Great Plains was established in Comanche County in September 1971 as Great Plains Area Vocational and Technical School to provide enhanced vocational training for high school juniors and seniors. Great Plains began its first semester with 531 students from six high schools. Those first year students chose from just seven vocational programs. Construction of the one building school began “on the prairie” in the yet undeveloped southwest region of Lawton at 4500 W. Lee Blvd.
Today, Great Plains educates and trains more than 1,100 secondary and adult students from 16 public high school districts (plus private schools and home-schooled students) in more than 70 career majors. The tech center also provides nearly 500 professional and personal development “short term” classes annually to more than 3,000 students. Additionally, Great Plains serves another 10,000 residents through its customized industrial training and business services. The 80-acre Lawton campus has grown to include nine buildings, plus a firefighter training complex and E-911 Emergency Communications Center while a second campus located in Frederick was opened in 1989 to serve Tillman and Kiowa Counties.
Great Plains Technology Center is part of the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technical Education’s, (Career Tech) Tech network of 29 technology centers across the state. Great Plains serves residents from four counties, all of Comanche and Tillman Counties and a portion of Cotton and Kiowa Counties. Partner school districts include Big Pasture, Cache, Chattanooga, Elgin, Fletcher, Frederick, Geronimo, Grandfield, Indiahoma, Lawton, Snyder, Sterling and Tipton. Great Plains also partners with Cameron University, Western Oklahoma State College and Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology.
Great Plains in 2000 changed its name to Great Plains Technology Center. Today, Great Plains Technology Center continues to play vital roles in education and economic development in Lawton-Fort Sill and communities across southwest Oklahoma.
The Great Plains Technology Center District serves all of Comanche and Tillman counties and portions of Cotton and Kiowa counties. The relationships Great Plains has with the partner schools within its district is critical to a successfully outcome for our students. High school students who live within the Great Plains district may attend full-time programs tuition free.