Yukon Public Schools, SWOSU expand partnership to start first four-year university on an Oklahoma high school campus


YUKON, Okla. (KFOR) – The Yukon Public Schools (YPS) partnership with Southwestern Oklahoma State University (SWOSU) is expanding in a major way. The two are already in partnership to provide higher education benefits for Yukon students, but now SWOSU will be the first-ever four-year university on an Oklahoma high school campus.

“We very well could be the first for a four-year university on a high school campus,” said Desarae Witmer, Yukon Public Schools Assistant Superintendent.

Yukon Public Schools announcing a major expansion of its partnership with Southwestern Oklahoma State University.

On Monday evening, the board of education formalized an agreement with SWOSU to ensure the new YPS college & career center will serve as host to the first SWOSU remote learning location in the Oklahoma City metro.

“We’re excited. We’ve already started the pre planning stages of building a new facility with the pass of our latest bond in November. We are thrilled that our community is willing to partner with us and investing in the future of our students,” Witmer said.

“A pipeline, a pathway for students to get credentials and degrees quicker and easier,” said Dr. Diana Lovell, Southwestern Oklahoma State University President.

The center will be the first-ever four-year university on an Oklahoma high school campus.

The project was approved by over 70% of voters in the 2021 bond election.

KFOR is told the university will provide a capital contribution of $5 million in exchange for a 25-year lease of 12,000 square feet of space within the center.

“What it’s going to do is transition into more opportunities for our students to be able to take their high school career and extend it on to an associate’s degree and for them to continue into adulthood move on to a bachelor’s program with SWOSU,” said Melissa Barlow, Yukon High School Principal.

SWOSU will offer classes to high schoolers, as well as the general public – emphasizing healthcare, aerospace technology and computer sciences.

“Three workforce Oklahoma areas that are in high demand, so helping our students fill that need,” Witmer said.

“It’s a big deal for both of us,” Lovell said.

Yukon schools say they’re hoping to have the building done by 2024-2025.

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