by Lee A. Munro, PR student intern
On Thursday April 20th 2012, J.F. Drake State Technical College and Oakwood University signed “an articulation agreement” between the two local historically black schools.
Drake State President Dr. Helen T. McAlpine hosted the event, which was attended by administrators of both schools. The initiative, effective immediately, allows both institutions to share educational resources across a variety of departments.
OU President Dr. Leslie N. Pollard called the partnership, “a beginning of a whole new day; we are delighted to partner with Drake. Partnership is the key to success.”
According to Dr. McAlpine, the agreement was, “a long time coming, . . . working on this project for a long time.” McAlpine emphasized the importance of faculty in this partnership, adding, “I am proud of the faculty and staff here at Drake.”
OU PR director Tim Allston framed this marriage anecdotally: “In today’s culture, one in two marriages fail and divorce, often because the marrying individuals are too young and immature. Not so here, as today we are witnessing the marriage between a 115-year old groom (Oakwood) and a 51-year old bride (Drake State)!”
Both Drake’s Dean of Instructional and Student Services (or, “matron of honor”!) Dr. Patricia Sims and OU Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Garland Dulan (the “best man”) outlined briefly the agreement’s mutual benefits.
Dr. Simms praised the partnership between the two schools, “which will encourage our interested students to complete associate degree programs at Drake State, and then transfer those credits into a bachelor’s program at Oakwood.”
Through this agreement, she continued, students will receive credit at OU for specific college-level general education courses; students transferring between the two institutions must have completed a technical program, and have received a degree, diploma or certificate from Drake State.
According to Dr. Dulan, although there are already 67 courses in eight different subject matters shared between the schools, there are plans to expand the program even further.