state law will significantly increase their salary.
The program is significant because graduates will have a master’s degree and make more money, plus they will be nationally certified, which pays more money also.
They also offer a program to assist teachers who want to become superintendents and principals.
A third area is a clinical simulation laboratory, primarily for the nursing program.
Evans is excited because of the partnership created to obtain the lab. A Northwestern nursing graduate was assisting a woman who was terminally ill during her final days. Her husband, Paul Ketterman, made a donation to the Northwestern Foundation. Those funds were used as seed money and through a partnership with St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center and Integris Bass Baptist Health Center created a new clinical simulation laboratory.
The lab will be completed this spring, Evans said. It will be equipped with “Sim Man” computers which are placed inside mannequins so the instructor can afflict the mannequins with any disease he wants to. The students then treat those mannequins.
The lab will be used by NWOSU and NOC nursing students and faculty. The staff position will be paid for by the hospitals that will have a laboratory manager technician. Hospitals will also use the lab for professional development for their employees, Evans said.
“We’re really excited about it,” she said. “It’s great what the seed money can do to impact all of northwest Oklahoma. It will serve the medical community greatly.
NWOSU will also have an accredited social work program and add a faculty member to teach social work, Orren Dale PhD.
NWOSU Enid is restricted to teaching upper level classes and to recruit students they focus on NOC students. They contact the students by mail. They also have a NOC recruitment day with pizza and Evans has been the speaker at honor society meetings.
NWOSU also works with Vance Air Force base military personnel and their spouses and dependents. Some of them come with different numbers of hours from a variety of schools.