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Office of Marketing & Community Relations

CARL ALBERT STATE COLLEGE

Shannen McCroskey

918-647-1474

smccroskey@carlalbert.edu

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Community Members Rally to Ease the Burden of 

Concurrent Enrollment Costs

 

Concurrent education is designed to prepare high school students for the collegiate experience by allowing them to take college level courses while they are in high school. The concurrent education model is proven to be effective in the communities Carl Albert State College serves. The obstacles preventing area high school students from enrolling concurrently are commonly related to financial challenges.

            Bill Nowlin, CASC Dean of Enrollment Management, shared these financial challenges with the CASC Development Foundation and Board of Trustees in a recent meeting. Nowlin explained to the Trustees that 82% of LeFlore county high school seniors who took concurrent classes continued their educational journey after their high school graduation; however, only 31% of LeFlore county seniors who did not take concurrent classes in high school continued their postsecondary education. Parallel to the college going rate, students who will need developmental classes are three times higher for students who did not take concurrent classes in high school. 

When Linda Holton, CASC advocate and Development Foundation Trustee, heard these astounding statistics, she was moved to establish an Early Access Scholarship Program for concurrent students with financial need. As a result of Ms. Holton’s vision and dedication to educating rural Oklahoma, the CASC Foundation will work with area High School Counselors and Administrators to identify students who qualify for concurrent college courses academically but cannot afford the associated costs not covered by the legislative tuition waiver and match those students with scholarships to offset their costs.

“Education has been the foundation of my family for as long as I can remember,” Linda Holton said. “My husband, J.C., was a passionate instructor at CASC for many years. By establishing this scholarship, my hope is to provide local students with access to a transformative education that will benefit them throughout the rest of their lives. It’s imperative we get these students in the educational pipeline as early as possible, and by eliminating these financial concerns — we’re doing just that.” 

            When officials from the Spiro School Foundation for Excellence in Education learned about the Early Access Scholarship Program and the benefits of concurrent education, they elected to follow Ms. Holton’s lead and established similar scholarships for Spiro students.

            The Spiro School Foundation has elected to award the top Junior Academic All-Stars with a scholarship that will cover the fees for up to 6 hours of CASC concurrent courses for their senior year.

            “This program demonstrates yet another wonderful partnership between the Spiro School Foundation and CASC,” said Nick Grant, Partner at the Law Office of Lawson & Grant in Spiro, OK and Secretary of the Spiro School Foundation. “We’re getting high school students on the college track at 16 and 17 years old. The experiences they gain from concurrent enrollment are invaluable; we are excited to see the impact of these scholarships in our community.”

            The core of Carl Albert State College’s mission fosters student success in the diverse population of high school students, traditional students, and non-traditional students. 

One of the ways CASC honors its mission is by providing accessible education to high school students through concurrent enrollment.  

            For some students, the incentive to get a head start on degree completion is enough reason to enroll in concurrent classes. For others, it’s an opportunity for students who aren’t sure if college will be right for them to experience higher education first-hand at an affordable rate.  

Concurrent enrollment is open to high school juniors and seniors who meet specified admissions requirements, allowing them to enroll in college classes and earn course credit, without the responsibility of paying for college tuition — all concurrent students are financially responsible for are institutional fees and course materials.

            While the financial savings are a staggering incentive for students to enroll in concurrent classes, many students in LeFlore and Sequoyah counties cannot afford the out-of-pocket cost of books and fees. 

            If area community members and their affiliated organizations would like to contribute to the Early Access Scholarship Program, please contact Mandy Roberts, Executive Director of the CASC Development Foundation at 918-647-1214 or mroberts@carlalbert.edu.

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Shannen D. McCroskey

Director of Marketing & Community Relations

Carl Albert State College

918-647-1474 | 1507 S. McKenna, Poteau, Okla. 74953



Office of Marketing & Community Relations

CARL ALBERT STATE COLLEGE
Shannen McCroskey
918-647-1474
smccroskey@carlalbert.edu

 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

CASC NASNTI Serves as Panelist for the Oklahoma Native American Attainment Convening that Focused on Higher Education Best Practices 

for Serving Native Students

On February 27, the Carl Albert State College Native American Serving Tribal Institutions (NASNTI) Program traveled to Rose State College in Midwest City to serve as a panelist and discuss tribal resources, priorities, and strategies related to educational attainment.

The convening, sponsored by the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education, Oklahoma Works, and Reach Higher, the State Regents’ adult degree completion initiative, was held to allow recipients of the NASNTI grant and Oklahoma’s non-NASNTI designated institutions to share best practices with colleagues from across the state.

The CASC NASNTI department shared its best practices that have led to a significant increase in retention and completion rates among the students it serves. The CASC NASNTI retention rate has grown by 14.5% above the grant’s baseline of 42.5%. The completion rate has also increased above the grant baseline from 9.4% to 18%. 

Micky Solomon, CASC NASNTI Program Director, stressed the importance of student service and provided the group with examples of how CASC transformed this student experience. 

“During the first week of the fall semester, our staff spent 3 days showing students where their classes were located in their buildings,” Solomon said. “By doing this, we relived the stress students often have when coming to a new environment that they are not familiar with. We were not only able to ease their stress, but through this simple gesture, we established personal connections with our students and guide them to CASC staff that will continue to support them throughout their educational journey.”

“After personally showing our students to class,” Solomon continued, “we also walked students to and from their vehicles under umbrellas, so they didn’t get soaking wet from a first-day-of-class-thunderstorm. By going the extra mile, we showed these students that our staff truly cares for their success and that they matter.”

The State Regents entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the Tribal Education Departments National Assembly (TEDNA) in May 2017 to formalize the state system’s commitment to serving tribal members seeking higher education in Oklahoma. The agreement with TEDNA has strengthened public institutions’ relationships with tribal education offices to meet the higher education needs of tribal members across the state. Additionally, Reach Higher, Oklahoma’s adult degree completion initiative, works directly with tribal education offices across the state to increase the number of tribal citizens seeking a degree in Oklahoma. 

 

“It was a distinct honor to share the practices that have made CASC NASNTI Program a success,” Solomon said. “Brad Davis, Regan Huff, and myself are dedicated to continually serving the students of CASC.”

 

Shannen D. McCroskey

Director of Marketing & Community Relations

Carl Albert State College

918-647-1474 | 1507 S. McKenna, Poteau, Okla. 74953

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