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Oklahoma graduates fill many teaching positions

The state’s regional universities have a long history of providing teachers for Oklahoma classrooms
By Lori Johnson, For The Oklahoman Published: August 22, 2014

This week, more than 660,000 students in Oklahoma returned to the classroom. Instructing those young minds are teachers trained in Oklahoma, with more than half educated at an Oklahoma regional university.

The U.S. Department of Education indicates more than half of all Oklahoma teacher candidates graduated from one of the six universities in the Regional University System of Oklahoma: East Central University, Northeastern State University, Northwestern Oklahoma State University, Southeastern Oklahoma State University, Southwestern Oklahoma State University and the University of Central Oklahoma.

“We take pride in knowing we contribute significantly to the education of tomorrow’s educational leaders,” said Susan Winchester, chairman of the regional system’s board of regents. “A single teacher has the ability to unlock the potential in hundreds of children’s lives.”

The quality of regional universities’ teacher instruction is evident not only in the classroom, but in the selection of the state Education Department’s teacher of the year award. This year, eight of the 12 finalists are Regional University System of Oklahoma graduates.

Regional universities have a long history of preparing Oklahoma’s educators. The six regional universities were created by the Oklahoma Legislature as normal schools designed to provide a preparatory education with two years of college training leading to teacher certification.

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