Sixty Years Serving Nontraditional Students

Sixty Years Serving Nontraditional Students

In celebration of the OU College of Professional and Continuing Studies' 60th anniversary, we are highlighting how things have changed over the years. This installment focuses on the programs we offer and how they serve our nontraditional student population.

When you think of nontraditional students, you generally think of working adults aiming to earn a degree or certificate while employed full or part-time. PACS has a long history of serving these “traditional” nontraditional students here in Norman, overseas and online, ever since the foundation of the Bachelor of Liberal Studies degree program in 1960 and the Advanced Programs division in 1964. We have helped thousands of students reach their higher education goals and look forward to more of the same in the future.

But PACS also serves a wide variety of “nontraditional” nontraditional students in a wide variety of nontraditional ways. Here are a few highlights!

Precollegiate Programs

Precollegiate Programs provide opportunities for young people from Kindergarten through 12th grade to learn on the OU campus throughout the year.

  • Mini College offers educational day camps for K-6 covering science, math, arts, culture and swimming!
  • Middle schoolers can participate in the Gifted and Talented Enrichment Program, Geology Summer Academy or the Middle School Model UN Conference.
  • 9th-12th graders can choose ACT prep courses, Model United Nations or a summer academy in architecture, meteorology or geology.

Sooner Flight Academy

For more than 30 years, Sooner Flight Academy (SFA) has provided opportunities for K-12 students to learn about aviation and STEM fields with hands-on learning activities, day camps, field trips and Family STEM Night.

SFA also just launched their augmented reality app, which “places” a full-sized digital airplane in any large indoor or outdoor space, allowing the user to explore and interact with the aircraft using a smartphone or tablet.

Oil and Gas Industry Skill Training

PACS offers a number of crucial skill training courses for workers in Oklahoma’s dynamic oil and gas industry, with a focus on safety, reliability and efficiency. Our offerings include:

Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI)

OLLI at OU is one of 125 Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes in the United States. With a wide variety of courses aimed at mature learners, OLLI offers courses covering topics like history, art, literature, music, film, health and wellness. Offered both in traditional classroom format and online, OLLI courses provide a wealth of opportunities for lifelong learners to engage their knowledge and curiosity.


The newest addition to the PACS family is WorkSooner, an innovative new program offering thousands of self-paced, online courses that can help students prepare for jobs in the most in-demand fields in the state. Our partnership with online content provider Coursera enables us to deliver high-quality education in STEM fields, manufacturing and business.

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The College of Professional and Continuing Studies is a fully accredited academic unit of the University of Oklahoma, offering 100% online, hybrid and onsite degrees for working adults and non-traditional students.