Cutline: The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education’s Regents Business Partnership Excellence Awards recently recognized the successful partnership between Northern Oklahoma College and Autry Technology Center. NOC and Autry Technology Center were honored March 12 at the University of Central Oklahoma. Pictured (L-R): Autry Technology Director of Full Time Programs – Business & Health Janet Strate, Autry Technology Administrative Intern Rachel Snider, Autry Technology Center Board Chair Martie Oyler, Autry Technology Superintendent Brady McCollough, NOC President Dr. Cheryl Evans, NOC/Autry Technology Respiratory Care Instructor Deryl Gulliford, (photo provided)
The partnership between Autry Technology Center in Enid and Northern Oklahoma College was among twenty-seven business and higher education partnerships throughout the state recently recognized as innovative collaborations that further the education of Oklahoma’s workforce.
The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education’s Regents Business Partnership Excellence Award is designed to highlight successful partnerships between higher education institutions and businesses and to further cultivate the higher learning environment through State Regents’ Economic Development Grants.
NOC and Autry Technology Center’s partnership began in the mid-1990s serving thousands of health care students in cooperative Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree programs.
For the past two years, Autry has sponsored the full-time program director position for NOC’s respiratory care therapy program. The director is employed by NOC, the degree-granting partner for the A.A.S. degree.
In this partnership, the director teaches program classes and supervises clinicals at medical sites, as well as holding office hours at NOC to help mentor students in the program. Autry’s respiratory care program opened in Enid in 2006 and has more than 100 graduates to date, with a 96% pass rate on the board examinations conducted by the National Board for Respiratory Care.
Ninety-four percent of those graduates find positions working in the field. Garfield County serves as a regional medical hub in Oklahoma. Currently, there are 50,000 nationwide respiratory therapy positions open, with 400 in Oklahoma.
NOC President Cheryl Evans stated, “Deryl Gulliford, the Director of the Respiratory Care program has built an incredible program that fills a real need in our medical community. Autry Superintendent Brady McCollough and his team committed to making this partnership and program possible to meet accrediting requirements.
Oklahoma State Regent Mike Turpen served as master of ceremonies for the event. Lt. Gov. Matt Pinnell and State Regent Ann Holloway also participated. Institutions involved in these partnerships provide $500 for tuition waivers to employees of the partnering businesses; internships that enable current students to work at the partnering businesses; faculty externships with the partnering businesses; and/or enhancement of the partnerships with additional equipment, materials or supplies. The State Regents provide a $500 match to the waivers.
“Our colleges and universities collaborate with leaders in the private, public and nonprofit sectors to strengthen our workforce,” said Chancellor Glen D. Johnson. “These partnerships between businesses and our state system institutions advance Oklahoma’s efforts to build the skilled workforce required to compete in today’s global economy.”