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New Initiative Aims to Make a Dent in Degree Attainment Gap by Keeping Students in Tulsa


A new program will seek to encourage area college students to choose Tulsa and start their lives in the region after graduation.

The Tulsa Regional Chamber, City of Tulsa and George Kaiser Family Foundation will officially launch Campus Tulsa on Oct. 1. Representatives of each organization announced the initiative Thursday during the chamber's State of Education event.

Campus Tulsa will include on-campus and virtual check-ins, internships and job opportunities. It will also have a component they’re calling “Experience Tulsa” that will show students the city’s culture and future.

"People need to see that there’s a path for them in Tulsa, not just professional, but to contribute to our city and our city’s growth," said City Deputy Chief of Community Development and Policy Ashley Philippsen.

Campus Tulsa is modeled after the Campus Philly initiative.

"From 2004 to 2017, they had a 117% increase in the number of 25- to 34-year olds who were bachelor-degreed Philadelphians. Right. While the rest of the country grew by about 54%," said GKFF Program Manager Brandon Oldham.

The state is about 20,000 bachelor’s degrees short of what it would take to match the national average rate.

Note: GKFF is a financial supporter of KWGS.

Matt Trotter joined KWGS as a reporter in 2013. Before coming to Public Radio Tulsa, he was the investigative producer at KJRH. His freelance work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times and on MSNBC and CNN.
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