Ardmore's commitment to education is a key factor in making it an outstanding community. Educational offerings from kindergarten to college allow people of any age the chance to learn and succeed.
The Ardmore City Schools and Plainview Public Schools work diligently to meet the needs of a diverse student population. Teachers and administrators provide for the needs of over 4,500 students by offering a wide variety of programs in academics, fine arts, technology, and athletics.
A community-wide education initiative known as 'Raising the Standards: Excellence in Education' was introduced to challenge students with a rigorous curriculum designed to provide them with the tools to succeed both academically and professionally. 'Cornerstone', the second phase of the project, is a five-year program that introduced an accountability feature into the original standards process. Recruiting bonuses, teaching excellence awards, and enhanced summer school are additional components of the program. The 5-year program has over $3.3 million recieved from private donations.
Keeping in step with the growth in the community, Ardmore's education system now boasts the addition of the Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics located on the Southern Oklahoma Technology Center's campus. OSSM graduated its inaugural class in 2003. OSSM offers area high school students highly advanced courses in the fields of science and mathematics. The success of this addition is evident in the increasing numbers of students enrolling in this program. The extraordinary increase in test scores further underscores the program's value.
The Southern Oklahoma Technology Center (SOTC) also offers courses designed for high school and adult students wanting to develop career or technical skills. SOTC introduced a new and exciting program in conjunction with the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, the dental hygienist program.
The University Center of Southern Oklahoma (UCOSO) allows students to take classes in Ardmore from several regional universities as well as Murray State College. Graduate level programs in Education and Human Resources have recently been added. UCOSO offers both day and night courses that benefit college-bound students and adults seeking to achieve a degree while remaining in Ardmore.
The SOTC Biotechnology Academy provides high school juniors/seniors a realistic, hands-on opportunity to learn and experience biotechnology techniques and applications in human health, agriculture, environmental science, forensics and pharmaceutical production. Students learn the theory and techniques that are routinely performed in research, government, diagnostic and industrial biotechnology laboratories providing them with knowledge and skills and an opportunity for invaluable career exploration. Students develop advanced skill sets and are prepared to make sound educational and career choices in preparation to fill the biotechnology workforce needs as they evolve.