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Western Oklahoma State College turns away 'scores of students' seeking quick credits, president says

by Silas Allen Published: April 20, 2013

— Western Oklahoma State College officials have had to turn away “scores of students” who wanted to take accelerated online courses the college no longer offers, President Phil Birdine said Friday.

The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools said Thursday it had placed the college on probation after a review of its 10-day accelerated online courses.

The college stopped offering the online intersession courses in January after the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education released a report recommending the college immediately discontinue the program.

The board concluded the courses didn't meet a number of criteria required for accreditation, including showing a commitment to intellectual integrity and the quality of educational programs.

In an email, Birdine said discontinuing the courses had cost the college tuition dollars. He declined to make himself available for a phone interview.

“Since January, when we suspended the offering of these courses, we have had to inform the scores of students who call us on a weekly basis that we no longer offer these courses,” he said. “They simply hang up the phone and find another institution offering these courses and enroll at that institution.”

The courses netted the college $2.8 million in revenue during the 2011-12 fiscal year, according to college records.

That figure represented 18 percent of the college's total education and general revenue, which includes money the college receives through tuition and fees.

After announcing the college would discontinue the courses, college officials said they hoped to be able to reinstate the courses using a similar format.

But those plans are on hold. As part of the probation, the Higher Learning Commission revoked approval for the college to offer accelerated online courses and programs.

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by Silas Allen
General Assignment/Breaking News Reporter
Silas Allen is a news reporter for The Oklahoman. He is a Missouri native and a 2008 graduate of the University of Missouri.
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We live in a mobile, time-conscious global society which is why ... many other colleges and universities in Oklahoma offer such courses.”

Phil Birdine,


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