UCSO reopening next week

Michael Smith
University Center of Southern Oklahoma in 2019. The Ardmore campus will reopen later this month for students enrolled in online classes to provide technology services and library resources.

Ardmore’s home for higher education is preparing for a summer semester even though all classes will be online. The University Center of Southern Oklahoma is planning to open later this month for students who rely on campus facilities.

Murray State College and Southeastern Oklahoma State University, schools that each offer summer courses at the Ardmore campus, have announced summer semester classes will be online only in the wake of COVID-19. UCSO President Peggy Maher said that facilities and resources will be available, including classroom space for instructors who choose to schedule study or lab sessions.

“Online classes would not be every student’s first choice and not all are prepared to excel in that format,” Maher said in a Tuesday email. “We hope to offer students taking online courses through UCSO everything they need to succeed.”

Technology services like internet and computer access will be available at the Ardmore campus. Print services, IT assistance and meeting spaces will also be available. Tutoring center and math lab will open if tutors are available. Maher said students may also make an appointment to work with Education Opportunity Center counselors.

The campus will be open for the first day of classes with social distancing and sanitization practices in place. Guests will sign in at the reception desk to help with potential contact tracing if a visitor or employee later tests positive for COVID-19.

Maher said staff will be wearing face masks and she encourages students to do the same.

MSC classes begin May 26 and Southeastern classes begin June 8. Students are being directed to enroll either online or by phone, and Maher said UCSO students should ask their advisor to enroll them in an Ardmore section.

“If classes they need are not available with Ardmore sections, advisors can put in requests to add them if there is enough demand,” she said.

UCSO serves as a satellite campus for three state colleges—MSC, Southeastern and Langston University—and has been closed since March in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. Classes transitioned online after spring break and individual schools have made the decision to offer online courses through the summer.