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Feb 21, 2022

Panhandle State Communications

Panhandle State Students Attend Higher Education Day at the State Capitol

Panhandle State students and employees represented Higher Education Day on February 15th. The students and employees who attended were Felipe Covarrubia, Kodle LaForce, Idalisia Agbaosi, Jesus Mesta, Vanessa Gonzalez, Cierra Phillips, Valentina Allen, Brooke Morgan, and Dr. Ryan Blanton.

The students and employees gathered with hundreds of people from other Oklahoma universities and colleges to demonstrate the value and importance of higher education in Oklahoma.

OPSU students had the opportunity to visit Senator Casey Murdock and Representative Kenton Patzkowsky among other senators and representatives. They also were able to be pictured with Oklahoma governor Kevin Stitt.

“Visiting the Oklahoma Capitol was an incredibly positive experience. Not only did the people I travel with have stories that showed the importance of higher education but those that spoke at the forum as well as people we met seemed to have such a unique background with unified goals. Regardless of methods, we all shared similar beliefs about the impact a college degree can have and that was cool to be a part of.” says Idalisia Agbaosi

“Students, faculty and staff from Oklahoma’s public colleges and universities came together today at our State Capitol to highlight the value of a college degree,” said Regional University System of Oklahoma Chancellor Allison D. Garrett.

The speakers at the Higher Education Session in the afternoon included Governor Kevin Stitt, Secretary Ryan Walters, Speaker Charles McCall, Senator Roger Thompson, Representative Kevin Wallace, Senator Adam Pugh, State Regents Chair Jeffrey W. Hickman, and Chancellor Garrett.

For the next fiscal year, the State Regents are calling for $40 million for critical workforce development initiatives, including funds to help assist meeting engineering, nursing, and teacher education workforce needs, increase physician residency capacity in the state, fund pre-collegiate STEM Summer Academies and provide scholarships for adult students returning to complete their college degree or earn an industry-recognized micro-credential or certificate.

Other priorities include requests to help provide fully fund the concurrent enrollment program for high school seniors and juniors ($4 million), increase investments in need-based financial aid and scholarship programs ($6.85 million), and provide additional funding for system operations ($34.3 million), which will support campus operations and infrastructure; promote collaboration, innovation and efficiency initiatives among institutions; and strengthen the quality and experience of online education.

Interim President Dr. Ryan Blanton stated, “Our students at Panhandle State should always try to stay up-to-date on what our government is doing for Higher Education. Knowledge is power and the more we can keep ourselves educated, the better we can advocate for our students, faculty, and staff.”

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