The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

March 2, 2013

Higher learning

Autry and NOC classes start this fall at University Center

By Phyllis Zorn, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle

ENID, Okla. — University Center, on the campus of Enid High School, will open for the fall semester and house 16 classrooms and four laboratories for advanced placement and dual-credit college classes.

The center also will have offices for EHS and Northern Oklahoma College faculty.

This, in turn, will allow students to earn college credit for classes taken during high school, saving money on college costs.

Stephanie Weissenbuehler, career counselor at Autry Technology Center and EHS, said it’s expected there will be 20 sophomores enrolled for the user interface design class at UC in the fall.

The class will teach the latest features of Windows 8 on mobile devices, including the new user interface, working with the Charms bar, starting apps, working with windows and managing files. When the tablet environment is mastered, the course will provide the beginning programmer with a foundation to build apps for mobile devices.

Students must apply with Autry for the class, and their grade point average and previous computer experience will be considered.

Northern Oklahoma College also will offer classes at University Center, including U.S. history, freshman composition, college algebra and government.

Anita Trojan, EHS counselor, said students can take classes at UC that count toward both EHS and NOC credits. Among them are composition I and II, four English classes, four math courses, four science classes and four social studies classes.

“They can graduate here with 18 hours of college credit,” Trojan said.

For those courses, the state pays tuition and the students pay fees.

Already, school officials are meeting with students about fall enrollment for University Center classes.

Adam Beauchamp, EHS assistant principal, is delighted UC is opening in the fall.

“The more we can expose our students to college opportunity when they might think college is not for them, the more we might have choose that path,” Beauchamp said.

“It gets them to think about life beyond high school,” Trojan said.

“We estimate if students take classes at the high school, they can save $30,000,” added Amber Fitzgerald, human resources and communications director for Enid Public Schools.

EHS has 22 pre-advanced placement and advanced placement classes already, as well as college courses on campus, Fitzgerald said.

Besides the opportunity to take more college-level courses, the addition of University Center serves another purpose. It creates more space for the high school. With growing enrollment districtwide, that additional space is going to be needed.

During the first semester of the current school year, EHS students logged 470 college credit hours, Trojan said.

Among Oklahoma high schools, only Tulsa Union has a comparable college class center.

“We’ll be ready for the fall,” Fitzgerald said. “We’re going to have an open house for the public.”