OCC on Cutting Edge of National Initiative to Ensure Students Receive the Degrees They Earned

Earning a college degree can be one of the greatest achievements of a person’s life. But colleges nationwide are finding that many students who complete the requirements aren’t taking the steps needed to be awarded the official degree. They are among students known as the “some college, no degree” population, and according to a recent publication by the National Student Clearinghouse, there are more than 1 million of these students in Michigan.

Why students are not receiving the degrees they’ve earned is a trend that OCC is a working to remedy. The college is on the forefront of the Degrees When Due initiative being led by the Institute for Higher Education Policy.

OCC Registrar Stephen Linden was recently quoted in a national news article on the higher education website, EdSurge.com, which highlighted the “4 Reasons Why Students Don’t Receive the Degrees They’ve Earned” and looks at this initiative.

Linden says there are a number of reasons why some students “stop-out” (students who stop attending OCC for a variety of reasons and do not transfer to another institution) and don’t receive their degree:

1. The student’s academic focus is on a different program, and they are not aware of degrees they complete along the way;
2. The student never came in for academic advising and they are unaware of the requirements to be awarded the degree;
3. Their focus is on transferring to a four-year institution, not on completing a degree at OCC;
4. They don’t understand the value of receiving the degree until after they are in the work force.

To help bridge this degree-award gap, Linden said the College has recently identified 900 students who, in a six-year window of time, earned a degree but never had it posted to their records. These students have also never earned a degree anywhere else. These stop-out students were sent a certified letter indicating they have met all graduation requirements for one or more degrees, their earned credentials will be posted to their student records and diplomas will be mailed directly – unless they specifically request otherwise.

In addition to this initiative, OCC is also working to improve automated systems to better flag a student record when the student has qualified for a credential in real-time and ensure students reap the benefits of their efforts sooner, Linden said.

“While helping students complete the degree they are pursuing is the ultimate goal of completion efforts, it is very rewarding to let them know they completed a degree they didn’t expect.”

“It’s the Christmas of higher ed,” said Linden. “We’re able to provide a gift they’ve truly earned already but never received.”

Re-engagement efforts with Degrees When Due will continue in 2020. OCC will be contacting hundreds more “some college, no degree” students who are one or two courses away from degree completion with the hope these students will return to OCC to complete those final courses. Students who have left the area can complete OCC online courses, or even take them at another nearby community college or university and transfer these final credits back to the College.

Linden said there are many completion pathways former students can follow, and OCC is committed to empowering students and guide them to exploring the many options available that work best for them.

If you believe you have earned a degree or would like more information on the Degrees When Done project, please contact OCC’s Registrar Stephen Linden at 248.341.2192.

About OCC
With five campuses in Oakland County, OCC is Michigan’s number one transfer institution, offering nearly 100 excellent degrees and certificates. The College empowers academic and developmental experiences, allowing students to reach their full potential and enhance the communities they serve. More than a million students have enrolled in the College since it opened in 1965. Learn more at oaklandcc.edu.

11TH ANNUAL THE GARDEN PARTY SUPPORTS PROFESSIONAL TRADE SCHOLARSHIPS

Fantastic food, fabulous cars and fine wine will be served up at the eleventh annual Garden Party, a fundraising event to provide professional trade scholarships to disadvantaged young adults. The event will be held on Sunday, June 9, 2019, from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM on the beautiful grounds of Meadow Brook Hall in Rochester, Michigan.

The Garden Party will feature fare from 30 of Michigan’s best restaurants including Big Rock Chophouse, Detroit Athletic Club, Grey Ghost, Roberts Restaurant Group, among others. New additions to this year’s event include Antihero, Hazel, Ravines & Downtown, Lady of the House, and Shewolf, to name a few. The exquisite cuisine offered during the affair will be paired with 100 of the finest wines provided by Great Lakes Wine & Spirits, classic car display and live entertainment by Detroit’s own award-winning vocalist, Tosha Owens.

“The Garden Party is pleasant, if not pleasing. It is one of the few charities that our industry, Hospitality, embraces…” said Sydney L. Ross, co-founder of The Garden Party Foundation and co-owner of Great Lakes Wine and Spirits, based in Highland Park. “We are giving the children and later young adults the opportunity to learn skills that WILL allow them to be self-sufficient and prosper – vocational training.”

Tickets for The Garden Party are $150 per person. Attire is traditional Garden Party chic. The hosts request that ladies wear hats. Guests must be 18 to attend. Tickets can be purchased by visiting www.thegardenpartymichigan.org.

2019 Sponsors include: Atlas Oil Company (along with Atlas Cares and Sam & Nada Simon Foundation), Barton Malow Company, Celani Family Vineyards, Charity Motors, Crain’s Detroit Business, Dickinson Wright PLLC, dbusiness, HOUR Detroit, Huntington Bank, JP Morgan Chase, Kelly Services, MP Tool & Engineering, News/Talk 760 WJR, Peter Basso Associates, Plum Market, Ryder, The Suburban Collection, The Tyranski & Totonchio Group – Merrill Lynch, TMP Architecture, and UHY Advisors, Inc.

Along with The Garden Party Southeast Michigan, the fourth annual Garden Party Northern Michigan will be held on September 7, 2019 from 3PM – 6PM in The Harris Gardens on North Central Michigan College’s campus in Petoskey, MI.

About Oakland Community College Professional and Skilled Trades
Oakland Community College’s mission is built on meeting community need. Essentially, what talent does Southeast Michigan need to maintain a strong economy and a great quality of life? How do we meet that need with today’s students? At OCC, this translates into the rebirth of professional and skilled trades. According to the state’s employment website, Talent Connect, there are more than 8,300 professional trades job openings across all industries in Michigan, and more than 6,200 expected to be available each year through 2022.
Today, careers in the professional trades offer high demand, highly skilled, well-paying jobs. OCC’s commitment to filling this talent gap means working with businesses, agencies and our expert faculty to meet the need for skilled, career-ready employees in Advanced Automobile Servicing, Criminal Justice, Culinary Arts, EMS, Fire Fighter Technology, Machine Tool Technology, Robotics and Welding,

About The Garden Party Foundation
The Garden Party Foundation was founded by The Ross Family and The Cooper Family. The purpose of The Garden Party is to create a pleasant Sunday afternoon that is pleasing to the eye, the palate, and for its charitable aspect – pleasing to the soul. The Garden Party Foundation’s mission is to provide trade school scholarships to underprivileged young adults. TGPF believes that the purpose of education is to teach students skills allowing them the opportunity to create their own self-sustainable life, which goes hand in hand with TGPF’s intention…to help one student at a time reach their dreams.

UNDER PRESSURE: Oakland County parole and probation officers learn how to cope with stress at OCC

Burnout. Substance abuse. Divorce. Suicide.

Stress in law enforcement is real and the driving force behind the first joint Oakland Community College departments of Criminal Justice and Psychology session, “Stress Management for Parole and Probation Agents” on March 29, 2019.

The idea for the session was inspired when Kevin Jones, a training agent for Oakland County’s parole and probation officers, contacted Ken Aud, OCC criminal justice department chair and faculty member, about the college hosting a special training session.

Aud was on the case.

He join forces with colleagues Dr. Krishna Stilianos, psychology department chair and faculty member, and Dr. Kathy Theil, psychology faculty member, to develop the unique session.

Due to the nature of the officers’ work, the officers wanted a session centered on work-related stress and the inherent crossover over into the family unit.

According to Aud, officers in law enforcement tend to hide their stress, view it as a weakness, or simply fail to recognize the associated symptoms. Unfortunately, if left unchecked there are sometimes grave results.

“Stress in the law enforcement arena can be isolated to a single event or a combination of events over a long period of time,” Aud said. “Our goal was to provide these professionals with an overview of how stress effects the mind, body and behaviors, and provide them with some productive ways to reduce stress.”

For more information about OCC’s criminal justice, psychology and law enforcement programs, visit oaklandcc.edu.

About OCC
With five campuses in Oakland County, OCC is Michigan’s No. 1 transfer institution, offering nearly 100 degrees and certificates. The College empowers academic and developmental experiences, allowing students to reach their potential and enhance their communities. More than 1 million students have enrolled in the college since it opened in 1965. A seven-person Board of Trustees governs OCC. Board members are elected on a non-partisan, at-large basis, serve as volunteers and are not paid. Mission statement: OCC is committed to empowering our students to succeed and advancing our community. Learn more at oaklandcc.edu.

OCC to Honor King’s Words, Deeds, at Jan. 18 Convocation; Public Invited

The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. had a dream — but who was it for?

In a 2005 appearance on NPR’s “All Things Considered,” award-winning author Desiree Cooper urged listeners to set aside the totality of that seminal speech from 1963 and pay closer attention to the words.

“His exact wish was not for all children, but his four children,” Cooper said. “He wasn’t only speaking as a reverend or philosopher or civil rights leader. He was also speaking as a parent.”

Oakland Community College invites the public to join faculty, staff and students to listen to more of Cooper’s insights about King at a convocation commemorating his birthday. The event, sponsored by the college’s Committee for Diversity and Inclusion, takes places from 10 a.m. to noon Friday, Jan. 18, in the Smith Theatre on OCC’s Orchard Ridge campus, 27055 Orchard Lake Road, Farmington Hills.

A former attorney, editor of Metro Times and columnist of Detroit Free Press, Cooper is a 2015 Kresge Artist Fellow and a Pulitzer Prize-nominated journalist. In addition, her debut collection of “flash fiction,” Know the Mother, was a 2017 Michigan Notable Book that has won numerous awards, including a 2016 Foreword INDIES Finalist and a 2017 Next Generation Indie Book Award. Cooper’s fiction, poetry and essays have appeared in The Best Small Fictions 2018, Callaloo, Michigan Quarterly Review, Hypertext Review and Best African American Fiction 2010, among other online and print publications.

Oakland Early College’s School of Rock will perform, and students will offer reflections on how King’s legacy has affected their community and shaped their lives. Afterward, guests are welcome to attend a reception and book signing.

For more information and to register for the convocation, click here.

About OCC
With five campuses in Oakland County, OCC is Michigan’s No. 1 transfer institution, offering nearly 100 degrees and certificates. The College empowers academic and developmental experiences, allowing students to reach their potential and enhance their communities. More than 1 million students have enrolled in the college since it opened in 1965. A seven-person Board of Trustees governs OCC. Board members are elected on a non-partisan, at-large basis, serve as volunteers and are not paid. Learn more at oaklandcc.edu.

About the OCC Committee for Diversity and Inclusion
OCC is fully committed to raising the awareness of our students, employees and community by offering opportunities to experience other cultures and explore the common elements we all share as human beings. Learn more at oaklandcc.edu/diversity.

Empower yourself in the New Year

Change jobs. Start a new career. Make more money. Be my best self.
Oakland Community College offers nearly 100 degree and certificate programs as well as continuing education and advanced training to get you started. New students must apply by December 15.
Did you know, for the equivalent of as little as $25 week, students can earn 3 credits toward accredited degree, transfer and certificate programs at OCC? OCC maintains a low tuition rate for high-quality education – up to 25- to 50-percent lower cost to similar public or private higher education institutions.

• Winter semester at OCC starts Monday, January 7.
• Registration for the start of OCC winter classes closes January 6.

Many students choose OCC as their college starting point and save thousands of dollars at other schools by transferring course credits. Others choose OCC to increase their skills and career potential or renew a personal commitment and desire to learn from excellent instructors in the classroom and learning labs. Most choose based on value, availability of classes to balance work and school, and close proximity to home or work with five campuses – Auburn Hills, Farmington Hills, Royal Oak, Southfield and Waterford.

For high school students looking to get a jump-start on college, OCC has a number of options to earn early college credits and save money. Opportunities vary by individual student and high school district and range from dual enrollment to early college. Options include Oakland Technical Early College, Oakland Early College, Oakland ACE (Accelerated College Experience with Oakland Schools), and High School Dual Enrollment.

Potential students may review up-to-date course offerings, register for classes and access the OCC schedule of classes for winter 2019 semester’s academic calendar for more information. Visit OCC’s website at www.oaklandcc.edu to get started, or contact OCC at 248.341.2200 or ces@oaklandcc.edu.

About OCC
With five campuses in Oakland County, OCC is Michigan’s No. 1 transfer institution, offering nearly 100 degrees and certificates. The College empowers academic and developmental experiences, allowing students to reach their potential and enhance their communities. More than 1 million students have enrolled in the college since it opened in 1965. A seven-person Board of Trustees governs OCC. Board members are elected on a non-partisan, at-large basis, serve as volunteers and are not paid. Mission statement: OCC is committed to empowering our students to succeed and advancing our community. Learn more at oaklandcc.edu.

What do you get when you add 27 math students and two math faculty? A math club.

If 91 base-10 digits are chosen at random, what is the probability that some of the digits can form a number x with n digits, and the rest can form a number b with (91-n) digits such that x = b2? (Note: x and b cannot begin with the digit 0.) If you don’t know the answer to that problem, join the club. If you do know the answer, join the Math Club, which was resurrected at Oakland Community College’s Royal Oak campus just before Thanksgiving by Faculty members Jeff Parent and Dan Puig-Pey, in the math department.

Emily drives to school at a speed of 60 miles per hour. On the return trip, she runs into traffic and travels at 20 miles per hour. What is her average speed for the entire trip? While you’re employing fingers and toes to calculate that one, consider that 27 students attended the initial gathering of the Math Club, during which the discussion centered on the history of calculating devices, from the abacus of 2000-plus years ago to modern-day tools such as Mathematica. Students also learned how to multiply 164×25. Which seems like a pretty pedestrian equation for this crowd. Only they did it using a slide rule. (Google it.)

Parent also shared with the club one of the first handheld calculators, the Texas Instruments SR-10. The device was purchased for $150 back in 1975 by OCC Professor Emeritus Marv Parent, Jeff’s father. In its time, the calculator was a big hit on the Auburn Hills campus, where the elder Parent taught chemistry. “People would come from all over campus to borrow it,” his son recalls. Parent says the Math Club was the product of a couple of factors. One was the annual contest put on by the American Mathematical Association of Two-Year Colleges. Students would gather to go over the questions, a couple of which you’ve already stumbled over. Then there’s the fact that, as Parent puts it, math “is a recreation for us.” So much so that when you have only X amount of time in the classroom and X+X topics of conversation, you need to, well, you do the math. And the you do a math club.

The next meeting of The OCC Math Club will be in late January or early February, which provides plenty of time to determine how many distinct eight-digit numbers can be formed by selecting and arranging eight digits, without replacement, from the string “1234455666.” Thankfully, this doesn’t involve two trains traveling toward each other at different speeds.

About OCC
With five campuses in Oakland County, OCC is Michigan’s No. 1 transfer institution, offering nearly 100 degrees and certificates. The College empowers academic and developmental experiences, allowing students to reach their potential and enhance their communities. More than 1 million students have enrolled in the college since it opened in 1965. A seven-person Board of Trustees governs OCC. Board members are elected on a non-partisan, at-large basis, serve as volunteers and are not paid. Mission statement: OCC is committed to empowering our students to succeed and advancing our community. Learn more at oaklandcc.edu.

OCC Receives Highest Marks for Audit Controls

The Fiscal Year 2018 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report presented to the Oakland Community College Board of Trustees at its October board meeting found the college continued to stay on top of its bottom line. The independent auditing firm Plante Moran awarded OCC a clean audit with an “unmodified” opinion.

In essence, OCC maintained its strong internal controls, with no material weaknesses according to Dana Coomes, CPA and partner at Plante Moran, the college received the best opinion possible with excellent results. She congratulated the audit committee for their preparation, involvement, hard work and tough questions.

The OCC 2018 audit committee comprises three elected trustees and four community members. They are Trustees Susan Anderson, committee chair, Royal Oak; Shirley Bryant, Farmington Hills; and Pamala Davis, Clawson; and community members Michael Carroll of Farmington Hills, Helen Kieba-Tolksdorf of Warren, Peggy Scheske of Milford and Sara Voight of Bingham Farms.

The committee helps the Board of Trustees fulfill its oversight responsibilities for financial reporting, internal controls, audits and compliance with related regulations. This includes external review of the audited financial statements as well as risk management and internal controls.

OCC receives revenue from three major sources: local property taxes, state appropriations and tuition.
According to OCC Vice Chancellor for Administrative Services Roberta Remias, while property taxes are slowly catching up to pre-recession levels, state appropriations have remained flat over the past 10 years and have not kept up with inflation or costs. Oakland Community College remains steadfast in offering quality programs while maintaining affordable tuition for the benefit of students and the community.

Since 2015, OCC has been recognized for its financial excellence through the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report program — one of only two community colleges in Michigan to employ CAFR — going beyond the minimum requirements of financial reporting and Generally Accepted Accounting Principles for public entities. In tandem with the annual award, Plante Moran also has recognized the college and prior board audit committees for their excellence in fiscal oversight.

About OCC
With five campuses in Oakland County, OCC is Michigan’s No. 1 transfer institution, offering nearly 100 degrees and certificates. The College empowers academic and developmental experiences, allowing students to reach their potential and enhance their communities. More than 1 million students have enrolled in the college since it opened in 1965. A seven-person Board of Trustees governs OCC. Board members are elected on a non-partisan, at-large basis, serve as volunteers and are not paid.Learn more at oaklandcc.edu.

Eat Your Way Across the U.S.A.: Culinary Students Serve Up “America Coast to Coast”

From California to the New York islands, this dinner is made for you (and me). Join us for a sampling of some of our nation’s finest food and drink as Oakland Community College’s award-winning culinary studies program hosts “America Coast to Coast” from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018.

The themed dinner will be served at OCC’s Culinary Studies Institute, J Building, 27055 Orchard Lake Road in Farmington Hills.

Under the eyes of chef instructors, OCC’s culinary students research, plan, prepare and serve a genuine experience in the pursuit of happiness. Begin with a strolling cocktail hour serving hors d’oeuvres and signature drinks, followed by five courses infused with the season’s fresh flavors.

Afterward, you can tell your new friends you delightfully ate their homework.

Tickets are $55 and can be purchased by visiting the Special Events page or calling 248.522.3700.


About the OCC Culinary Studies Institute
OCC’s Culinary Studies Institute is Michigan’s premier hospitality school. The largest of the Institute’s programs, culinary arts, gives students a combination of classroom and hands-on experience. Besides spending extensive time in kitchen labs cooking and baking, students develop expertise in specialties such as ice carving and wine and spirits. Students also participate in events such as the annual Great Lakes Wine Tasting at the student-run Ridgewood Café, a restaurant on the Orchard Ridge Campus.
About OCC
With five campuses in Oakland County, OCC is Michigan’s No. 1 transfer institution, offering nearly 100 degrees and certificates. The College empowers academic and developmental experiences, allowing students to reach their potential and enhance their communities. More than 1 million students have enrolled in the college since it opened in 1965. Learn more at oaklandcc.edu.

OCC Women’s Volleyball Team Tied for MCCAA Eastern Conference Champions

After a season of playing all teams in the Michigan Community College Athletic Association (MCCAA) Eastern Conference, the Oakland Community College’s (OCC) Women’s Volleyball team went into the conference tournament and finished Eastern Conference Co-Champions. They share top honors with Mott Community College.

OCC’s volleyball team ended their season 11-1. Coach Brian Coughenour was clearly excited for his team, particularly as this was his first year as head coach.

In addition to the team championship, two outstanding players, Autumn Anderson and Emily Jansen, received All-Region, First-Team All MCCAA Eastern Conference and All Freshman Team honors. Anderson was also named the MCCAA Eastern Conference Freshman and Player of the Year.

“Autumn is very deserving of the awards. She is a dominant player in the conference and very hard working,” says Coach Coughenour.

OCC’s Athletic Department further recognizes the dedication, hard work and passion of their student athletes, who successfully pursue higher education, athletic achievement and personal growth.

OCC athletic teams are known as the Raiders and are members of the National Junior College Athletic Association and the Michigan Community College Athletic Association. For more on OCC’s Athletic programs, visit the Raider Athletics webpage.


About OCC
With five campuses throughout Oakland County, OCC offers degrees and certificates in approximately 100 career fields as well as university transfer degrees in business, science and liberal arts. The College provides academic and developmental experiences allowing each student to reach their full potential and enhance the communities they serve. More than 45,000 students annually attend OCC; more than a million students have enrolled in the College since it opened in 1965. Learn more at oaklandcc.edu.