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  Pioneer News

ALTUS, Okla. – The Western Oklahoma State College Alumni Association is excited to have Brayden Smith as our newest Lifetime Alumni Member! 

Brayden Smith attended Navajo High School and was a concurrent student for two years here at Western.  Brayden was an above average student and a member of Phi Theta Kappa.  Brayden says he immediately felt a connection to campus because both of his parents joined the Alumni Association while employed at the college.  Brayden’s father, Guy Smith, was Western’s Rodeo Coach and his mother, Emily Smith, taught in the mathematics department. He says he enjoyed his time at Western and credits Ms. George, Mrs. Purdue and Mrs. Morley as the faculty that stood out the most and helped him through his classes here.  

As a concurrent student, Brayden did not earn enough credits to receive a degree before leaving Western, so he took advantage of the “reverse transfer” option.  This allows students who have 15 or more credits with Western to transfer back usable hours from another school and receive their associate’s degree.  The advantage to this is that universities in the state of Oklahoma must accept the associate degree as satisfaction of the general education requirements.  Brayden is now proud to say that he has his AA in Liberal Arts from Western Oklahoma State College.  

Brayden is currently a sophomore at Oklahoma State University seeking his degree in Ag Business and Economics.  Brayden tells me that attending Western as a concurrent student gave him college experience while he was still in high school and he feels that it has better equipped him for the larger college classes he takes at OSU.  Brayden has continued to excel academically and, on top of taking a full course load at OSU, Brayden is a member of the Spirit Rider Team, the Collegiate Farm Bureau and the College Republicans.  Most recently, Brayden traveled to Washington D.C. for an internship with Senator Inhofe.

The Alumni Association is pleased to welcome Brayden Smith and add his leaf to our tree.

Are you interested in transferring back credits to earn a degree at Western?  Call our office today and we can provide information on the process.  Would you like to be our next leaf on the tree?  You do not have to be a graduate of Western to be on our Alumni Tree.  We welcome all of Western’s friends to share their story with us!  If you are interested in joining the Alumni Association, contact our office at (580) 477-7706, visit the website at or email us at

Western Oklahoma State College is pleased to announce an increase in enrollment for fall 2022. The total student population rose to 1,304 which is an increase of 3.66% compared to last fall. Credit production hours increased 3.12% and full time equivalent (FTE) enrollment also increased by 3.13%. On a national level, community college enrollment has dropped over 20% since spring 2020. With rising tuition and fees and a strong economy, many potential students are choosing to enter the workforce . “At Western, we have worked very hard to stay affordable. Our board is always perceptive to the needs of our students and very conservative when it comes to adding costs,” said Dr. Wiginton, WOSC President. Data continues to show that as educational attainment increases, so does an individual’s earning capacity. Associate degree holders earn a median income 25% higher than those with only a high school diploma.

Western prides itself on the relationships built with local high schools through the concurrent enrollment program. This fall there are 389 high school students enrolled concurrently which is 13.4% higher than last year. High school seniors who meet the eligibility requirements are entitled to receive tuition waivers for up to 18 credit hours and high school juniors can receive tuition waivers up to 9 credit hours. Students are responsible for fees and related textbook costs. Dr. Chad Wiginton said, “Not only is concurrent enrollment a huge savings, it gives students the ability to ease into the college classroom while still under the watchful eye of high school counselors and parents. Our instructors do an outstanding job helping students with this transition.”

Effective July 1, Western Oklahoma State College named Dr. Keila Manos Vice President for Student Affairs. Manos, a Navajo High School graduate, brings more than 15 years of higher education experience to Western Oklahoma State College. While at Western Manos has been a valuable asset in student services, serving as the Director of Student Success and Assistant Registrar, as well as, an Adjunct Sociology Instructor.  “I am thrilled to be able to move home and serve the community. I look forward to working with the students, faculty, and staff at Western and contributing to southwest Oklahoma’s future,” said Manos. 

Western Oklahoma State College freshman, Shay Skaggs, recently competed in the 2022 Grand American World Trapshooting Championships. The Grand American is held annually in Sparta, IL at the World Shooting & Recreational Complex and is the largest shooting event of its kind.
Skaggs had an outstanding performance with outstanding scores during the two weeks of competition. She only missed 7 single targets, 893/900 during the two weeks. Skaggs came home with the Lady 1 Grand American Handicap title. She shot 89/100 and competed in a shoot off to win. Skaggs also received Lady 1 Runner-Up ATA World HAA. She had a shoot off for the win, with a perfect score.