Cameron University commits to State Regents Reach Higher: DirectComplete program

Cameron University is one of 12 Oklahoma institutions of higher education that is participating in the Reach Higher: DirectComplete program. Reach Higher: DirectComplete, an expanded adult degree completion program that connects state workforce development need with degree programs, was launched by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education last week. OSRHE has received a grant from the Lumina Foundation that provides more than $777,000 over a three-year period to support the program.

“As Oklahoma’s workforce training and education needs grow, so does the population of adults who need to finish the degree they started,” says State Regent Ann Holloway. “These students invested time and money to pursue a degree, and demonstrated they had the ability to go to college - but something got in the way. We must continue engaging adult learners to complete their degrees and utilize their skills, expertise and life experiences to strengthen Oklahoma’s economy and workforce.”
     
Focusing on adult students, Reach Higher: DirectComplete is designed to help adults who have earned some college credit complete a degree linked to a critical occupation as designated by Oklahoma Works’ Oklahoma’s 100 Critical Occupations list. Partnerships with businesses, tribes, workforce development agencies, nonprofit organizations and foundations, federal and state agencies and other groups will provide scholarships, grants and other support to adult students who pursue degree programs within the Reach Higher: DirectComplete program.

“Cameron University is committed to assisting adult students to return and complete a college degree,” says John McArthur, Cameron University President. “Reach Higher: DirectComplete will offer resources to those students who are pursuing degrees that directly feed into the employment pipeline of critical occupations in Oklahoma. This is essentially a win-win-win for higher education, business and industry and the adult students who will ultimately complete a college degree.”

The program will target individuals identified by state partners such as CU who are within 15 credit hours of completing an associate degree (75 percent of coursework completed) or within 60 credit hours of completing a baccalaureate (50 percent of coursework completed) on the list of degrees desired by the state partner. Each participant must have a 2.0 grade point average in all previous college credits and must have completed all remedial coursework.

The program will connect eligible students to tuition and educational assistance through employers, tribal education offices, workforce centers, non-profits and/or other entities. Lumina grant funding will support outreach, mentoring, coaching, and advising services and facilitate adult student access to other key assistance programs, such as child care, tutoring, emergency funding, book/fee assistance, transportation, nutritional assistance and housing assistance.
           
Participating partners include the Central Oklahoma Workforce Board, Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, Citizen Potawatomi Nation, Comanche Nation, Eastern Workforce Board, Kiowa Tribe, Northeast Workforce Development Board, Oklahoma Health Care Workforce Center, Saint Francis Health Systems, South Central Oklahoma Workforce Board, Southern Workforce Board Inc., Tribal Education Directors’ National Assembly, Tulsa Chamber of Commerce, Western Oklahoma Workforce Development Board and Workforce Tulsa.
           
In addition to CU, other Oklahoma higher education institutions participating in the program include College of the Muscogee Nation, Connors State College, Langston University, Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College, Oklahoma City Community College, Oklahoma State University-Tulsa, Rogers State University, Southwestern Oklahoma State University, Tulsa Community College, the University of Oklahoma and Western Oklahoma State College.
           
For more information about Reach Higher programs at Cameron University, email completedegree@cameron.edu or visit https://www.cameron.edu/completedegree.

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November 19, 2018