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Frances Colombin

Friday, May 06, 2022

Frances Colombin, an Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology employee, recently received the Outstanding Instructor of Non-Traditional Students Award from the Oklahoma Career and Technical Education Equity Council.

Colombin was one of 17 Oklahomans honored, along with three businesses and organizations, at the 28th annual Making It Work Day at the Capitol in a virtual ceremony May 6. Making It Work Day recognizes individuals who are committed to removing barriers to success for single-parent families by providing educational experiences for students beyond the classroom. The ceremony also recognized nontraditional students.

Colombin is director of the Adult Basic Education-GED program and MPower at OSUIT. She was a public school teacher for more than 30 years and began working at OSUIT after retirement, said Katie Quillin, occupational specialist at MPower, who nominated Colombin for the award.

For more than 25 years at OSUIT, Colombin has worked with GED and MPower students to help them achieve success; in addition to teaching them, she also helps them find resources for food, shelter, technology and more, Quillin said.

“Fran is much more than an instructor,” Quillin said. “Fran is a cheerleader, a counselor, a confidant and a mom. She cares for each of her students and goes to great lengths to find them the assistance they need no matter what it is.”

Colombin is also an advisory member for Green Country Technology Center and OSUIT Extension and helped develop the Four County East Coalition. She volunteers with OSUIT, local schools and churches, Quillin said.

OkCTEEC is affiliated with the administrative division of the Oklahoma Association of Career and Technology Education. The council advocates for students pursuing nontraditional careers and for resources for educating single parents.

“OkCTEEC is always privileged to honor those who have chosen a career path that is nontraditional and those individuals or partners who have assisted them in their quest,” said KayTee Niquette, Work Prep and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families coordinator at the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education. “This year is a transitional year that everyone seems to be working through, so students and others have been doing an exceptional job meeting in person and through a hybrid model.”

She serves as an adviser for OkCTEEC, along with Lisa French of the Department of Human Services and Gina McPherson of the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education.

“All of us continue to navigate through the continuing pandemic, facing new challenges each and every day,” said Kelly Vinson, OkCTEEC president and director of Project Achieve at Northern Oklahoma College. “Our students have shown tremendous strength and determination navigating through the many challenges they face along the way. It is a great honor to recognize these students, who have excelled and are continuing to reach their goals.”

OkCTEEC’s purposes include promoting and supporting career and technology education, increasing its effectiveness, promoting research in the field and in educational equity, developing leadership and advocating for equity and diversity.

For more information about OkCTEEC, visit For more information about the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education, visit

Last Modified on May 06, 2022
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