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OSU-Tulsa and TCC Expand Partnership to Strengthen Four-Year Public College Experience in Tulsa

A stronger partnership

A new initiative will strengthen the link between Oklahoma State University-Tulsa and Tulsa Community College to provide Tulsa-area students a cohesive four-year public university experience – the first of its kind in the area.

Called Linked Degree, the initiative creates structure and student supports from both schools from the first day of classes at TCC, through earning an associate degree, to walking across the stage with a bachelor’s degree from OSU. In addition to a stronger academic path with the institutions’ Transfer Maps, this partnership serves TCC-to-OSU students with early advising, career counseling and other student services that will provide a connected college experience.

“With Linked Degree, OSU and TCC are not only creating a comprehensive public bachelor’s degree pathway in Tulsa, but we are providing our students with the flexibility, support and practical experience they expect,” OSU-Tulsa President Pamela Fry, Ed.D. said. “Tulsa is a city of innovation and progress, and we are embarking on a new vision of what higher education can be.”

Linked Degree brings together TCC’s popular and successful associate degree programs and OSU's structure between its Tulsa and Stillwater campuses that provides efficiency, cost savings and access to world-class research and academic programs. The result is an innovative, adaptable and responsive university experience unlike anything currently available in Oklahoma.

Increasing access to higher education

A recent Market Street report showed the Tulsa metropolitan area 7.5 percentage points behind the rest of the nation in 25 to 44-year-olds with bachelor’s degrees. Linked Degree aims to improve that number by increasing access to bachelor’s degree programs and helping students graduate.

“This partnership is the next step and has been accelerated by the collaborative work of the Tulsa Transfer Project, an initiative of TCC and six higher education institutions,” TCC President & CEO Leigh B. Goodson, Ph.D. said. “As the state of Oklahoma’s top provider of transfer students, we have a responsibility to ensure our students who intend to transfer are given a clear path forward. With the ongoing work of the Tulsa Transfer Project, we recognize the needs of our community to succeed and are providing a solution.”

The goal of the Tulsa Transfer Project is to increase the transfer rate of TCC students to four-year institutions, increase the percentage of transfer credits accepted toward majors at those four-year institutions, and increase rates of bachelor’s completion.

“Instead of fighting the realities of Tulsa's higher education landscape, OSU and TCC Linked Degree embraces and builds upon its strengths to create something that is forward-thinking and adaptable to projected demographic trends while providing significant cost savings,” Regent Jay Helm, Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, said.

Tailored for Tulsa

OSU-Tulsa currently offers around 20 bachelor’s degree programs that can be taken completely in Tulsa, with plans to expand in the coming year. Additionally, OSU-Tulsa provides access to degree programs at OSU-Stillwater through online courses and the Big Orange Bus (BOB) transit system, while providing local advising and student support that enables students to continue to live and work in Tulsa.

“We look forward to working with TCC on Linked Degree to increase access to bachelor’s degrees and improve bachelor’s degree attainment in the Tulsa metropolitan area,” said Fry. “The money saved by partnering our resources in this way provides the opportunity to invest in new bachelor’s degree programs tailored to the needs of our city’s economy.”

Linked Degree is scheduled to launch in spring 2020. For more information, visit linkeddegree.com.

Linked Degrees connects OSU-Tulsa and TCC in a unique, seamless way.

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Media Contact: Jamie Edford | 918-594-8024 | jamie.m.edford@okstate.edu