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Instructing students at OSU


Undergraduate and graduate instruction – the heart of Oklahoma State University’s mission – will continue to adapt. Just as it innovates in support of its four Priority Areas, OSU will incentivize its academic units to creatively adapt in their approaches to pedagogy – engaging learners across new media, encouraging experimentation and innovation in instructional modes and supporting faculty and graduate students in support of instructional excellence. Such innovation will necessarily differ from college to college and from discipline to discipline; however, the University intends to broadly facilitate creativity that can unlock the imaginative power of its faculty – the vital soul of the University.


In support of the strategic direction, OSU will:

Imperative 5

Align curriculum and programming to support the generation of Ideal Graduates and to advance the Land-Grant mission

Objective 1: Reform General Education.

Undergraduate students at Oklahoma State University will experience a reimagined General Education curriculum that emphasizes competencies of great citizens and professionals. The General Education will be oriented around a set of “Grand Challenges,” forming the basis of a coherent educational path that commences freshman year and carries throughout the conclusion of the General Education process. In so doing, OSU students will naturally form cross-disciplinary cohorts that strengthen not only intellectual development but social engagement, as well. Potential hallmarks of the reimagined General Education curriculum include an introductory Freshman Seminar and a closely-coordinated, interdisciplinary “Cowboy Compass” to guide students through to completion.


The previously-identified competencies of the Ideal Graduate form a second key element of the Oklahoma State University teaching enterprise. While General Education will be conveyed through the classroom and lab and will be reflected in the transcript, competencies will also be developed through complementary activities and captured in the Student Portfolio. Taken together, both elements will cohere to make teaching at OSU a powerful force within the Land-Grant mission.


Objective 2: Create new undergraduate and graduate academic programming aimed at workforce and economic development.

In addition to the critical need for increasing numbers of undergraduate degree-holders, the decade from 2010-2020 alone added 2.6 million jobs that require an advanced degree.  In order to meet the demand for both, by fall 2025, Oklahoma State University will create:

  • Eight (8) new online program offerings;
  • Eight (8) new Bachelor of Technology degrees (including in Advanced Technology and extending through the campuses at OSU-Tulsa, OSU-OKC and OSU-Okmulgee);
  • Three (3) new Bachelors of Science degrees; 
  • Eight (8) new non-degree certificate programs in mission-critical areas of the economy; and
  • Focused “4+” (e.g., 4+1 and 4+ certificate) dual degree pathways across all colleges

As the State’s Land-Grant University for more than a century, Oklahoma State University carries an unparalleled brand equity and an unrivaled degree of trust from Oklahomans.  To further extend the University’s reach and to realize its commitment to meeting workforce demands, we will develop a more extensive, robust suite of online, evening, hybrid and accelerated (e.g., eight-week) offerings. The need for continuing education for working professionals, parents, and career transitions is vital to the progress of our society’s economic development, workforce capital, and leadership in organizations and communities throughout our state and the country. 


Technologically-driven industry is growing across Oklahoma in areas including aerospace, autonomous vehicles and health care, and with it the demand for tech-capable workers. In addition to growing its existing suite of STEM-directed majors and degree programs, OSU commits to developing new degree programs aimed at strengthening Oklahoma’s technology workforce, including Polytechnic degrees (Bachelor of Technology) and alternative credentials, and leveraging its campuses in Tulsa, Okmulgee and Oklahoma City as vectors into deep industry relationships.

Imperative Progress Updates


  • Cowboy Compass brings coherence to the existing General Education (GE) system by establishing outcomes-based learning objectives, providing the foundation needed for specialized study and professional success, and creating cross-disciplinary student cohorts.  
  • Cowboy Compass Trails thematically organize GE courses around ‘big questions,’ designed using faculty expertise and drawn from OSU’s strategic plan areas, UN Sustainable Development Goals or other key contemporary issues. Faculty are encouraged to submit ideas for Cowboy Compass Trails by completing these forms (Faculty Trail Idea Proposal and Guidelines for Faculty Trail Blazers)  and sending them to Chris Francisco by 5 p.m. on April 17.
  • The University-Wide General Education Working Group (GEWG) is currently engaged in activities to facilitate the development of Cowboy Compass.
  • The Greater Oklahoma City Chamber and OSU-OKC announced a new partnership to promote an advanced workforce education work/study initiative.
View all progress updates


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