Twenty-seven business and higher education partnerships throughout the state were recently recognized as innovative collaborations that further the education of Oklahoma’s workforce.
Eastern Oklahoma State College and The Puterbaugh Foundation of McAlester have partnered for a number of years to provide top-tier nursing instruction and produce graduates who have the most advanced training and experience. The Puterbaugh Foundation provides annual scholarships and funds to pay for students’ National Council Licensure Examination, and dedicated $306,000 last year for equipment and technology upgrades in the nursing skills labs. Eastern purchased new clinical simulation manikins for scenario-based patient care, defibrillator simulation machines, IV training arms and pumps, and additional skills equipment and supplies. The donation also supports a nursing program retention specialist who provides student coaching and mentoring.
The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education’s Regents Business Partnership Excellence Award is designed to highlight successful partnerships between higher education institutions, businesses, and the community to further cultivate the higher learning environment through State Regents’ Economic Development Grants. State Regents’ Chair Michael C. Turpen, State Regent Courtney Warmington, State Regent Steven W. Taylor, and Chancellor Allison D. Garrett participated in the ceremony at the University of Central Oklahoma.
Institutions involved in these partnerships provide $500 for tuition waivers to employees of the partnering businesses; internships that enable current students to work at the partnering businesses; faculty externships with the partnering businesses; and/or enhancement of the partnerships with additional equipment, materials or supplies. The State Regents provide a $500 match to the waivers.
"Our colleges and universities continue collaborating successfully with public, private and nonprofit partners to strengthen economic and workforce development across Oklahoma," said Garrett. "Producing more workforce-ready graduates by increasing communication with employers and connecting students to the workforce sooner is a fundamental goal of Blueprint 2030, the State Regents’ new strategic plan for public higher education. We are proud to recognize these partnerships and their positive impact on Oklahoma businesses and communities."