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Oklahoma City's Downtown college consortium to end operations July 31

The Downtown College Consortium, opened 18 years ago by five area colleges, will cease operation on July 31.
by Steve Lackmeyer Published: April 22, 2014

The Downtown College Consortium, opened 18 years ago by five area colleges, will cease operation on July 31.

The consortium was started in 1995 by five metro-area colleges: Oklahoma City Community College, University of Central Oklahoma, Oklahoma State University-Oklahoma City, Rose State College and Redlands Community College.

The purpose of the consortium was to offer credit and noncredit college classes and corporate training at a location in downtown Oklahoma City. Classes were first offered in the First National Center, but eventually moved to the Ronald J. Norick Downtown Library.

The advent of online learning, and a decision by director Gus Pekara to retire, led the colleges to end operations.

Pekera said Monday the consortium’s enrollment this semester included 58 students in credit courses and 425 students enrolled in non-credit courses. He said many of the noncredit enrollments were for residential care and assisted living classes that will continue at the OSU-OKC campus northwest of downtown.

OCCC President Paul Sechrist, current chair of the executive committee overseeing the consortium, said the colleges have seen online course offerings grow “exponentially.”

“Closing the Downtown College Consortium is the natural evolution in how we serve our community,” Sechrist said.

When the college was first opened, it was promoted as a way to provide easy access to classes during lunch breaks and after work for downtown workers. The college also teamed up with the Oklahoma City Museum of Art, the Red Earth Museum, the Oklahoma City Ballet and other arts organizations to provide courses catering to special interests.

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by Steve Lackmeyer
Business Reporter
Steve Lackmeyer is a reporter and columnist who started his career at The Oklahoman in 1990. Since then, he has won numerous awards for his coverage, which included the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, the city's Metropolitan...
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For more information

After July 31, businesses and individuals interested in scheduling training or enrolling in courses offered in the downtown area should contact:

•Oklahoma City Community College: 682-7814

•Rose State College: 733-7488

•University of Central Oklahoma: 974-3371

•Oklahoma State University-Oklahoma City: 945-3250

•Redlands Community College: 422-1228

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