University description (as per official university website)
Seminole State College, also known as SSC, is a comprehensive, state supported, community college located in Seminole, Oklahoma, United States. It was established in the year 1931 as Seminole “Junior” College Seminole High School. The college offers Associate of Arts, Associate of Science, and Associate of Applied Science degrees in diverse areas of study. The campus has more than 12 buildings that spread across an area of more than 80 acres.
Seminole State College welcomes, encourages, and supports student success.
Seminole State College is maintained as a two-year public college authorized by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education to offer courses, provide programs, and confer associate degrees. Seminole State has the primary responsibility of providing post-secondary educational programs to residents of Hughes, Lincoln, Okfuskee, Seminole, and Pottawatomie counties in east central Oklahoma.
The College exists to enhance the capabilities of individuals to achieve their goals for personal development by providing quality learning experiences and services that respond to diverse individual and community needs in a changing global society.
Seminole State College prepares students to continue their education beyond the two-year level, trains students for careers and other educational opportunities, and makes available resources and services designed to benefit students and the community at large.
HISTORY OF SEMINOLE STATE COLLEGE
Seminole State College was established as Seminole “Junior” College Seminole High School in 1931, under state laws which permitted such community junior colleges. The late Dr. John G. Mitchell organized the college when he came to Seminole to serve as superintendent of the public school system. According to a historical article published by the Seminole Producer on Aug. 25, 1971, Mitchell had been the president of Central State College in Edmond (now University of Central Oklahoma) but left the position following a “rough and tumble battle” with then Governor Alfalfa Bill Murray.
The new community junior college opened in September, 1931 under Mitchell’s leadership. Seminole High School principal Dr. O.D. Johns served as the first Dean.
Seminole Producer publisher Milt Phillips wrote, “A school which began as ‘an extension of the Seminole High School’ gradually became a recognized leader among state junior colleges under the leadership of Dr. John G. Mitchell and Dr. O.D. Johns.” The devotion of these two educational leaders pulled Seminole Junior College through its first difficult years from September, 1931, until it reached its peak enrollment of that decade of 150 in the 1938-39 academic year.
Seminole Junior College continued to operate as an extension of the local high school, with classes being held on the third floor of the high school building, through the 1960s. Seminole High School superintendents served as presidents, principals served as deans, and the school board acted as the governing board. In 1969, the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education recommended the development of a state-supported junior college which would be separate from the local high school.
A delegation led by the publisher of the Seminole Producer, the late Milt Phillips, a freshman state representative named David Boren, the late State Senator Al Nichols of Wewoka, and the late Dr. Hubert Callaway, then-Seminole school board president, worked with the State Regents to develop a plan of action. Local civic leaders, such as Waldo Lilly, Melvin Moran and Cecil Sullivan led the charge to help save the College.
Responding to the challenge, Seminole citizens worked with state and local leaders to develop Seminole Junior College. Dr. Elmer Tanner was employed as the “new” college’s first president. During the 1969-70 academic year, classes met in the First Presbyterian Church of Seminole while the first classroom building was being constructed on a new campus on the northwest side of town.
The community continued its support for the new college by approving a $250,000 bond issue by an 8 to 1 margin to help finance the facility. In addition, a one-cent city sales tax was also approved to help support the college until 1975, when SJC became a fully state-supported institution. At the time, Seminole was the only community in the state of Oklahoma to ever impose a sales tax on itself for the support of a college.
The city purchased a 40-acre tract of land located on the northwest corner of town, at the intersection of State Highway 9 and State Highway 270, and donated it to the college.
Seventy-six years later, Seminole State College stands as a tribute to the vision of these early educators and to the tenacity of community and state leaders who fought to keep and build a community college in Seminole. Now standing on an 84-acre campus, the college is composed of 15 buildings, has an annual fall enrollment of over 2,200 students, employs 128 individuals full-time, and operates on an annual budget of over $15 million.
Seminole State College, with the support of the Seminole citizenry, administrative leadership and with the aid of its college personnel, offers students excellent facilities and a fine community in which to live and learn.