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Occupational Education Studies Program Named in National Top Ten

Friday, March 30, 2007

U.S. News and World Report has ranked the occupational education studies graduate program in Oklahoma State University’s College of Education as one of the Top Ten Vocational/Technical programs in the nation.

Rankings are determined by education deans from across the nation based upon quality assessment, student selectivity, faculty resources and research activity.

According to Christine Ormsbee, professor and head of the School of Teaching and Curriculum Leadership, the program has made the magazine’s Top 10 since 1998.
“We are very pleased that our occupational studies graduate program continues to receive this recognition from education deans nationwide,” said Dr. Pamela Fry, dean of the OSU College of Education.

This is the only program on the Stillwater campus to make the Top 10 list, and this year tied for 10th place with Southern Illinois University in Carbondale. OSU’s doctoral program emphasizing occupational education also is the only one in the state.

“Our college’s doctoral program in occupation education is a highly rated program because of its successful integration of all areas of career preparation and adult workforce development and because of its strong research mentoring of students,” Ormsbee said. “Graduates of the program can apply the learning in a variety of settings, from the public school sector, the private sector, the government sector, the service sector and in the international sector.”

Enrollment in the program continues to grow, with 45 students in the doctoral program and 75 students enrolled in the master’s program. “Each year, approximately 90 percent of our students are full-time working adults,” Ormsbee said.

Because the majority of the students in graduate program are working professionals, OSU has tailored the classes to fit the students. Many classes are taught on a weekend format in which a class meets on a Friday night and all day Saturday once a month, with Internet learning the three weeks in-between. All classes have substantial online instructional support.

“Having a program in which students can customize their classes and choose their specialties means our graduates have a greater variety of careers open to them,” Ormsbee said.
 Doctoral students also are expected to make at least one presentation at a major professional conference and to submit an article to a refereed journal before they complete their program.

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