Created in 1909 in Ada, Oklahoma, East Central University was one of three eastern Oklahoma normal schools created to match the three previously created colleges in the western part of the state. It was originally created to offer “preparatory education including two years of college leading to the teacher certification”, however all six schools were soon to evolve, becoming full Bachelor’s teacher colleges. East Central continued until they were not only offering a fifth year teacher’s program and Arts degrees, but were soon housing three colleges and two schools (a Business and Graduate school) on 135 acres (where they had began with one building in 1910).
Today, although still offering Bachelor and Master’s degrees in Education, they have over 68 different degree programs, the spectrum of variety extending from Business Administration to Biology (as well as one of the few schools in the country to offer accredited programs in Cartography, Environmental Health Science, and Medical Physics). Their graduate school also offers several degree programs (MS degrees and M.Ed.), in addition to post-graduate certificate programs in the areas of teaching and counseling,
East Central has always valued education, making it their mission to create an interactive environment for faculty and students that offers academic programs with service and cultural enhancement in mind. East Central takes seriously the effect their graduates can have on the world around them, actually requiring Service Learning courses meant to give them hands on experience helping out the community and teaching the value of the mission their school espouses. They are also known for their work in providing educational opportunities for handicapped students, creating programs tailored for learning under physical considerations.
In the areas of distance learning, East Central does everything it can to deliver materials as fully as possible to the widest variety they can reach. They have several ITV programs at satellite locations, using learning centers and surrounding college facilities to conduct hybrid classes comprised of in class work, video lessons, and assignments/information distributed through the class website (operating, as many online courses do, off of Blackboard). These are usually evening and weekend courses, meant to work in congruence with traditional classes towards a degree, or towards certification in areas students are already working in (i.e. education, nursing). Though they offer no degrees completely online, they give credited classes of the same quality on campus courses offer (both to adult learners and students attending East Central) and can be easily put towards degrees, both undergraduate and graduate. Online classes, usually hybrids, but with some completely on the web, are under the same guidelines as regular classes, with deadlines, assignments, and tests that fall to the student to create time for.
Ensuring their desire to educate reaches all, regardless of schedule or location in Oklahoma, East Central has several programs and sites that deliver the same quality education as they do on their campus in Ada, reaching all seeking to learn.