Outreach Wins Contract for Degree Delivery in Europe
The U.S. Department of Defense has awarded University of Oklahoma Outreach a contract valued at more than $31 million ($3.1 million a year) to provide four graduate degrees on military bases in Europe over the next ten years.
Coordinated through OU Outreach’s Advanced Programs department, the contract takes effect August 1 with nine option years to follow. The degrees offered include a Master of Human Relations, Master of Arts with an emphasis in International Relations, a Master of Education and a Doctorate in Organizational Leadership.
The U.S. Department of the Army will serve as the contracting agent for the Tri-Services Contract that applies to 12 Army, Navy and Air Force bases in Belgium, England, Germany, Italy, Portugal and Spain.
“We competed with many other prestigious higher education institutions,” said Richard Little, senior associate vice president for Outreach. “With the award of this contract, OU will be the largest provider of face-to-face graduate degrees to the military in Europe.”
Advanced Programs serves as the university’s administrative arm handling all the logistical details, scheduling classes and managing more than 23 OU staff in Europe while OU academic departments provide the academic content and expertise, according to Little. About 80 OU faculty members teach in Europe in the program, he said.
The only other universities selected to provide degrees in Europe were University of Maryland University College, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, and Central Texas College.
“We are pleased to have won this contract for providing OU graduate education in Europe,” said James Pappas, vice president for Outreach. “The military students we serve are all active duty individuals who are highly motivated and very appreciative of the University of Oklahoma for offering this opportunity for distance graduate study. Many of our graduates go on to command positions in the military or important corporate and government roles after their services. Many are key alumni of OU.”
According to Air Force captain Stephanie Johnson, a recent OU graduate of the program, “Since unpredictable deployments prevent me from committing to an entire semester’s worth of weekday classes, I really liked OU’s condensed and intensive class schedule. This format allowed me to prepare for the class on my own, wherever I was at the time, and then attend a weeklong class with the same quality professors I’d be studying with if I were in Norman. It was an outstanding experience combined with the academic rigor of a master’s program.”