Barthell Discusses Education Plans with UCOSA

Last week’s University of Central Oklahoma Student Association meeting consisted of a presentation on academic programs by Provost John Barthell, as well as the unanimous passing of one bill.

The presentation focused on the evolution and shift of academic programs at UCO, as well as how it fits in with UCO’s Vision 2020 program.

Started in 2013, Vision 2020 has two goals: to make UCO a top national metropolitan university, and provide a student experience rooted in transformative learning with the goal of creating “productive, creative, ethical and engaged citizens and leaders who contribute to the intellectual, cultural, economic and social enhancement of their communities.”

Barthell used UCO Downtown as an example of the Vision 2020 plan. The facility currently has over 750 students enrolled in classes, a near five-fold increase in number since it was opened in spring 2015.

During the 1991-1992 academic years, Barthell said that UCO had 135 programs, but it has since reduced the available programs to 122. In that period, 63 programs were removed and 51 new programs were added.

Compared to the 25 publicly funded colleges in the state, UCO is third in number of available academic programs, with the University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University ranking first and second, respectively.

Programs that Barthell said the university is currently looking to implement are bachelor’s programs in data science; women, gender and sexuality studies; and technology and commercial music. More specific engineering degrees, a four-year degree at the Academy of Contemporary Music and more online classes are also in the works.

The best way for program or course entry into the curriculum is to start them as minors, according to Barthell. If enough students are interested in the minor, it is easier to make the program into a major, rather than create a major curriculum from scratch.

The bill passed during the meeting was CFR18-104. This bill gives $3,433 to the American Chemistry Society, $2,100 to Student Ambassadors and $500 to Sisters Inspiring Sisters Through Academic Success.

The next UCOSA meeting is at 4 p.m. on Nov. 12 in the Nigh University Center’s Will Rogers Room 421.

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