Partnership with Okla School of Science & Mathematics
It's never been a greater time to meet science with faith.
To match the needs of a budding biology program, MACU has partnered with the Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics to provide students with access to a state of-the-art chemistry lab.
After MACU’s biology program saw three times its expected enrollment for its inaugural fall semester, university administrators headed up a search to find a suitable lab space for MACU students.
“We talked about several locations, but when we went to OSSM we really felt a connection there. The facilities are phenomenal,” said Dr. Harold Kihega, who serves as director and professor of the biology program.
OSSM is located on a 32-acre campus in north Oklahoma City. It is designed as a two-year residential public high school for academically gifted students in mathematics and science.
Starting in January, MACU biology students will travel once a week to OSSM for their lab work.
Some of the amenities at the OSSM space include a large lab space and storage for chemicals and equipment, eliminating the need to transport them between campuses. Supplies ordered from MACU will also be delivered directly to OSSM.
“They’ve been so accommodating and willing to work with us,” Kihega said. “We are truly looking forward to this partnership and what it will mean to our MACU students.”
He said the facilities will serve as a stepping stone while MACU transitions a Kennedy Hall classroom into a larger lab space. Kihega anticipates that upgrade to be completed in the next few years.
Until then, the OSSM partnership will contribute to the success of MACU’s first biology program, which heads into its second semester next spring. More than a dozen new students have already enrolled for the degree program.
Kihega said interest in STEM (Science-Technology-Engineering-Math) careers is rising rapidly, with the U.S. Bureau of Labor projecting up to a 62% increase in jobs related to STEM fields by 2020.
MACU’s biology degree program segues into many of those job paths, laying the groundwork for graduate study in areas like nursing, physical therapy, marine biology and more. Although many universities offer biology degrees, Kihega said MACU’s Christian perspective makes the difference.
“It’s difficult to find Christian scientists and biologists,” he said, “but it is unnecessary to push evolution against creationism. We believe in the Bible, and we believe in God as the basis for how things began.”