Have you heard of OSLEP?

Photo by Grace Williams
Photo by Grace Williams

Grace Williams, Business and Social Media Manager

    Last semester, I got to stay in the historic Colcord hotel downtown for a night, charge breakfast to my room, eat out at Iguana Grill, attend Oklahoma Creativity conference, learn from renown scholars in the field of creativity and collaborate with students from universities across Oklahoma, such as East Central, OU, OSU, Oklahoma Baptist and more – and I got three hours of class credit for these four days. Plus, my books were mailed to me for free.

   That was the Developing and Leading Creativity and Innovation course taught through Oklahoma Enrichment Leadership Scholarship Program (OSLEP), which is organized by Oklahoma’s Board of Regents. OSLEP hires scholars in certain fields to come and teach a week or less long class about their discipline of expertise.

    Students have to read several books and write papers before they come to the class and typically have a final paper due after class ends. Some classes are even offered in conjunction with an event like the Creativity Conference or the deadCENTER film festival.  A different variety of upper division 3 credit hour courses are offered each fall, spring and summer term.

   The classes are taught at locations around the state but primarily at OU. Students pay for the 3 hour class by enrolling in the class and paying tuition at their “home” university (or enrolling in the course at a university with cheaper credit hours and transferring the credit). OSLEP covers all costs such as books, lodging and meals during the course.

   Several SNU students have taken advantage of this unique opportunity and wrote about their experiences:

   Recent graduate, Jenn (Wachtel) Schlumpf took an OSLEP course on Italian film and history. She said, “The class was one of intellectual challenge and was a lot of fun. I enjoyed meeting other students who enjoyed academia, exploring OU’s campus and learning about the history of Italy.”

   Luke Winslow, Senior Multidisciplinary Major, also took the Developing and Leading Creativity and Innovation class with me and said, “OSLEP was a super easy way to get 3 general education hours in just 4 days of class time and some assignments.”

   Brad Crofford, another recent graduate currently pursuing a master’s at OU, took Leading From Core Values: Principles and Practice of Tribal Leadership and said, “OSLEP was a great opportunity to experience an intensive course format, be exposed to new ideas and network/make friends with other students from around the state. I still keep up with some of the people I got to know through OSLEP.”

   Students must be at least a sophomore and have a 3.0 G.P.A. to apply for an OSLEP course. The application process includes an online form, faculty reference and short essay.

   Upcoming courses include: Through the Lens of Indigenous Films: Visualizing People, Places, and Responsibilities, Media, Culture, and the Rise of the Digital Humanities and Prospects for the World’s Poorest.