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Closing skills gap important for 2018 and beyond

Paula Burkes, business writer for NewsOK, interviewed Karen Youngblood, executive director of the University of Central Oklahoma’s Customized Education Department about business needs in 2018. The top answer? Closing the skills gap, which is important to our workforce and our economy. Q: What are you hearing from businesses about their workforce needs in 2018? A: Oklahoma businesses are growing and seeking to hire, but they struggle to find quality, skilled candidates. Science, technology, engineering and mathematics, commonly referred to as STEM, are fields where we see the largest deficiencies. State officials refer to this as the state skills gap and predict it will get worse by 2025. We

New teachers 'ready to get started'

EDMOND — Days before graduating from the University of Central Oklahoma, students Alexis Hidalgo and Emily Holmes already have teaching jobs lined up for after the winter break. Both are special education majors and said they believe they are entering the teaching profession at the perfect time. "This is a really exciting time, I'm ready to get started," said Hidalgo, who will be working at Southridge Junior High in the Moore school system. "We get to develop our own teaching style. I'm excited," said Holmes, who is headed to Mustang Trails elementary in Mustang. Despite much attention in recent years on Oklahoma teachers who are leaving the state or the profession, the University of Central

Clay Reed, MD

Clay Reed is the product of a regional university and proud of it. So proud that when he interviewed for medical residency positions at Johns Hopkins, Duke, the Mayo Clinic, and other prestigious programs, he always mentioned his alma mater. “Northwestern was always discussed because it had such a positive impact on my life,” Reed explained, “and I thought it deserved recognition.” Reed was selected for his first-choice residency, the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, and is completing his internal medicine training. From there, he plans to further his training in medical oncology. “I absolutely believe I am better at patient care because of my NWOSU experience,” Reed said. “Instead of ha

ECU captures voter registration award

For the fourth year in a row, East Central University was honored for its civic engagement after tying for first place in the Oklahoma Campus Compact 2017 Voter Registration Contest. ECU tied with Southwestern Oklahoma State University for first place in the Equality Division (institutions with enrollment of 3,001-7000 students) at 6.8 percent. “Getting students to register to vote is one piece of the puzzle,” said Dr. Christine Pappas, professor and chair of the ECU Department of Political Science and Legal Studies. “Only half of the public is registered to vote. Only half of those people actually vote. That means only 25 percent of our potential electorate is making choices for us. If peop

College foundations raise $196,000 in scholarships

The Northwestern Foundation & Alumni Assoc. and the SWOSU Foundation joined forces in a #GivingTuesday Scholarship Showdown challenge to raise funds for each university’s student scholarships. The challenge resulted in more than $196,000 total funds raised. The SWOSU (Southwestern Oklahoma State University) and Northwestern Okla­homa State University communities generously responded to the challenge as SWOSU finished the competition with $100,200 and Northwestern with $95, 928 to raise a grand total of $196,127 to fund student scholarships. “The Giving Tuesday challenge was a win for both schools, but most importantly a win for the many students who will receive needed financial assistance,

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