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North Oval garden of fall mums, The University of Oklahoma

About OU Outreach

Outreach is made up of the College of Continuing Education and the College of Liberal Studies. Nationally recognized for its pioneering efforts in continuing education, University Outreach extends the educational resources of the University of Oklahoma on campus, online, and at locations around the world.

A Thriving Diverse Continuing Education Enterprise

Outreach at the University of Oklahoma offers more than 30 different program formats, annually offering about 3,000 courses and activities to more than 200,000 nontraditional students in Oklahoma and beyond.

OU Outreach is committed to meeting the education and training needs of a wide variety of individuals, organizations, businesses and communities. Many participants attend programs held in the Thurman J. White Forum Building, located on the Norman campus of the University of Oklahoma.


The University of Oklahoma Outreach is a lifelong learning organization dedicated to helping individuals, businesses, groups, and communities transform themselves through knowledge.

OU Outreach is comprised of two divisions:

  • Continuing Education Academic Programs
  • Public and Community Services

These divisions provide a variety of undergraduate and graduate degree programs, credit courses, noncredit courses, workshops and conferences, certification programs, consultation and technical assistance and professional training.

Continuing Education Academic Programs (CEAP) coordinates and develops courses with all colleges at the University of Oklahoma. CEAP focuses on the delivery of credit courses, degrees, and noncredit programs for the nontraditional student. View CEAP programs...

The Public and Community Services (PCS), the public service division of University Outreach, is comprised of a number of departments, including multi-state externally funded projects, a national resource center, and more than 60 grant and contract programs. View PCS programs...

The University of Oklahoma College of Liberal Studies (CLS) was established in 1960 by OU professors and administrators who recognized the need for adult and non-traditional students to continue their education while balancing work and family obligations. In a truly collaborative effort, faculty members from OU's existing colleges developed the first interdisciplinary Liberal Studies degree program in the country.

The College of Liberal Studies has established vital linkages to many organizations to better serve their constituents. As a result, CLS degree programs meet the educational needs of these lifelong learners. These organizations include the Las Vegas Metro Police Department, the FBI National Academy Associates (FBINAA), the Marine Command and Staff College, and the U.S. Marshal’s Service. This is in addition to agreements with the U.S. military and arrangements with local community colleges such as Oklahoma City Community College and Redlands College. Visit CLS website.


In 1957, Dr. Thurman J. White secured one of 12 grants given by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation for creating university-based residential conference centers around the world. The grant, the largest the university had received to date, was used to build the Thurman J. White Forum and other structures that collectively formed the Oklahoma Center for Continuing Education (OCCE).


Also located on the OCCE campus are:

IACE (International Adult Continuing Education) Hall of Fame

Annually, adult and continuing education leaders from around the world are selected for induction into the International Adult and Continuing Education Hall of Fame (IACEHF), located on the beautiful and historic University of Oklahoma campus.

This IACEHF was created not only to honor leaders in the fields of continuing education and adult learning but to serve as a record and inspiration for the next generation of continuing education leaders.

Dr. James P. Pappas, Vice President for Outreach and Dean of the College of Liberal Studies, was inducted into the IACE Hall of Fame in 1997.  A Honorary Lifetime member, Pappas serves as the Executive Director of IACE Hall of Fame.

IACE Hall of Fame



ACHE - Association for Continuing Higher Education

The Association for Continuing Higher Education (ACHE) is a dynamic network of diverse professionals who are dedicated to promoting excellence in continuing higher education and to sharing their expertise and experience with one another.

ACHE has approximately 1500 individual members and over 400 different institutions and organizations represented throughout the United States and Canada. The home office is located at the Oklahoma Center for Continuing Education on the University of Oklahoma campus.

Dr. James P. Pappas, Vice President for University Outreach and Dean of the College of Liberal Studies, serves as the ACHE Executive Vice President.

ACHE website