Union Public Schools and Tulsa Community College are part of a joint venture creating EDGE - Earn a Degree, Graduate Early, a program that is among the first of its kind in the state.
This program provides eligible Union High School students the opportunity to earn 60 college credits concurrently while attending Union High School; students who complete the program will receive both an associate degree and a high school diploma upon graduation.
About the Program
While Union has offered concurrent classes of eligible students to several years, EDGE presents a new cohort of students each year with a unique early college high school experience. TCC instructors teach rigorous college-level courses on-site at Union High School.
The courses offered at Union and at TCC include the general education requirements many local universities require in the initial two years of post-secondary education. Students qualifying for the program have the opportunity to earn 60 hours of college credit and an associate degree in a Liberal Arts field.
Expectations are high . . . for students and the pilot program. Through the cooperative and shared use of resources, personnel, and facilities, TCC and Union Public Schools will provide access to higher education while reducing the barriers to college completion.
This program is setting the stage for how Early College High School is implemented in Oklahoma. The State Regents for Higher Education is committed to helping improve college graduation rates in Oklahoma, as well as helping to create more first-generation college students.
The program is also a direct response to Oklahoma’s workforce needs, as employers struggle to find enough qualified employees to fill positions in high-growth industries.
Breaking Down the Barriers to College
EDGE at Union Public Schools will target first-generation college students, those who come from low-income families who have had no experience with college or expectation that their children will attend a university.
By putting students on-track for college before they leave high school, we plan to change the life trajectory for many young people.
Ultimately, we hope to improve college graduation rates in Oklahoma, while better preparing students for a successful career in high-demand fields with potentially higher salaries.
Dr. Marla Robinson,
Director, College & Career Center
Dr. Marla Robinson was named director of College and Career in 2021. She is a graduate of Lawton Eisenhower High School. She received her bachelor’s degree in English education from Oklahoma State University and her master’s degree in school administration from Northeastern State University. She received her doctorate degree from Oklahoma State University in 2020. Prior to coming to Union, Robinson was an English and yearbook teacher in Muskogee Public Schools for eight years. She joined Union in 2001 and has worked as a teacher, curriculum specialist, and administrator for the district. She was named principal of the 8th Grade Center in 2007, a position she held until the summer of 2015, when she was named director of Student Life. In 2017, she was named a Class Principal at Union High School.