Woodward, Okla. —
The spotlight of the October chamber luncheon focused on the 3 levels of education in Woodward, recognizing Woodward Public Schools, High Plains Technology Center and NWOSU-Woodward.
The luncheon, which was held at the Pioneer Room in Woodward on Monday afternoon, featured some of the top higher education leaders from western Oklahoma.
DR. JANET CUNNINGHAM, PRESIDENT OF NWOSU
Dr. Cunningham noted that enrollment was up by 1.1 percent this fall with 2,299 students attending classes in Alva, Enid and Woodward. That number includes 425 new freshmen.
She also pointed out Northwestern's business program has achieved national accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs, one of only 18 colleges and universities around the world to achieve initial accreditation from the group.
In addition, Cunningham said the school's nursing students continue to excel.
"The graduates of our nursing program have been at 100 percent on their licensing exams over the last 3 years," she said.
Cunningham said over the past few years about 10 percent of the freshmen enrolled have been valedictorians of their high schools.
"We are attracting many of the brightest students from across the state," she said.
One of NWOSU's biggest moves over the past year has been earning provisional status with NCAA Division II and being accepted in the Great American Conference, which includes schools in Oklahoma and Arkansas.
"This will allow us to renew rivalries with our sister schools," which includes Southwestern, Southeastern and East Central state universities, she said.
Cunningham reminded everyone it is homecoming week at Northwestern and events include the Miss Cinderella contest on Friday night and the parade on Saturday.
"We will be wrapping up our homecoming festivities on Saturday with our game against Southeastern Oklahoma State University," she said.
REGIONAL UNIVERSITY REGENT MIKE MITCHEL
Mitchel, a regent with the Regional University Systems of Oklahoma, said rural universities in Oklahoma allow more students to get a quality education.
"Rural universities were created for people like me, to make education available to those in rural areas of the state," Mitchel, who also praised the local and state career tech programs, said.
He said that he has been asked by students at the smaller schools, what if I want to go to law or medical school?
"Getting into law or medical school is easier because you are not competing against 5,000 other students at the same school to get in, you only have to worry about 4 or 5 others," Mitchel said.