UCO welcomes Deer Creek students, features Forensic Institute’s ‘Crime Scene’ simulator

Deer Creek High School students explore the ‘Crime Scene House’ to figure out what happened to the dead body mannequin. (SAM KOZLOWSKI/THE VISTA)

Deer Creek High School students toured the Roger Webb Forensic Science Institute in anticipation for the university’s new concurrent classes next semester. 

Sifting through furniture, wine glasses and a dead body, high schoolers got a chance to see UCO’s ‘crime scene house’, which appears to be a normal-looking classroom from the outside. 

In Fall 2024, the University of Central Oklahoma Forensic Science Institute will begin their first forensics concurrent courses, as well as their first doctoral program. 

Interim dean of the Forensic Science Institute, Dr. Mark McCoy said that it is certainly a possibility now, that forensics students can be enrolled at UCO from high school until they get their doctorate degrees. 

The Higher Learning Commission ruled that concurrent forensics classes will count as a ‘dual-credit’, so that students can earn both high school and college credits simultaneously. 

In fact, concurrent students will have the opportunity to earn up to 62 credit hours before high school graduation, mainly in general education, which are transferable to most colleges. 

“The goal is that students will be halfway towards an undergraduate bachelor’s degree when they finish high school,” Dr. Donna Cobb, the vice president of academic affairs said. “It’s a great opportunity that President Lamb and Superintendent Perez worked together to develop this curriculum and bring different individuals to the table.”

Further collaboration between UCO and Edmond Public Schools is ongoing, with the ‘Early College Program’ announced last semester. Up to 30 students from Edmond Memorial, Edmond North and Edmond Santa Fe will be picked based upon criteria set by the Oklahoma State Regents. Starting in ninth grade, students will be eligible to take college prep classes. Juniors and seniors can take concurrent classes. 

Eligible students must have a 3.0 unweighted GPA, ranking in the top 50% of class or obtain a 20 on the ACT or preACT. Students must also maintain a cumulative 2.0 GPA in the college-level class during the program. 

As Edmond schools and UCO work together in the future, their partnership will directly affect the level of education for nearly 40,000 learners in the city. 

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