Q&A - August 23, 2015

Whenever you hear someone describe OSUIT, it is difficult for them to do without using the word “unique.” We actually take this as a compliment because at OSUIT, we are proud of our reputation as a trend-setting institution of higher education.

OSUIT is not cast from the same mold as so many other colleges and universities. In my opinion, we have too much duplication in higher education in general. We have far too many colleges in the country doing exactly the same things, offering the same programs of study, in exactly the same ways. But at OSUIT, we are different from the rest.

I am grateful for the question this week because it will give me a chance to describe the core mission of OSUIT and explain why we call OSUIT the state’s only university of applied technology:

Q: I have heard that OSUIT is a leading college in workforce development. Is this true? If so, how is it involved in workforce development?

Yes, it is true. Since 1946, OSUIT has been providing top-notch technical education for Oklahoma and beyond. OSUIT’s mission is to serve as the lead institution of higher education in Oklahoma and the region providing comprehensive, high-quality, advancing technology programs and services to prepare and sustain a diverse student body as competitive members of a world-class workforce and contributing members of society. OSUIT has trained over 40,000 technicians and continues to set the standard for applied technical education, industry partnerships, workforce development and job placement.

In addition to transformative change on campus, we are launching new academic programs and improving existing ones to better align with workforce needs and trends. Through innovation in technology, teaching and learning, and student support services, OSUIT is transforming the academic experience for learners of all ages.

While OSUIT’s positive impact on workforce needs in Oklahoma and nationwide is undeniable, the need for a globally competitive, highly skilled workforce continues to grow. New and exciting jobs are being created in a variety of industries, including energy technology, engineering, culinary arts and healthcare. Employers communicate a growing difficulty in managing under skilled and under prepared employees, increasingly complex technology and equipment, growing energy costs, and increasing pace of change in the competitive landscape. These employers consistently turn to OSUIT to meet their complex workforce needs—and OSUIT exceeds their expectations time and again.

I really want members of the community to understand just how special the campus is that operates in Okmulgee. This is your university and there is nothing else like it in the state. The caliber of workforce training offered here simply cannot be found anywhere else. Young people who want to successfully prepare for the modern workforce need the type of training that is offered right here in Okmulgee. If you know someone who could benefit from an education at OSUIT, please send them to us. For a complete listing of the unique majors offered by OSUIT, browse our official website – www.osuit.edu.

Your questions have been awesome. Thank you for your continued interest in OSUIT. Please share more of your thoughts with me at osuit-president@okstate.edu.