RSU’s Talent Search Program Resumes with New Director Hire

The United States Department of Education reinstated Rogers State University’s Talent Search Program last month, supporting the success of Oklahoma students in grades 6-12 enrolling in postsecondary education programs.

“Increasing the number of Oklahomans who hold a college degree is crucial for the economic vitality of northeastern Oklahoma. The Talent Search Program is opening doors for students who have the potential to succeed in higher education,” Dr. Susan Bedwell, RSU’s educational opportunity center project director, said.

Talent Search offers academic, career and financial aid counseling to its participants. It also helps students who have dropped out of high school reenter the educational system and complete their education. Only 11 percent of all public schools in the United States are awarded a Talent Search Program.

New Talent Search Director Danette Floyd, from Adair, began her duties on Oct. 13. RSU’s Talent Search Program serves seven school districts in Claremore, Pryor, Bartlesville, Chelsea, Foyil, Sequoyah and Kenwood.

“Danette brings a repertoire of educational success strategies for working with junior high and high school students in school systems in northeast Oklahoma. She is a shining star, and we are glad to have her expertise on our team,” Dr. Bedwell said.

Floyd worked for SafeNet Services as the empowerment educator for the last five years. She has 18 years of service in high school education and 10 years of experience in retail management. Her professional accolades include Teacher of the Year at Vinita Regional Adult Learning Center, Oklahoma ACTE Outstanding Teacher in Community Service, Northeast Oklahoma Regional Alliance Leadership Class, and she currently serves on Oklahoma’s ROCMND Youth Services Board.

Floyd earned a bachelor’s degree in business management from Northeastern State University and a master’s degree in workforce development adult education from the University of Arkansas.

“I am a first-generation college student. I remember the obstacles that I had to overcome, many with help from those around me. I feel honored to work with a program that can help so many students toward their goals in higher education,” Floyd said.

More than 60 percent of RSU’s freshman class are first-generation students who are navigating the college experience on their own. The Student Government Association is hosting First Generation Student Day on November 8-9.

“First generation students are an essential part of our community on campus. We recognize their bravery in being the first in their family to pursue higher education and RSU SGA supports their goals and dreams,” Kurt Levan, SGA president, said.

RSU offers other federally funded student support programs that support first generation students, including the Educational Opportunity Center and Student Support Services, also known as TRiO programs.

“Our TRiO programs serve more than 4,500 Oklahoma students each year. They incorporate vital resources for our first-generation students, bringing real world deliverables to our students ensuring both academic and personal success,” Dr. Bedwell said. “We are grateful that even more students will be served through the Talent Search program.”

RSU offers bachelor’s and associate degree programs in Oklahoma’s top 10 fastest growing industries, including healthcare, business administration, applied technology, psychology and sociology, communications, humanities, criminal justice, nursing, esports, game development and environmental conservation.

RSU also offers graduate education through its Master of Business Administration, available entirely online at one of the most affordable rates in the region.

Admission for the spring 2022 semester is underway. Classes begin January 10. For more information about enrollment, visit