In a recent study by the Brookings Institution, Oklahoma Panhandle State University was labeled a “ladder to success” in regard to social mobility. —Courtesy photo

Jan 28, 2019

Panhandle State Communications

Oklahoma Regional Universities are Ladders to Success

Goodwell, Okla. — In a recent study by the Brookings Institution, Oklahoma Panhandle State University was labeled a “ladder to success” in regard to social mobility. In fact, public regional universities in Oklahoma are outperforming the national average of upward social mobility by 38 percent, according to two national studies.

University President Dr. Tim Faltyn contributes Panhandle State’s success in part to the family-like community found on campus.

“We are successful because we surround our students with people who care just as much about their successes as they do. We help people fulfill the promise of their potential.”

Researcher Raj Chetty tracked 30 million students, from freshman year to around age 32, in an effort to discover the impact colleges have on the economic fortunes of students from the lowest income level. A perfect mobility rate from the lowest income level to the top is considered 4 percent while the average mobility rate in the United States is 1.7 percent. Panhandle State makes its mark above the national average at 2.53 percent.

From Chetty’s data, the Brookings Institution evaluated the upward social mobility of 342 four-year universities in a study called “Ladders, labs, laggards? Which universities contribute most.” The study notes, “universities act as ladders for social mobility, which makes for a more dynamic and fairer society. They are also laboratories for research, expanding our knowledge in directions that can improve the welfare of the broader population.” Institutions that cannot claim to boost mobility or create knowledge are labeled as “laggards.”

A nine percent increase in total enrollment for the fall semester leading to record-high freshman enrollment numbers for the second year in a row coupled with a record- high number of degrees awarded at the 2018 commencement ceremony show it is working, giving Panhandle State the opportunity to continue impacting student’s lives as well as the entire region.

“We strive to be a university that is always progressing forward. I believe Oklahoma Panhandle State University is one of the best environments in America for students to receive a degree while obtaining life-learning skills,” Faltyn added.

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