The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education has recognized a partnership between Rogers State University and Pryor Public Schools that creates an accelerated pathway to college degrees. RSU President Dr. Larry Rice presented the award to Pryor Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Lisa Muller last week during the Pryor Innovation Center open house.
“This partnership with Pryor Public Schools fits perfectly into the university’s mission to provide a more highly educated workforce, enhance the economic development of the region, and increase the quality of life for the residents of Mayes County and all of northeast Oklahoma,” Rice said.
Beginning their junior year, students at Pryor High School will be able to join an accelerated pathway toward earning a college degree through this new partnership. Students will earn high school and college credit at the same time potentially earning up to an entire year of college course work before high school graduation. The Pryor High School Innovation Center is housed at the Pryor Campus of RSU in the MidAmerica Industrial Park. It is home to the Pryor High School Esports program and Tech Lab. Classes held at the Innovation Center include manufacturing, engineering and robotics.
"This partnership is the first of its kind in Oklahoma,'' Dr. Lisa Muller, Pryor Public Schools superintendent, said. "Placing a high school innovation center on a university campus allows our students to make the most of their concurrent enrollment while significantly decreasing their college debt and preparing them for many future employment opportunities in northeast Oklahoma."
The Pryor Innovation Center open house took place earlier this month. The event included remarks from Oklahoma State Director of Aeronautics Grayson Ardies and MidAmerica Industrial Park Director of Workforce Development Scott Fry.
The partnership between RSU and Pryor Public Schools is one of 27 business and higher education partnerships the regents recognized this year.
"The State Regents are proud to celebrate the impact of these partnerships on the workforce in our communities and the economic development of our state. Collaborations between businesses and our state system institutions advance Oklahoma's efforts to build the skilled workforce required to compete in today's global economy," Chancellor Glen D. Johnson said in a July press release.