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Laura Dahl, Director
P.O. Box 430, Goodwell, Oklahoma 73939
Phone: 580-349-1354 * Fax: 580-349-1350
Email: lola@opsu.edu

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**For Immediate Release**
Grants Support Student Success
-released by OPSU Campus Communications 11-02-05
by Laura Dahl

Goodwell, OK - Graduates of Oklahoma Panhandle State University’s Computer Information Systems (CIS) department have long been recognized as top notch employees that possess a broad foundation of computer knowledge, excellent communication skills, and problem identification and solving skills. Each semester, CIS courses fill quickly, compelling students to wait for important and popular classes.

In order to expand this growing program, OPSU sought funding through the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education (OSHRE) Brain Gain Excellence grant. During their meeting on October 27, 2005, OSHRE approved OPSU’s five-year, $685,342.00 grant. The grant will enable OPSU to develop two new program areas: computer graphics and website data management technology. The project will provide funding for new courses as well as provide faculty with up-to-date training and modern equipment capable of handling large graphics and animation. The project will require an additional faculty member, a classroom equipped with Apple Macintosh computers to be used for graphics, an additional Microsoft SQL server, and increased digital video capabilities to handle anticipated increased enrollment.

Brain Gain 2010, implemented in 1999 by OSHRE, was designed to boost the percentage of Oklahomans holding an associate’s or bachelor’s degree to above the national average by the year 2010. The plan identifies specific goals for increasing the number of high school graduates who go directly to college as well as increasing Oklahoma college and university graduation rates.

OSHRE also funds Improvement Grants that are designed to increase student retention. OPSU received $65,000.00 to continue an Improvement Grant that was funded last year. The project provides peer tutoring and learning communities and will also expand services to the Hispanic student population.

On behalf of the CIS faculty, Diane Murphey, Dean of the School of Business and Technology, said, “The Excellence grant will allow us to offer students increased opportunities to obtain advanced IT knowledge and skills. We are excited to be recognized for a Program of Excellence by OSRHE and look forward to working with them as we make an excellent program even better.”

In addition, the Regents recently approved a grant totaling over $116,000 to fund research for radio frequency identification (RFID) cattle tagging products. Primary goals include educating Oklahoma producers about the need for animal identification and encouraging them to obtain premises identification numbers for their operations. OPSU will offer training in proper use of RFID systems and will provide research to assist producers in determining the product that best suits the needs of each operation.

As OPSU looks forward to its centennial celebration in 2009, we have continued to improve educational opportunities and are developing state-of-the-art programs with the support provided by OSRHE. We are proud to be a part of Oklahoma’s higher education system and look forward to educating and graduating students to help the state realize its goals.

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