Northwestern Enters Into Agreement With Southwestern Oklahoma State University

September 20, 2023

Regents for the Regional University System of Oklahoma attend signing of the agreement between SWOSU and NWOSU. (L-R) Regent Jane McDermott; Dr. Les Ramos, SWOSU’s dean of pharmacy; Dr. Joel Kendall, provost at SWOSU; Dr. Diana Lovell, SWOSU president; Dr. Bo Hannaford, NWOSU president; Dr. James Bell, NWOSU’s vice president for academic affairs; Dr. Leslie Collins, NWOSU’s chair of the Charles Morton Share Trust Division of Nursing; Dr. Steve Maier, NWOSU’s dean of faculty; Regent Connie Reilly.


Northwestern Oklahoma State University President Dr. Bo Hannaford and Southwestern Oklahoma State University (SWOSU) President Dr. Diana Lovell signed a partnership agreement recently to allow student passage for continuing education to each university.

Two SWOSU School of Nursing and Allied Health nursing graduates have been guaranteed placement into Northwestern’s Wisdom Family Foundation Doctoral Program for Rural Nursing Practice (DNP) program. Also, part of the agreement guarantees two Northwestern chemistry majors’ placements into SWOSU's pharmacy doctoral program.

Students will be able to start these pathways beginning in fall 2024.

In 2021, Hannaford and Dr. Joel Kendall, provost at SWOSU, started the discussion of creating a pathway to give students opportunities between the two universities to complete degrees needed for Oklahoma’s workforce. Dr. James Bell, vice president for academic affairs, finalized the partnership with Kendall. Northwestern’s Dr. Steve Maier, dean of faculty, and Dr. Leslie Collins, chair of the Charles Morton Share Trust Division of Nursing, also helped with this agreement by working with Southwestern’s Dr. Chad Kinder, vice president for strategic partnerships, Dr. Les Ramos, dean of pharmacy, Kendall and Bell.

"Northwestern is excited about partnering with SWOSU on this innovative program,” Bell said. “We hope that it will be the first of many partnerships forged between undergraduate and graduate programs in the Regional University System of Oklahoma. We are stronger as a system when we work collectively."

“We at SWOSU are thrilled to embark on this educational partnership with Northwestern Oklahoma State University,” said Lovell. “Our goal is to create pathways that empower students to excel in their chosen fields while addressing the needs of our state. Together with Northwestern, we aim to bolster opportunities for our students and strengthen Oklahoma’s workforce.”

Upon successful completion of required courses, eligible Northwestern students will be able to complete their doctoral pharmacy degree at SWOSU and eligible SWOSU students will be able to complete their DNP at Northwestern.

Interested students should contact their academic advisers. To learn more about Northwestern, visit To learn more about SWOSU, visit

About Southwestern Oklahoma State University

Southwestern Oklahoma State University has proudly stood on the hilltop in Weatherford, Oklahoma, since its establishment in 1901. Offering more than 100 affordable undergraduate and graduate programs across three locations in Weatherford, Sayre, and Yukon, SWOSU provides a diverse range of academic opportunities with high-quality education to its students. The university boasts a vibrant community of more than 5,000 scholars and over 200 dedicated faculty and staff. With strong academic programs and a commitment to excellence, SWOSU continues to be a top choice for students seeking a quality education.

About Northwestern Oklahoma State University

Northwestern, established in 1897, is a public regional university that has received national acclaim for its combination of high-quality academic program and affordability. While Northwestern primarily serves the vast geographical area of northwest Oklahoma and the Panhandle, its students come from more than 40 states and 20 countries. With three campuses located in Alva, Enid and Woodward, students of all ages are welcome to continue their education and complete their degree.


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