OCC Faculty Member Honored for Efforts to Revitalize Historic Building, Community

SPITTS 1 _ MAYORouthfield Campus English faculty Nicole Pitts was honored with a District One Community Leadership Award for her work on the Cooley Reuse Project. She was recognized in June by the Mayor of Detroit for bringing economic and community development opportunity to the former school in northwest Detroit.

Pitts and her husband, LaMar Williams, founded the Cooley Reuse Project, a nonprofit economic development corporation dedicated to transforming Cooley High School. The project will transform the national landmark into a mixed-use development.

“We want Cooley to be a place outside of home and work where community residents feel comfortable,” said Pitts. ”It’s a beautiful building with such rich history—it would be a shame to see it go to waste. We believe, why not enhance what is already there and turn it into a space for the community.”

An estimated $54 million will be invested for mixed-income housing and a community center providing services ranging from art and music programs to job readiness training and childcare. The first area of the building the group wants to open is a 24-hour library so residents have access to tutoring, computers and other resources they need.

Pitts said there are many opportunities for OCC students and faculty to get involved and contribute to the program.

PITTS 2 _OCCFAOn August 1, OCC faculty joined Pitts along with students and community members for ARISE: Detroit Neighborhoods Day at the Cooley Reuse Project. OCC volunteers worked throughout the day cleaning up, collecting garbage and planting more than 6,000 flowers around the former high school as part of the neighborhood beautification project.

PITTS 3_MLK AH STUDENTSEarlier in the year, over 50 OCC Auburn Hills student volunteers gave their time through the 2015 Martin Luther King, Jr., Day of Service.

Pitts said that after hearing the Cooley Reuse Project story, people get very interested in learning more and volunteering additional time. For example, one former OCC colleague implemented a community service requirement in her Delta College class as another great way to get others involved.

Upon receiving the award, Pitts said, “I am grateful to be acknowledged for the work the Cooley Reuse Project team is doing in this community which is minutes from my home.”

For more information on how you can contribute to the Cooley Reuse Project, visit cooleyhsdetroit.jimdo.com/.

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Golf Outing Benefits OCC Students

OGOLF 2CC’s 24th annual OCC Golf for Scholarships outing raised more than $35,000 in scholarships. The August 21 outing was held at Pine Knob Golf Course in Clarkston hosting 113 individual golfers.

“Scholarships change our students’ lives,” says OCC Foundation Interim Executive Director Candy Geeter. “The funds they receive from these scholarships have a tremendous impact on their ability to reach their higher education goals. The annual golf outing is an event we look forward to all year, knowing that proceeds directly support our students.”

Bumler Mechanical’s team won first place with a team score of 60. Team members were Randy Pagel, Lou Dias, Mike Hendershot and Jeff Ostrander. Five OCC golf students volunteered to take shots for golfers and raised approximately $1,000 in proceeds.

In addition to playing on a top course in the community, event participants help students to be successful by contributing to the “Golf for Scholarships” fund. The fund is endowed and scholarships are awarded from investment income earned on the fund’s principal. This year’s contributions increased the value of the total endowment to more than $880,000.PProvenzano on Cart

The “Golf for Scholarships” fund provided nearly 70 scholarships for the 2014-15 academic year. Over 560 students have received awards through the fund over the past 24 years.

In addition to the annual golf outing, the OCC Foundation is hosting its first annual Gala on November 7, 2015, at Oakland Hills Country Club, in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the College. All proceeds support the Student Success Fund.

To become involved in OCC Foundation events or become a sponsor, contact them at 248.341.2137 or OCCFoundation@oaklandcc.edu.

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Oakland Community College Bookstore Updates Pricing/Services in Competitive Market

When OCC students return to classes September 2 and visit the OCC Raiders’ Store to check textbook prices, they will now be able to compare the College’s pricing to online competitors.

Known as “dynamic pricing,” this tool allows the bookstores the flexibility to purchase books from various resources at a greater discount and pass the savings on to students and help better prepare them for class.

“Our goal is to provide students with the tools they need to be successful in class, at a competitive price, with the best service possible,” said Maria McCarthy, auxiliary services manager. “’Shopping local’ is hot in retail for good reason. When students shop elsewhere for books, the College loses that revenue to online warehouses. All of the proceeds generated by our bookstores stay in the College supporting student programs, scholarships, and campus events as well as the general fund and operation costs.”

In addition to improved pricing, the OCC Raiders Store piloted three new programs to help students succeed: a textbook alternative program, “Roundup for Scholarships,” and an in-store electronic support and repair service.

“Dynamic pricing” was developed through a software program called Verba and piloted by OCC in spring/summer. Students who use dynamic pricing can check prices online or directly at the campus bookstores.

“At the launch of the program, approximately 65% percent of the bookstore’s prices were competitive. As the program grows, the competitive offerings will increase,” said McCarthy.

Students who purchase their textbooks from OCC can buy them as soon as they are available in the College stores or order online from the bookstore and have them delivered to their home or any the College’s five campus locations.

In addition to improved pricing, a textbook alternative program will be piloted this fall with a Political Science class at the Highland Lakes campus.

“Studies show 34% of students don’t buy or share books due to prices, and 42% don’t purchase books until a week into their class,” said McCarthy. “With the textbook alternative program, when a student registers for the class they automatically receive an email providing direct access to the faculty selected eBook before the semester begins. Faculty can start the semester knowing all of their students are prepared for class with the required materials.”

The eBook is free starting two weeks before the first day of class through the first week and half, after which the student can opt-out or continue with the eBook at a low cost. Students also have the option to buy a loose-leaf copy (with proof of purchase of the eBook) for approximately $20.

Nationally, studies show student success and retention rates in courses using textbook alternative programs are 35-40% higher than those who do not use the program.

Electronic support offered as a “store-within-a-store.” This fall, computer and phone repair services will be offered within the Auburn Hills, Orchard Ridge and Southfield stores. Electronic service professionals will provide assistance with issues such as loading software, improving access, computer repair and phone/tablet screen repair/replacement.

The service is available to staff, faculty and students. The services are competitively priced with surrounding service providers. Hours for the repair store will be the same as the campus bookstores.

“Roundup for Scholarships” is another new program which began this summer. This student-to-student program allows all customers to “round-up” on each bookstore purchase, raising money for student scholarships. The program kickoff raised over $600 for the OCC Foundation and 100% of the money goes directly to support students.

“With so many great programs, we want our students to shop our OCC Raider Stores and not elsewhere,” said McCarthy. “Working in partnership with our College faculty and staff, we can provide additional support as well as excellent service. We want to help our students be better prepared for class and increase the rate of student success.”

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Having a Math Meltdown? OCC’s New Pathway Can Help.

OCC Offers New Math Courses for Liberal Arts Majors

OCC Math Pathways

OCC Math Pathways

Struggling with your college goals because of math? OCC has developed a new math pathway that might be the right fit for you.

Students who need Statistics to fulfill their major’s prerequisites or finish their certification are eligible to take OCC’s new Math Literacy, MAT1125, course this fall. Math Literacy shortens your path to the college level mathematics by satisfying the prerequisite for Statistics and Quantitative Reasoning. See the flow chart below for an illustration of the traditional college math path on the left and the expedited pathway with our new Math Literacy course on the right.

In addition to streamlining the math pathway, Math Literacy will also take a non-traditional approach to learning mathematics. Students will be challenged to apply algebra to real life situations and participate in hands-on exercises. This unique method will cater to students who find themselves asking the question, “When will I ever use this?” in a math course.

Students are encouraged to speak with their OCC Counselor to learn if Math Literacy is the right fit for them.

This course is part of a national movement to offer students an alternative to traditional algebra courses that primarily prepare students to pursue studies in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Math Literacy, MAT1125, will be offered for the first time this fall. The next course in the pathway, Quantitative Reasoning, MAT1525, will be offered for the first time this winter.

For more details, visit OCC’s Mathematics Department.

By Miranda Mayuiers

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OCC Hosts “Golf for Scholarships” Outing

Business Women at the OCC Golf for Scholarships eventOakland Community College is hosting its 24th Annual “Golf for Scholarships” outing on Friday, August 21 at the beautiful, private Pine Knob Golf Course, 5580 Waldon Road, Clarkston, MI.

The annual event provides up to 50 award scholarships each year, raising nearly $45,000 in Foundation support for student scholarships within our community.

“The outing is an excellent opportunity for professional networking and to play a friendly game of golf while raising funds for scholarships,” explains OCC Foundation Interim Executive Director Candy Geeter. “In addition to playing on a top course in our community, participants can give back and help a student to be successful.”

The day’s lineup is as follows:

8:30 a.m. – Registration and Full Breakfast

10 a.m.Shotgun Start (Scramble format) – Hot dog and chips provided at the turn

3:30 p.m. – Full Dinner


Foursomes and single player spots are still available. Cost is $200 for a single player spot or $50 for dinner only. The day features a hole-in-one prize, golf “ringers” (golf students raising funds to take a shot on the course), beverages, golf competitions and lots of great giveaways. A few event sponsorships are also still available.


A map and directions are available here. For more information, call (248) 341-2137 or send an email to OCCFoundation@oaklandcc.edu.

About OCC

With five campuses throughout Oakland County, Oakland Community College is celebrating its 50th year. OCC is the largest community college in Michigan and the 25th largest in the nation. It offers degrees and certificates in approximately 100 career fields and university transfer degrees in business, science and the liberal arts. Nearly a million students have enrolled in the college since it opened in 1965. To learn more about OCC, visit www.oaklandcc.edu.

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