Need for A New Campus
The University Center (formerly the Ardmore Higher Education Center) has experienced continued growth in enrollment and course offerings over its almost 40 year history. Since 2000 the student headcount at the University Center has almost doubled and the credit hour output and the number of course offerings has more than doubled. There are several compelling reasons to begin construction of a new higher education/branch campus immediately:
- Expand educational opportunities. The continuous growth in enrollment indicates the demand for expanded college program offerings. Existing facilities will not accommodate this demand. Expanded higher education opportunities require more space for programs.
- Create a permanent location for nursing program. The BSN program is currently located in temporary facilities not appropriate or adequate for growth to its maximum capacity. Because the nursing program is a high-demand academic program with an Ardmore-based faculty, its continued growth and development should be of highest priority for higher education in southern Oklahoma.
- Consolidate academic programming. Currently, academic programming is fragmented among four locations: the University Center main facility, three modular buildings, Ardmore High School, and a former grocery store near downtown Ardmore. All these programs and locations could be better situated in two permanent facilities.
- Increase science course offerings. Expansion of health care programs by the University Center’s institutional partners has created the need to open more sections of prerequisite science courses The new facility will more than double the science laboratory capacity over the current capacity.
- Local control of campus development. The campus and its facilities would be owned and operated by the University Center Board of Trustees, a board comprised of citizens living in the area served by the University Center.