Regents Business Partnership Excellence Award Honors OSUIT/Xalter Metaversity Collaboration

Regents Business Partnership Excellence Award Honors OSUIT/Xalter Metaversity Collaboration

Regents Business Partnership Excellence Award Honors OSUIT/Xalter Metaversity Collaboration

OSU Institute of Technology's partnership with Xalter was among 27 innovative collaborations recently recognized by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education for furthering the education of Oklahoma's workforce.

The Regents Business Partnership Excellence Award highlights successful partnerships between higher education institutions and businesses and further cultivates the higher learning environment through the State Regents' Economic Development Grants.

OSUIT has partnered with Xalter to re-design what is possible in an applied technical training campus by designing the OSU Institute of Technology Metaversity, a "digital twin" of OSUIT in the Metaverse.

"Our partnership with Xalter has been invaluable and has helped us change how we think about education," said OSUIT President Bill R. Path. "We are now able to expand our inclusiveness and reach by allowing students to learn in virtual reality, empowering distance learning and adapting to ever-changing learning conditions. "VR doesn't replace our hands-on learning – it enhances it and allows OSUIT to remain the leader in technical education."

According to their chief executive officer Kevin Anderson, Xalter is a technology company with a mission to transform technical education and skills training using virtual and augmented reality, collectively known as XR, or extended reality.

"I am honored and humbled by the recognition of our efforts with this award. The shared goals and mission of this partnership will nationwide impact higher education," said Anderson. "The vision and leadership of Dr. Bill Path is why the strategic partnership of Xalter and OSUIT is positioned to lead in XR adoption in higher education. I want to express my deepest appreciation to OSUIT, Dr. Bill Path and Assistant Dean Christian Bradley for everything they have done to make our shared dream a reality."

The Metaversity serves as a single deployment platform for all Virtual Reality learning modules, VR experiences and other Metaverse-related tasks for OSUIT students, faculty and staff. It comprises various virtual spaces, virtual schools and virtual workforce development offices.

The first-of-its-kind campus has immersive training modules integrated into the platform and supports remote engagement and collaboration for faculty, students and visitors through a headset or computer.

"Our colleges and universities continue collaborating successfully with public, private and nonprofit partners to strengthen economic and workforce development across Oklahoma," said OSRHE Chancellor Allison Garrett. "Producing more workforce-ready graduates by increasing communication with employers and connecting students to the workforce sooner is a fundamental goal of Blueprint 2030, the State Regents' new strategic plan for public higher education. We are proud to recognize these partnerships and their positive impact on Oklahoma businesses and communities."

Institutions involved in these partnerships provide $500 in other financial support and receive a matching $500 State Regents' Economic Development Grant that is applied to either the tuition of an employee of the business being recognized; a paid internship for a current student of the institution to work at the business being recognized; a faculty externship with the business being recognized; or the enhancement of the partnership with additional equipment, materials or supplies.

Submissions are provided by the institutions and reviewed by a committee of State Regents' staff and the EDC Regents Business Partnership Excellence Award committee to ensure the program's integrity. Only one partner summary is allowed per institution, with a maximum of 27 annual recognitions if each of the 27 public higher education institutions submits a partner to be recognized. Through outside sponsorship, the State Regents provide one plaque of recognition to honor the business partner and institution leaders for their outstanding partnership. They receive the recognition plaque at a reception held in the spring of each year.