As a public, open admissions, associate degree granting institution, Rose State College provides higher education preparation for lifelong learning through programs and services designed to serve a diverse community.
Rose State College was originally named Oscar Rose Junior College in memory of Oscar V. Rose, a former Mid-Del School District school superintendent. The school was renamed Rose State College by Senate Bill Number 9 in April 1983 that went into effect on November 1, 1983. Rose State College offered its first classes on September 21, 1970. Voters in Midwest City, Del City, and portions of southeastern and northeastern Oklahoma City. This vote followed passage of Senate Bill Number 2 in 1967, a law enabling district-operated community colleges to receive state aid. Voters then passed a $1.75 million general obligation bond issue, a two-mill levy for operating expenses in 1969, and a three-mill levy for operations in 1970. In December 1973, the junior college became a member of The Oklahoma State System of Higher Education, after approval from the Rose State College Board of Trustees. Rose State College exists as a publicly created and sustained, open-admissions, associate degree-granting college to provide comprehensive lower-division programs of higher education and related community services. To meet enrollment growth, the Communication Center was built in 1998, providing art, music, and journalism classrooms as well as a home for theatrical and musical performances. Popularity of the dental hygiene and dental assistant programs led to the construction of the Health Sciences Annex, completed in 2001. Rose State College has grown from an initial enrollment of 1,700 in 1970 to a regular fall enrollment of approximately 8,200. The campus now includes twenty-two buildings on approximately 116 acres (0.47 km2).