The University of Oklahoma is developing a system to accommodate students forced to transfer from St. Gregory’s University as the Shawnee school prepares to shutter its operations after the fall semester.
The closing of the Catholic institution will leave over 550 full-time students searching for a new university. One destination for many students is OU.
Courtnay Thomas, Assistant Director of Transfer Admissions, said the university is working with the students because of the unusual circumstances.
“We wanted to do everything we could to help these students get there because they’re homeless, in a sense,” said Thomas.
St. Gregory’s University announced the closing after the transfer deadline and is not issuing official transcripts, both issues for most transfer students. Thomas said the university extended the deadline for students transferring from St. Gregory’s University.
The Higher Learning Commission, an organization responsible for college accreditation, requires students to complete half their degree program at the institution they desire to graduate, said Thomas.
“So, the students who have a semester or a year or so left, they’re in really hard spot because how can they possibly complete half their degree at OU in a year or a semester?” said Thomas.
The commission includes a clause to allow students to complete their degree at the OU.
“We are working on something called a teach-out agreement which allows these students to come to OU and help them finish their degree program,” said Thomas.
The teach-out agreement is a collaboration between both universities to facilitate the graduation of seniors in a timely manner.
“A student who is coming here and only has one semester left to graduate, if we didn’t have this teach-out agreement, they would have to have more than one semester,” said Thomas.