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2015 Legislative Agenda

Higher Education: Oklahoma's Road to Jobs and Prosperity

PDF version (472k)

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce ranks Oklahoma's system of higher education fifth in the nation in affordability and 17th in the nation in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education. Forbes magazine recently ranked Oklahoma second in the nation among best states for recent college graduates to work since the recession, noting our state’s low tuition, higher household income and low unemployment. No entity in state government can help Oklahoma reach its stated goals of educational excellence and workforce development faster or more comprehensively than public higher education.

Complete College America
Since the September 2011 launch by Gov. Mary Fallin, progress continues to reach Oklahoma’s goal of increasing the number of degrees and certificates earned by 67 percent by 2023.

In year two of the Complete College America initiative, the number of degrees and certificates earned in Oklahoma increased by 3,577, surpassing the state’s annual goal of 1,700.

Economic Impact of Public Higher Education

Source: Battelle Technology Partnership Practice and State Chamber of Oklahoma.

Lifetime Earnings
A student with a bachelor's degree will earn $1.1 million more in a lifetime than a high school graduate.

Source: U.S. Department of Commerce, Economics and Statistics Administration, U.S. Census Bureau.

Students Who Learn Here Earn Here
Eighty-seven percent of Oklahoma residents who graduate with a bachelor’s degree remain in the state and are employed in the state one year after graduation.

Source: 2014 Employment Outcomes Report.

National Model for Performance Funding
The State Regents adopted a performance-based funding formula that applies to new funding for higher education appropriated by the state Legislature. The performance factors are:

“Oklahoma will lead the nation in developing and implementing a performance-funding model for higher education.” – Dane Linn, Vice President, Business Roundtable, and formerly of the National Governors Association and the College Board

2015 Legislative Agenda

Complete College America: Oklahoma has a projected need of 313,073 additional college-educated workers to keep our state competitive in a global economy. Investment is required to meet this critical need.

Oklahoma's Promise: The state system of higher education strongly supports keeping the Oklahoma’s Promise scholarship, which provides college funding for approximately 18,000 students, intact as an access program.

Concealed Weapons: There is no scenario in which allowing guns on campuses will do anything other than create a more dangerous environment for our students, faculty and visitors. In the past seven legislative sessions, bills have either been introduced or discussed that would allow guns on campus. Each attempt has been successfully defeated to date, and ensuring similar legislation does not become law will continue to be a state system priority.

FY 2016 Budget Needs and the Oklahoma Plan for Complete College America
FY 2015 Appropriation: $987,523,285

  1. Performance and Degree Completion Goals
    1. Complete College America/College Completion Plans: $88,300,000 (addresses CCA Oklahoma Plan initiatives: Pathways to Degrees and Certificates, Reward Performance, Transform Remediation, Increase Adult Degrees)
    2. Concurrent Enrollment: $1,200,000 (addresses CCA Oklahoma Plan initiatives: College Readiness, Pathways to Degrees and Certificates, Reward Performance, Transform Remediation)
    3. STEM Initiatives, including Summer Academies: $500,000 (addresses CCA Oklahoma Plan initiatives: College Readiness, Pathways to Degrees and Certificates, Reward Performance, Transform Remediation)

  2. Campus Maintenance
    1. Bond Refinancing Requirement: $8,700,000

Total Additional Funds: $98,700,000
Total FY 2016 State Appropriation: $1,086,223,285
Percent Difference From FY 2015 State Appropriation: 9.99 percent

Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, 405.225.9100,

Glen D. Johnson, Chancellor,

Hollye Hunt, Associate Vice Chancellor for Governmental Relations,