Education in Oklahoma
Lawton has a robust education system with K-12 working closely with Cameron University and the Great Plains Technology Center to best prepare children and adults for the modern work place. Oklahoma is home to world class research universities.
Oklahoma Learning Institutions
Lawton Public Schools
Lawton Public Schools focus on a high graduate rate, preparing students for college, and inspiring many students to consider science and technology careers. In 2011, Lawton Public Schools launched an advanced placement classes program in conjunction with the National Math & Science Initiative to encourage students to choose careers in science, technology, engineering and math. Northrop Grumman is a co-operative partner in offering advanced placement classes at one Lawton high school. Agreements are being worked out with other industry partners to bring advanced placement classes to Lawton's other high schools. Lawton Public Schools has 24 elementary schools, 2 pre-kindergarten centers, 4 middle schools, 3 high schools and an alternative education center. Lawton has a significant number of national merit scholars in keeping with an 85.4 percent graduation rate and 51.8 percent of students going to college. Lawton Public Schools boast a strong fine arts program with drama, orchestra and choral activities. At the same time, Lawton Public Schools has such an outstanding program for special needs students that military members stationed across the country with special needs children can request to be stationed at Fort Sill to take advantage of the Lawton Public Schools program.
Professionals seeking promotion or advanced job skills enhancement can turn to Cameron University, a state institution offering associate, bachelor's and master's degrees in more than 50 degree programs. Business and criminal justice programs are the most popular on the undergraduate level, and Cameron offers six master's degree programs in business administration (MBA), behavioral sciences and education. Cameron erected a new building in 2009 for its School of Business, which includes a simulated live trading floor and a class that allows students to make investments with real money.
Cameron for several years now has seen thriving enrollment growth with 6,387 students enrolled in fall 2011, the largest enrollment ever at the Lawton's institution for higher learning. This includes 340 international students from 48 countries, and students from across Oklahoma migrate to Cameron because it has the second lowest cost among Oklahoma universities.
U.S. News and World Report in 2010 found that graduates from Cameron carried the third-lowest debt load among the 572 institutions surveyed. Many graduate with no debt at all, thanks to the low tuition rates and substantial scholarships available in a scholarship program that continues to expand.
Great Plains Technology Center is like a vocational high school, community college and center for continuing education all rolled into one. The center has 600 full-time high school students, 600 full-time adult students, 3,000 part-time adult students and 12,000 employees sent by regional businesses for specific training. Full-time adults graduate with a 92 percent success rate in finding a job.
Great Plains collaborates closely with area businesses to build a curriculum to give students the precise skills to succeed in the Lawton work place. Businesses can approach Great Plains with specific needs, and a training program may be developed to meet those needs.
Great Plains offers majors in the realms of architecture and construction; arts, audio-visual technologies and communications; business, management and administration; education and training; health science; hospitality and tourism; information technology; law, public safety, corrections and security; manufacturing; transportation, distribution and logistics. The Technology Center can provide employee training for high-level tasks.
Each year Great Plains Technology Center graduates 150 licensed practical nurses, radiologic technologists, surgical technologists and advanced respiratory therapists; 125 welders, carpenters, electricians and construction trades specialists; 150 nurse and home health aides, pharmacy techs, phlebotomists, EMT's and paramedics; and 175 computer technology, network security and graphic design students.
Great Plains also has an economic development center that provides business courses designed for the smallest businesses as well as the local giants, Goodyear Tire and Fort Sill. Business solutions courses are offered in the areas of entrepreneurship and business development; agricultural enterprise management; management and leadership development; government procurement assistance; safety and environmental services; corporate training and employee development; corporate recruitment; employee selection; and computer training.