If you walk into the fourth floor of the Ronald J. Norick Downtown Library in the middle of a weekday afternoon, you might get the impression that nothing goes on there.
Wait around an hour or two, though, and you're bound to see a bit more activity.
The top floor of the downtown library houses OKC Downtown College, a consortium of schools in the Oklahoma City area.
Although the college doesn't grant degrees itself and it doesn't offer any complete degree programs at the moment, organizers say it offers an educational experience that often can't be replicated in a typical classroom.
The college offers courses through five institutions — the University of Central Oklahoma, Rose State College, Oklahoma City Community College, Redlands Community College and Oklahoma State University — Oklahoma City.
Faculty members from the five participating schools teach the courses. The college offers undergraduate and graduate-level courses, as well as noncredit enrichment classes. Students who take undergraduate or graduate courses receive credit through the college that teaches the class, and the courses generally cost about the same as on-campus classes.
The college is one of several sites around the metro area where schools offer their classes off campus. Since 1995, seven such satellite campuses have opened their doors. Colleges and universities often open satellite campuses to draw students who wouldn't be able to attend classes at their main campuses.
For example, Mid-America Christian University opened a small campus on Broadway Extension last year. The university uses the site to offer evening courses geared toward students who work during the day.