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SWOSU and Yukon Public Schools Announce Expansion of Partnership

Both Yukon Public Schools (YPS) Superintendent Dr. Jason Simeroth and Southwestern Oklahoma State University President Dr. Diana Lovell were present at the recent YPS Board of Education meeting to formalize an agreement on the new YPS College & Career Center.

A rendering of the proposed YPS College & Career Center.

Southwestern Oklahoma State University (SWOSU) and Yukon Public Schools (YPS) have announced a major expansion of the partnership formed in fall 2020.  On Monday evening, December 6, 2021, the YPS Board of Education formalized an agreement with SWOSU that will see the new YPS College & Career Center serve as host to the first SWOSU location in the Oklahoma City Metro. 

“The agreement finalized between YPS and SWOSU serves as another reminder of how hard our public school districts work in cooperation with their higher education system to provide a bright future for Oklahoma students,” Oklahoma Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister said. “The State Department of Education wants to congratulate Yukon Public Schools on forming a first of its kind partnership with SWOSU.” 

The Center will be the first-ever four-year university on an Oklahoma high school campus and will be built by YPS. This project was approved by over 70% of voters in the 2021 bond election. SWOSU will provide a capital contribution of $5 million in exchange for a 25-year lease of approximately 12,000 square feet of space within the facility. SWOSU will be designated as YPS’s preferred provider of concurrent programs and associate, bachelor and graduate degrees.

“We thank the leaders of YPS for their trust and collaborative approach to our shared educational mission,” SWOSU President Dr. Diana Lovell said. “The university is grateful for the SWOSU Foundation, Inc., Trustees, Regional University System of Oklahoma Regents and former SWOSU President Randy L. Beutler whose vision and stewardship have helped make this important strategic action possible.”

SWOSU will offer coursework to the general public with plans to emphasize nursing, education, allied health, engineering technology, aerospace and other workforce-aligned disciplines and programs to help meet the present and anticipated needs of Oklahoma businesses and agencies. The SWOSU location in Yukon has grown from 30 students to 130 in one year.

“We have started on a path that will provide greater opportunities for work and college unlike any other school district.” YPS Superintendent Dr. Jason Simeroth said. “We are thrilled to begin our future in collaboration with Southwestern Oklahoma State University and even more excited about the opportunity that this will provide our current students and community.”

Dr. Lovell said the establishment of the learning location in the heart of Canadian County represents a huge step for SWOSU towards better meeting the university’s objectives of providing Oklahomans with quality, affordable, accessible higher education programs and opportunities.