There are only two high schools in the state of Oklahoma that have University Centers. Enid Public Schools opened its University Center this past fall 2013 at Enid High School. Union Public Schools in Tulsa also has a University Center.
Superintendent of Enid Public Schools Shawn Hime said Enid’s University Center is a point of pride for students.
“It’s been more successful then we could have ever imagined,” Hime said.
Since establishing a University Center, Enid schools have seen a jump in advanced placement, and Hime has received almost 100 letters from students and parents thanking the school district for giving students the opportunity to learn in an academic environment that mirrors a college environment including the option to take concurrent enrollment classes, Hime said.
If passed by voters, the 2014 bond issue would make the following additions/renovations at both Norman High School and Norman North High School: interior renovations of certain existing facilities to include, but not be limited to, classroom, restroom and library renovations as well as redesigning a portion of the facilities into a Freshman Academy; and building University Centers to include, but not be limited to, site work, offices, classrooms and saferooms.
NPS high school principals and administrative staff formed a committee to research what additions and renovations should be completed at Norman High and Norman North with the 2014 bond issue. The district consulted with Union Public Schools and Enid Public Schools and decided the 2014 bond issue was an opportunity to not only add classrooms, but change how the high school program functions by focusing on the transitional periods during ninth and 12th grades, school officials said.
Enid Public Schools faced a similar situation before its University Center was built.
“We had extreme growth in the district. Instead of just building extra classrooms, we wanted to input a vision of excellence and build an environment more like college, so that our best and brightest could be proud of their high school and take advantage of additional college preparation,” Hime said