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Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College (NEO) and Oklahoma State University (OSU) have partnered to offer students a new degree completion program in Agricultural Leadership. This grant-funded program through the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is in conjunction with Connors State College, Murray State College, and NEO. Place-bound Students will complete an associate degree at one of the three institutions and then work toward a Bachelor of Science degree in agriculture leadership through a combination of short courses, blended courses, ITV courses, and online courses. Admission to OSU is required and financial aid agreements are in place.

“NEO A and M College is proud to partner with OSU to further bridge the gap with degree completion in the State of Oklahoma,” said NEO President Dr. Jeff Hale. “Complete College America’s statistics show that more and more students attend school part-time, while balancing families, jobs, and education. This program will serve those students who are passionate about agriculture and our state and wish to finish their degree at their own pace.”

The program is currently underway and students can enroll for the fall 2017 semester. The project is designed to improve four-year degree completion rates for place-bound students wanting a B.S. in Agricultural Leadership from OSU. Students must complete 60 hours of coursework through NEO, be on track to earn their associates degree, and complete 60 hours of coursework through OSU. “Place-bound could be any number of things: ‘I have a fulltime job and I don’t want to lose it, but I want to finish my degree. I’m married with kids and can’t move to Stillwater,’” said Bill Weeks, primary advisor for the students in the program and professor with OSU’s Department of Agricultural Education, Communications, and Leadership (AECL). “We’re trying to accommodate a variety of situations.”

“The Oklahoma Department of Commerce reports that one of the top five priority Oklahoma industry ecosystems is Agriculture and Biosciences,” said Penny Weeks, project director and professor in OSU’s AECL. “Not only is degree completion in the state of Oklahoma of increasing importance, degree completion in the food and agricultural sciences is of vital importance.” Students interested in enrolling may contact Bill Weeks at bill.weeks@okstate.edu or Penny Weeks at penny.weeks@okstate.edu. Students may also contact Alisen Anderson, who serves as NEO’s coordinator/recruiter at alisen@neo.edu or McKenzie Nygren, NEO’s department chair of Agriculture at mckenzie.nygren@neo.edu.

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