Holland Hall and Tulsa Public Schools Partner Together to Launch Tulsa Term

Tulsa Term is an immersive, experience-based high school semester in which a 12-student cohort of Holland Hall juniors and seniors and Tulsa Public Schools seniors use academic skills to explore the people and places of Tulsa and offer solutions to real problems in the city. Students were selected through an application process and will receive academic course credit in English, History, Science, Statistics, and an elective (determined by project-based themes).

The course was created and is co-directed by Jane Beckwith and Eder J. Williams McKnight of Holland Hall. Both are nationally recognized master teachers in the field of experience-based learning. “Tulsa Term encourages students to take charge of their learning and become involved to make changes in their community,” said Beckwith. “Our learning philosophy is student-centered, place-based, and transdisciplinary. We draw on effective methods, such as design thinking, to foster deep learning.” Tulsa Term’s home base classroom is at City Hall in the One Technology Center but much of the students’ time will be spent immersed in downtown Tulsa and surrounding areas.

While honing a variety of skills, such as critical thinking, problem-solving, collaboration, and communication, students will offer solutions to the real problems they encounter. For example, one project, through a partnership with Dr. Jennifer Clark, M.D., will have students exploring ways to improve community health access by implementing a systems design approach. Tulsa Term’s innovative education model has school administrators and college admission directors excited.

“Tulsa Term will create a space where students can experience stimulating and innovative learning, capitalize on their individual strengths, expand their understanding of Tulsa, and develop into a team of leaders that influence their home schools and communities.”

Deborah A. Gist, Tulsa Public Schools Superintendent

“Experiential, hands-on, immersion programs are imperative for the student who questions most everything, engages deeply, researches earnestly, and befriends his or her greater community. (Using) real-life experiences to face real-life situations will catapult today’s student and make them tomorrow’s leader. Tulsa Term will enrich a student’s story and he or she will most certainly become a better (college) applicant.”

Brent Casey, Director of College Counseling, Holland Hall

“OU values experiential learning programs, and Tulsa Term takes it to the next level. I believe the best learning occurs when great students have the opportunity to apply what they have read or heard to a practical real-world situation. Involvement in Tulsa Term will certainly get the attention of the admission and scholarship committees.”

Matt Hamilton, Vice President and Registrar for Enrollment and Student Services, University of Oklahoma

Acceptances for Tulsa Term Cohort #2, which begins in January of 2020, were expected to be announced in February.

For more information about Tulsa Term, visit

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