MIDWEST CITY — Rose State College President Terry Britton describes the campus as a jewel in the middle of the metro area. This "jewel” can easily be spotted while driving on Interstate 40 through Midwest City. More than 20 buildings sit on 116 acres. The buildings hold classes for students pursuing degrees in business and information technology, engineering and science, humanities, health science or the social sciences. When the institution opened in 1970 as Oscar Rose Junior College, 1,700 students were enrolled, according to the college’s Web site. That number has swelled to nearly 9,000. Britton began working at the college in 1972 as an English professor. He said only a few buildings were on the campus when he arrived. "It’s amazing to look back where we started and compare it to where we are now,” Britton said. "The growth of the college has surprised a lot of people.” The newest addition to the college campus is a Health Sciences Center. The 44,000-square-foot center opened in January. The $12.5 million project was funded by a higher education bond issue, said Keith Ogans, vice president of business affairs. The facility will provide training for students interested in the nursing profession. More than 400 students are expected to attend classes in the new building. College officials encourage students from across the state to attend the institution, but incentives are offered to attract students at four high schools.
IncentivesThe Ticket to Rose program allows seniors at Midwest City, Del City, Carl Albert and Choctaw high schools to attend the college without paying tuition. To apply for the program, students must have a 2.5 grade-point average and complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, college spokesman Ben Fenwick said. In 2009, the college was given an award from G.I. Jobs magazine when the publication named Rose State to its list of military-friendly schools. The college received the award because of its relationship to Tinker Air Force Base and other state military personnel. Outside of the classroom, Rose State offers a variety of entertainment and cultural activities. The annual Global Oklahoma Festival draws 4,000 people, organizer Lisa Price said. The festival features music, activities and food from various cultures. The festival usually takes place the first Saturday in October. On the entertainment scene, concerts and other performances are held in the Rose State College Performing Arts Theatre. The venue holds 1,400 people.