Downtown College Consortium Set to Close
After 18 years of serving students and businesses in downtown Oklahoma City, the Downtown College Consortium will close its doors effective July 31.
The consortium was started in 1995 by five metro colleges: Oklahoma City Community College, University of Central Oklahoma, Oklahoma State University-Oklahoma City, Rose State College and Redlands Community College.
The original purpose of the consortium was to offer credit and non-credit college classes and corporate training at a location in downtown Oklahoma City. Classes were first offered in the First National Center, but eventually moved to the Ronald J. Norick Downtown Library.
"Closing the Downtown College Consortium is the natural evolution in how we serve our community," said OCCC President Paul Sechrist and current chair of the executive committee overseeing the consortium.
Since the consortium started, the five colleges have seen their online course offerings grow exponentially. Students can now enroll, be advised, purchase textbooks, take courses, and receive degrees online — reducing the need for a physical downtown location. Another factor in the decision to close the consortium is the expansion of state-of-the-art training facilities in corporate buildings in the area.
Downtown Oklahoma City has undergone dramatic changes in the last 18 years, including the presence of a number of universities in the Boathouse District, UCO's Academy of Contemporary Music, and new corporate locations that include classrooms, training rooms, and auditoriums that can be used for educational purposes.
Sechrist added, "While the consortium may be coming to a close, the educational opportunities in the downtown area are greater than ever and are expected to expand. We want those individuals and companies that have previously used the consortium to know that all of the metro colleges and universities are still very committed to providing convenient scheduling and relevant courses to businesses and students in downtown Oklahoma City — including courses offered as part of the strong partnership with the Norick Downtown Library, Oklahoma City Museum of Art, Civic Center and other downtown organizations."
After July 31, businesses and individuals who are interested in scheduling training or enrolling in courses offered in the downtown area should contact:
Steve Bloomberg at OCCC: 405-682-7814
Stan Greil at Rose State College: 405-733-7488
John Barthell at UCO, 405-974-3371
Joey Fronheiser OSU-OKC, 405-945-3250
Bill Baker at Redlands Community College, 405-422-1228.