Chancellor Glen D. Johnson at Carl Albert State College for Faculty/Staff Address
Dr. Glen D. Johnson, chief executive officer for the Oklahoma State System of Higher Education, spoke to the faculty and staff of Carl Albert State College on August 11, 2015. CASC President Garry M. Ivey welcomed the Chancellor and thanked him for taking time to address the State of Higher Education with employees at Carl Albert State College.
In his remarks, Dr. Johnson stated, “The role of community college is to be the gateway for millions of Americans toward good jobs and a better life.” He discussed job and work force needs of community college students, and the opportunities presented to students to become engaged citizens while students in the Oklahoma education system.
One of the key points in the Chancellor’s presentation centered on the potential of online classes and degrees, yet the necessity that online courses must meet the same rigor as course work offered in the traditional class setting. He discussed the priority of campus safety, and the responsibility of safe and secure campuses. Chancellor Johnson then dedicated much of his remaining time to a discussion of the value of a college degree, and the job being done in Oklahoma’s higher education system to be one of the best in the nation.
The Chancellor pointed out that current statistics show that 85% of Oklahoma community college graduates stay in the state and find employment the first year after graduation. He noted that 43.7% of Oklahoma college enrollment is in the community colleges. He reminded the audience that 90% of the fastest growing jobs in the nation require a college degree. He shared that Oklahoma is 5th overall in college affordability in the nation, and 17th in STEM job growth in the country. Of students graduating from all the public colleges and universities in Oklahoma, half the students complete with no student debt. Oklahoma is 5th in the nation with the least student debt with the average in Oklahoma being at $19,032 compared to the national average of all college graduates being $28,400. (Note, in comparison, last year Carl Albert State College student debt average was only $1,635).
Chancellor Johnson took time to point out some of the challenges facing higher education in Oklahoma, most centered on funding. He commended Oklahoma colleges and universities for keeping tuition increases to a minimum in comparison with other states in the nation. He pointed out that at a time when state funding continues to go down, Oklahoma’s Complete College America initiative has a goal of 1700 additional college graduates each year.
Following a brief question and answer session, President Ivey delivered closing remarks and concluded the Chancellor’s visit.
Pictured are Chancellor Johnson and President Ivey.