St. Gregory's to Partner with Francis Tuttle
The partnership is designed to allow any Francis Tuttle student who has earned a Career Tech certification since Nov. 20, 2008 to pursue an associate’s, bachelor’s or master’s degree at St. Gregory’s. Students will receive up to 32 hours of credit toward an Associate of Applied Science degree, the equivalent of 50 percent progress toward completion of a degree. They can also transfer an additional 10 hours of credit toward a Bachelor of Applied Sciences degree.
Francis Tuttle Technology Center was founded in 1979 and partners with seven school districts—including Cashion, Crescent, Deer Creek, Edmond, Millwood, Putnam City and Western Heights—to provide career-specific training to high school juniors and seniors, as well as adults. Its three Oklahoma City-area campuses offer nearly 40 career training programs to about 30,000 students annually.
According to Francis Tuttle Associate Superintendent Bruce Campbell, agreeing to partner with St. Gregory’s was an easy decision.
“This opens up a brand new pathway that has really never existed,” Campbell said. “That pathway to a bachelor’s degree based on what we can do for our students here and what St. Gregory’s can do to get them to an associate’s degree that can legitimately become a part of a bachelor’s degree is a really big deal.”
Dr. Tom Friedemann, Superintendent and CEO of Francis Tuttle Technology Center, believes their founder, Dr. Francis Tuttle, would be thrilled by the new partnership with St. Gregory’s because it opens the door for Francis Tuttle’s students to potentially pursue master’s level degrees and more.
“This agreement gives us the opportunity to do that for our students, and that’s something we’ve never been able to do before,” Friedemann said. “That’s why I’m excited. Now, we can look a student eyeball-to-eyeball and say ‘You can transfer your credits, your degree to a university.’
“To have somebody from higher education acknowledge the credibility of the training that we do is a tremendous compliment to us. St. Gregory’s adds a lot of credibility to it, too. They have built a neat university over there, and I think there will be a lot of prestige associated with the opportunity for our students to finish their degrees there.”
St. Gregory’s created the Associate of Applied Sciences degree specifically to accommodate the academic needs of career tech students who wish to continue their educations without losing credit for the knowledge they have already earned, giving both schools the chance to not just train people to do a job but the opportunity to create a career.
“I attended a luncheon in Tulsa where the speaker was VP of Policy and Strategy of the Lumina Foundation, a private foundation committed to increasing the number of Americans who have a high-quality college education,” said Dr. William Mayfield, St. Gregory’s Vice President of Graduate and Continuing Studies. “He pointed out that ‘K-through-12 gets it. Career Tech gets it. Higher Education, where are you? Learning is learning is learning!’”
According to Suzette Northcutt Rhodes, President of Francis Tuttle Technology Center’s Board of Education, St. Gregory’s is the first private university to sign such an agreement with Francis Tuttle.
“Cooperative agreements with higher education have been something that we’ve done before,” Rhodes said, “but it’s all about customer service, what’s good for the student. We believe this agreement is going to very good for our students.”