The Department of Education hosted their first-ever Osage Nation College Orientation Day for junior and senior high school students from Pawhuska, Hominy, Barnsdall, Woodland, Cleveland, Skiatook and Wynona.
“The orientation day is to prepare the students for the classes they are about to take, how to read a college course syllabi, go over good study habits and basically, how to be a college student,” said Ida Doyle, education department director.
This is the third year the education department has partnered with Tulsa Community College in offering concurrent enrollment classes for high school juniors and seniors. All classes offered through TCC can transfer to larger colleges and universities in the state.
Classes offered include Comp I, Comp II, U.S. History, Government, Speech, Psychology, Spanish, Spanish II, College Algebra, Computer Applications and more. Classes are scheduled for Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and are 50 minutes long, as an entry level college class would be.
The education department is also looking into offering lab courses like chemistry because many of the schools in the county don’t offer it due to lack of teachers and compensation for those teachers.
An adjunct faculty member or a TCC instructor teaches all classes, she said. Doyle finds the kids do better with an instructor instead of courses online.
“If a student begins our program the summer of their sophomore year and stays with it through their senior year, they’ll graduate high school with 42 college credits,” Doyle said. “That will save them money and time when they get to the college of their choice and hopefully have given them the experience they need to be a step ahead in transitioning to college life.”
On the morning of the orientation day students arrived for registration, ate breakfast and visited with friends. Afterward, TCC staff and education department staff helped students evaluate their educational goals, interests in possible college majors.
Members of the community can also take the courses, Doyle said. Currently six people from surrounding communities take advantage of the classes.
“I think when the kids get to college, and they didn’t go through concurrent enrollment classes, I think they get bored. So once they get to college they’re taking classes they’re interested in,” Doyle said. “We hope that after the concurrent classes they’ve taken here it will increase their ability to stay and they’ll complete their degrees.”