What the Experts are Saying

“It has been inspiring to watch our students grow throughout Tulsa Term – they are learning to collaborate effectively and building leadership skills that will last long after their time with Tulsa Public School. What our students tell us is that they are learning beyond the classroom, and their lessons resonate with them in profound ways. Students tell us that they leave Tulsa Term as more engaged community members, strong communicators, and critical thinkers who are ready to help build and shape our city in the years to come.”
Deborah A. Gist, Tulsa Public Schools Superintendent

“Anytime students have the opportunity to step outside the classroom to learn through personal experience and “real world” engagement, they develop greater insights about themselves, acquire new knowledge and skills, and participate in collaborative discovery. The Tulsa Term program sounds like an opportunity of a lifetime for students and one which will provide them with a unique and transformative learning experience that I hope will prove invaluable in both college and life.”
Kelly Walter, Associate Vice President and Executive Director of Admission, Boston University

“I am excited to hear about your Tulsa Term at Holland Hall. Across the country, we are witnessing universities desiring to bring a very real level of humanity to a world where applications focus on ACT/SAT/GPA and a dozen other variables. This type of program creates such an environment, which is beneficial to students on an experiential level as well as preparation for the college application process. This is certainly a focus for us at Oklahoma State University! I am proud Holland Hall is exhibiting leadership in this area. Being a native Tulsan (Sand Springs), I realize it will be as beneficial to the city of Tulsa and the many people who will come into contact with those students. As an educator, you realize, it’s often the teachers and volunteers who learn the most and are so inspired and positively impacted through interaction with great students like the ones at Holland Hall.”
Kyle Wray, Vice President for Enrollment and Marketing, Oklahoma State University

“Tulsa Term provides students with an enriching independent learning experience. As they transition from high school to college, students will benefit from a program that serves as the building blocks for self-guided education. It is this sort of autonomous journey that admission offices find appealing in prospective students because it establishes one’s preparation for success in college both in and out of the classroom.”
Heath Einstein, Dean of Admission, Texas Christian University

“We know from our experience with our own students how important these kinds of programs are. Not only do students learn valuable skills and gain perspective, but they grow in knowledge and confidence. In an environment like Case Western Reserve University, where many students come in with a focused direction in mind, participating in an experiential program while in high school can help students to both sharpen their focus and also position them to take advantage of opportunities when they get to college. This ultimately leads to a more enriching undergraduate experience and enhanced opportunities for their next steps post-graduation.”
Bob McCullough, Director of Undergraduate Admission, Case Western Reserve University

“Many colleges are looking for individuals who think outside the box creatively, who are independent self starters, and deeply curious. Tulsa Term will give students the opportunity to hone these skills and see real applications and implications for their work.”
Jeremiah Quinlan, Dean of Undergraduate Admission, Yale University

“Students will benefit from having the feeling that they are doing their own work, not the work that has been assigned to them by someone else. They will be given two skills that they do not get to exercise as much in most schools—design and self-assessment. One of the most exciting and creative parts of any project is the choices made in the design process. Yet most students do not get to exercise that creativity in school. They will also to self-assess on a level that they are already doing in many activities like sports, theater, art and dance but rarely learn how to do in academic settings. Design and self-assessment will be key parts of Tulsa Term.

They will be working with teachers who are learning alongside them in many cases. Both students and teachers alike will be utilizing “real world” experts in their projects. As a result, the relationship between teacher and student will deepen and in a way that will enliven both parties. The quality of relationships between teachers and students has been shown to have one of the largest positive effect sizes of any teaching interventions.

As Margaret Mead said, ‘Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.’ That is what Tulsa Term will be part of doing for the educational world.

The two concepts that students struggle with the most in rigorous high school settings are engagement and motivation. The former is lacking because there doesn’t appear to be any ‘real world’ application to much of the learning that happens in high school. The latter is finessed by most schools by relying heavily on ‘extrinsic’ motivation. However, the best work that students do in high school is authentic to a real world situation and ‘intrinsic.’ Tulsa Term will engage the student’s sense of engagement and genuine motivation that will result in a sense of joy in the act of learning that was there for most students in their early education and still exists in their extra-curricular activities today.”
David Dunbar, Co-creator and Academic Dean of CITYterm at the Masters School

“I’m really excited about Tulsa Term! It’s a program that will connect Holland Hall students to the larger community in a meaningful and engaging way. Experiential learning is the best way for students to learn because it provides “real world” applications for what are often seemingly abstract concepts. Understanding how our city works will benefit both the participants and our community for years to come.”
Ken Busby, Executive Director and CEO Route 66 Alliance

“Tulsa Term offers an unprecedented, genuine opportunity for students to learn real leadership skills and dispositions that cannot be replicated in any traditional classroom. Defining problems and opportunities based on the reality around us, then collaborating to tackle them in real time–that’s what is needed, and desired, more and more in college and beyond. The great problems and opportunities in Tulsa need more people who are not just willing but also understand how to approach them.

Much of what we teach in school focuses on how to analyze and argue in the purely academic realm. With Tulsa as the “text”, students will learn how to identify REAL problems and opportunities that could make an enormous difference in their ability, and willingness, to take on these leadership challenges. Reading a place and its people and understanding them an essential leadership skill. Why limit our students, who clearly want more, to only reading and understanding traditional texts?

While we want all of our educational experiences to be transformative, TT will, for every student who enrolls, change them deeply and provide a new lens for understanding the world that will be enduring.”
JP Culley, Head of School, Holland Hall

“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. It is use of these real-life experiences to face real-life situations that will catapult today’s student and make them tomorrow’s leader. Colleges are taking notice.

Recognizing a breadth of experience is rising to the surface in college admission and beyond. Tulsa Term will enrich a student’s story and he or she will most certainly become a better applicant. Learning becomes real, and the world’s innovative colleges are taking notice.”
Brent Casey, Director of College Counseling, Holland Hall

“OU values experiential learning programs, and Tulsa Term takes it to the next level involving the partnership between Holland Hall and Tulsa Public Schools. 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. Student participants will emerge as better citizens and more thoughtful people. 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

“Northeastern State University values immersive learning as a way of engaging and further preparing our students for life beyond graduation. Tulsa Term is a shining example of extending learning beyond the traditional classroom to create autonomous, civically-engaged citizens that want to give back to their communities for the betterment of future generations. We can only hope that Oklahoma will retain these future leaders for years to come.”
Jennifer McClendon, Director of Admissions and Recruitment, Northeastern State University

Timeline for Cohort #3

Applications Open:
October 2019

Applications Close:
February 21, 2020

Acceptance Notification: 
February 28, 2020

Launch Date for Cohort #3:
January 2021


View the Tulsa Term brochure »




Jane Beckwith

Eder J. Williams McKnight

“Jane Beckwith and Eder J. Williams McKnight are nationally recognized master teachers in the field of experiential learning. This program will take our curriculum to the next level of sophistication & effectiveness as a progressive school.”

– Frances Fondren-Bales
Upper School Head


Tulsa Term Sample Project: What happens when the visual artist and the city planner intersect? Students will discover how recognizing different ways of seeing might reveal ways to re-imagine Tulsa’s infrastructure.

Tulsa Term Sample Project: How does mapping gathering places reveal patterns of history? By studying the history of the people and places of Tulsa, students will be equipped to understand how the past shapes future possibilities for the city.