USAO, Redlands Community College Expanding Partnership

Twelve people in business attire pose in front of a white and blue backdrop

University of Science & Arts of Oklahoma President Kayla Hale (left) joins Redlands Community College Board of Regents Chair Janie Thompson (center) and Redlands President Jena Marr (right) to announce the expansion of the partnership between the two institutions. The next step in this collaboration addresses the state’s workforce challenge by providing greater career readiness support, increase the number of graduates with associate and bachelor degrees, and grow the teacher pipeline.

In a continued effort to address the state’s workforce needs while maximizing resources, the University of Science & Arts of Oklahoma and Redlands Community College are expanding their partnership to provide greater career readiness support, increase the number of graduates with associate and bachelor degrees, and grow the teacher pipeline.

"We are excited to announce the expansion of our collaborative efforts with Redlands Community College, aimed at enriching educational pathways and fortifying workforce readiness,” said USAO President Kayla Hale. “This multifaceted approach underscores our commitment to utilizing faculty efficiently to address pressing workforce needs, particularly in the field of education. By deepening our partnership, we are poised to significantly boost the number of college graduates equipped with the skills and knowledge essential for success in today's dynamic job market." 

Redlands President Jena Marr added:

“This partnership has been critical to the advancement of Redlands’ retention and outreach efforts, which is evident in our sustained growth in enrollment over the past three semesters. By pooling our administrative resources and expertise, we've been able to maximize efficiency and effectiveness, ultimately ensuring that every student receives the support they need to thrive academically and professionally. Together, we are not only enhancing educational opportunities but also optimizing the use of our administrative resources to better serve our students and communities and meet the demands of the evolving workforce."

The next step in this collaboration addresses the state’s workforce challenge. The institutions are creating a shared counselor position in Career and Workforce Development Readiness to provide comprehensive support to students on both campuses as they navigate their educational and career pathways. To meet the demand for teachers, Redlands and USAO are also introducing a pathway from an associate degree to a bachelor's degree in Education, providing a streamlined route for aspiring educators to pursue a career in teaching. 

Additionally, the institutions are facilitating a seamless transition for students with a certificate in Film Studies from Redlands to enroll in the bachelor's program in Digital Media & Technology at USAO, ensuring they have the necessary skills for success in the state’s growing film industry. Moreover, through a reverse transfer initiative, former USAO students with 64 or more college credit hours will have the opportunity to earn an Associate of Arts degree from Redlands, recognizing their academic achievements. 

In an effort to expand access to higher education, USAO faculty will be embedded at Redlands to offer bachelor’s degrees at the college’s campus in El Reno. 

“I congratulate the University of Science & Arts of Oklahoma and Redlands Community College as they continue to excel in strengthening their innovative partnership,” said Chancellor Allison D. Garrett, Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education. “Through sharing key student services personnel, creating new degree pathways for future teachers and digital media professionals, and developing a reverse transfer conduit for USAO students to earn an associate degree from Redlands, their growing collaboration drives degree completion and improves workforce development for our state.”

In 2022, the two institutions formed a shared collaboration as a way to increase administrative efficiencies in both schools. Since that time, the implementation of enrollment management and network security software has allowed both institutions to enhance retention, recruitment and transfer services, as well as improve network security and functionality. In addition to these positions, the institutions share a webmaster and a Canvas learning management system expert, and Redlands’ print shop director serves as a consultant for USAO’s operation.

“This collaboration exemplifies an innovative approach to expanding and enriching services, all while optimizing resources and achieving cost savings. Redlands and USAO have demonstrated our commitment to delivering exceptional educational opportunities efficiently and effectively, ensuring the greatest possible impact for our students and communities,” Marr said.

Hale added:

“Our two institutions may have distinct missions, yet we both play integral roles in serving our communities. Through this collaboration, we've recognized the immense value in leveraging our strengths to maximize personnel and better serve our students. This next phase of the partnership will provide an opportunity to more effectively meet the state's workforce demands." 


As Oklahoma’s liberal arts college, the University of Science & Arts of Oklahoma provides a distinctive education in the liberal arts and sciences, supporting both its interdisciplinary core curriculum and major fields of study with superior teaching. Science & Arts fosters diversity of thought and practice to help students realize meaningful, purposeful and productive lives as global citizens in a rapidly-changing world. 

Redlands Community College provides a learner-centered environment committed to academic excellence strengthened through service and civic engagement. Redlands’ rich academic environment provides opportunities for continuous growth through a challenging and rigorous curriculum enhanced by the application of research and technology, and the college engages in collaboration with public and private partners that reinforce the value of service to others and strengthen ethical development and civic engagement.