Community colleges see increase in STEM enrollment

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – Two-year colleges are seeing a steady increase in enrollment in science, technology, engineering and math programs, The Journal Record reports.

This year, more than 1,000 students enrolled in STEM programs at Oklahoma State University-Oklahoma City. Terry Clinefelter, head of the STEM Division, said registration has increased by 26 percent this summer compared to last year.

However, he said this is nothing unusual because enrollments at two-year colleges vary with the economy.  “People who are laid off by certain industries usually want to be retrained or retooled in similar areas, which we can offer here,” Clinefelter said.

The programs works best for nontraditional or working students who want to return to work quickly, he said. Programs such as construction and electrical engineering are the most popular for people who have been displaced from the oil and gas industry, he said.

Senior Director of Marketing and Communications Sandy Pantlik said that last year the school spent $500 running online advertisements geared toward nontraditional students who may have been laid off.

Read more from The Journal Record by Christie Tapp.

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