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Outreach Mission - History
The University of Oklahoma Outreach is a lifelong learning organization dedicated to helping individuals, businesses, groups and communities transform themselves through knowledge.
The University of Oklahoma Outreach College of Continuing Education and College of Liberal Studies began in 1913 as the Extension Division of OU, becoming the Continuing Education and Public Service Division in 1962. In 1992, the division became the College of Continuing Education.
In 2001, University Outreach was chosen as a branding tool to provide a way to speak to the diversity of the college in a more inclusive manner. Since its inception, the college has grown to include for-credit programs and degree programs, grant and contract-sponsored programs and a wealth of noncredit programs.
Dr. Thurman J. White, a pioneering contributor to the theoretical base of adult education, conceived and played an active role in the design and development of the Oklahoma Center for Continuing Education (OCCE), now called University Outreach. The center’s design turned theory into practice (that architectural design can significantly influence communication and learning).
University Outreach is one of eleven W. K. Kellogg Foundation-funded, university-based residential conference centers in the world.
Annually, Outreach offers more than 2,000 courses and activities in more than 30 different program formats to more than 200,000 nontraditional learners throughout the world. More than 500 staffers are employed by Outreach around the world.
For every $1 of state funds invested, Outreach generates more than $35 of new revenues and services, impacting the economy statewide and earns 48 percent of all grant and contract awards received by the OU Norman campus, the largest of all colleges, at $55 million.