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NSU, Broken Arrow Public Schools partnership receives Regents Business Partnership Excellence Award

Dr. Janet Vinson and NSU President Steve Turner

The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education has recognized a partnership between NSU and Broken Arrow Public Schools focused on preparing high school students for college success and careers in the local workforce.

The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education awarded the Regents Business Partnership Excellence Award to recognize the Early College High School program administered at NSU-Broken Arrow and the outstanding partnership between Northeastern State University and Broken Arrow Public Schools.

The annual award highlights successful partnerships higher education institutions have established with businesses, other government agencies and nonprofits to further develop Oklahoma's workforce.

Launched in 2019, the Early College High School program allows students to take high school level courses on the NSU-Broken Arrow campus while simultaneously equipping them to successfully undertake college coursework upon completion of the 10th grade.

The program is designed for students to earn between 16 and 30 college credits by the time they graduate from high school, which saves on college expenses and is designed to increase first generation college attendees.

"This is a great opportunity for BA students to earn college credit while enjoying the outstanding facilities and services offered at NSU-Broken Arrow," NSU President Steve Turner said. "Upon completion of their lower-level course work, these students will be well positioned to earn their four-year degree at NSUBA."

Coursework offered as part of the program is focused on addressing the current workforce needs in the Broken Arrow community and actively preparing students for careers in industries within and around their community. All high school classes are taught by Broken Arrow teachers on the NSUBA campus. All college classes are taught by instructors from Tulsa Community College. The program began with 165 students and now has 380 students.

"The partnership between Broken Arrow Public Schools and NSU benefits our entire community,'' BAPS Superintendent Dr. Janet Vinson said. "This partnership allows students to get a jump start on their college degree while significantly decreasing their college debt. A highly-educated workforce leads to thriving businesses. This partnership will prepare our students to one day lead Broken Arrow businesses and grow our community."

The partnership between NSU and Broken Arrow Public Schools was one of 27 business and higher education institution 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.