Focus: HOPE Partners with Oakland Community College

Focus HOPE Partners with OCC Steps for Success._editjpg.jpgFocus: HOPE and Oakland Community College (OCC) officially partnered with the Detroit Regional Chamber to offer the “Steps for Success” program. William Jones, Jr., Focus: HOPE, CEO; Timothy Meyer, OCC Chancellor; and Greg Handel, Detroit Regional Chamber, Vice President Education and Talent, participated in the MOU signing.

“This program is designed to prepare and remediate students both academically and socially for successful post-secondary opportunities using targeted academic enrichment, support services and collaborative guidance,” said Focus: HOPE CEO, William Jones Jr.

Steps for Success is funded by the Michigan Education Excellence Foundation and OCC. The dual enrollment program targets OCC students (current and new enrollees) and students within Focus: HOPE’s reach who are interested in attending a community college and need an academic bridge to prepare them for that next step. Funded and developed as a pilot program, it assists incoming college freshmen to succeed by focusing on academic preparedness, college orientation, life skills, attendance, time management, study skills, attitude and teamwork.

“The Focus: HOPE team is excited to partner on the Steps for Success program and believes this collaboration will make a positive impact on students’ ability to successfully pursue post-secondary opportunities,” said Focus: HOPE Director of Workforce Development & Education, Rashida Thomas.

After successful completion of the first semester on Focus: HOPE’s campus, students will transition to one of OCC’s campuses to finish the coursework for their chosen career path. Working in conjunction with the counseling staff from OCC, the Focus: HOPE Student Success Coach/Case Manager will continue to support these students with on-site tutoring sessions and workshops as well as monthly coaching meetings. The goal is to promote continued student engagement, self-sustainability and overall student success. The follow-up activities are designed to gradually reduce Focus: HOPE’s support while simultaneously increasing OCC’s support.

“Student success and meeting community need are the core of what we do as an educational institution,” said OCC Chancellor, Timothy Meyer. “With this partnership, we bring the strengths of our organizations together to support this community through educational and training efforts and the important life skills, self-confidence, hope and motivation students need to be successful and build hope toward the future of our community. “

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First Michigan Advanced Technician Training (MAT2) Graduates Recognized

MAT 2 rick snyderTheir journey started three years ago and now the first cohort of Michigan Advanced Technician Training (MAT2) students are college graduates with associate degrees in Technological Sciences. The MAT2 program combined college-level learning with real-world experiences at a company.

All 17 graduates are educationally debt-free, making $20-25 per hour, depending on their company, and are expected to stay with their sponsoring company for at least the next two years, filling needed jobs in a tight market. According to Oakland Community College (OCC) Director of Technical Programs and Apprenticeship, Janene Erne, “This group excelled exceptionally well with an average GPA of 3.41, many with perfect attendance for all three years.”

The July 13 celebration at the capitol was held for this first graduating class and included legislators, business executives and college administrators recognizing the time, effort and talent of all involved in the successful educational program.

“The schooling program taught me the theory but when we applied it on the job everything started to click and make sense,” said OCC MAT2 student Saskia Nicklish. Nicklish was placed with Kostal, an electronic and electro-mechanical product manufacturer. She started as an apprentice and was recently promoted to a test lab technician. She plans to pursue a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Wayne State University to become a test lab or mechanical design engineer.

Companies invested in the students’ training by paying tuition, a school stipend and wages during the work period and, in return, the companies have apprentices who perform like regular employees, spending less on recruitment, retention and re-training.

“MAT2 is a transformational program for community colleges as it provides competency-based education that is immediately reinforced on the job. They are all hardworking, bright students who were motivated to complete the program and graduate,” added Erne.

Oakland Community College offers MAT2 programs in mechatronics and information technology. If you are an employer, student or parent looking for more information on the MAT2 program, please visit or call OCC at (248) 232-4050.

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Pokémon Hunters Hitting OCC’s Campuses!

Oakland Community College’s five community campuses are gaining in popularity for Candy, Gyms and Incubators.

Officials note Incense, Eggs and Lures are bringing more bikes, trikes and foot traffic to campus.

Is it the hold on tuition rates that make Pokécoins more available or the promise of Stardust that has students clamoring for more during Fall registration?

Media are invited to make a Pokéstop for a great opportunity to interview students on campus for summer classes and fall registration as well as community members checking out arbor benches, fountains and classrooms.

This a great opportunity to come out and visit!

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25th Annual OCC Golf Outing Supports Student Scholarships: Great Course, Great Event Provides Nearly 70 Student Scholarships Each Year

Oakland Community College is hosting its 25th annual “Golf for Scholarships” outing on Friday, August 26 at the beautiful Pine Knob Golf Course. The outing has generated more than $800,000 in 24 years; over 500 students have received scholarships through the program since it started.

“This is an excellent opportunity for 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 the community, participants – golfers, guests and sponsors – help students with the support they need to be successful.”

Last year’s event raised more than $35,000 for the Foundation’s Golf for Scholarships endowment fund and OCC awarded nearly 70 scholarships.


The August 26 event lineup is as follows:

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

10:00 a.m. – Shotgun Start (Scramble format) – Hotdog and chips provided at the turn

3:30 p.m. – Full Dinner (Dinner-only tickets are also available)


The event includes hole-in-one prizes, beverages on the course, golf competitions and giveaways.

Event and team sponsorships are available at all levels. In addition to the predetermined sponsorship packages, a customized sponsorship package can be created to meet individual needs. Individual golfers pay $200.

Sponsorships will be accepted at all levels until the day of the outing or until it is sold out.  The deadline to pledge for presenting sponsor is July 8.

For more information please contact, 248-341-2137 or send an email to

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No Increase in OCC Tuition: Students Get a Jump Start on Higher Education Saving Time and Money

Registration for fall classes at Oakland Community College (OCC) runs July 13 through Aug. 30. Now is the time to take advantage of OCC’s programs to launch or advance your career. New students must apply by August 15.

Tuition rates at OCC remain unchanged from the previous academic year, holding steady as one of the lowest rates in Michigan.

“OCC maintains a low tuition rate for a high quality education ensuring college education is within reach for all students,” said OCC Chancellor Timothy Meyer. “OCC is committed to providing one of the lowest rates in Michigan, currently holding at 25- to 50-percent lower cost compared to similar public or private higher education institutions.”

For those seeking four-year degrees, OCC has the highest percent of college and university transfers in the State of Michigan making advanced degrees financially attainable, he added. For those seeking two-year degrees and technical certificates, the College offers over 100 program options.

In addition to a freeze in tuition rates, the College also announced several registration changes beginning with the Fall 2016 semester.

For students interested in taking online or hybrid courses, there is a new one-time Mandatory Online Learning Readiness course required before registering. This non-credit course provides the skills necessary for successful online learning, including technical support.

Students can also save over $600 in tuition and 90 hours in the classroom through a new fast-track English path which allows students to accelerate through first-year writing requirements after the completion of a three week, one credit ENG 1075 (English Essentials) paired with a 12-week, three credit ENG 1510 (Composition 1).

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 the new Oakland Technical Early College as well as Oakland Early College, Oakland ACE (Accelerated College Experience with Oakland Schools), and High School Dual Enrollment.

OCC is an open-admission institution and there is no charge to apply. To help students succeed, educational counselors are available at each of the College’s five campuses.

Students may register for classes online or in person. Access the OCC schedule of classes for fall 2016 semester’s academic calendar for more information.

Visit OCC’s website to get started or contact OCC at (248) 341-2200 or

Transferring from OCC to another school

Many students choose OCC as their college starting point and save thousands of dollars at other schools by transferring course credits. OCC maintains nearly 300 articulation agreements with four-year colleges and universities across Michigan. By completing at least one full year of courses at OCC, the minimum admission requirements at most four-year colleges and universities decrease, and ACT and SAT scores are less important in the admissions process.

Helpful links:

Getting Started at OCC

New and Returning Student Checklist

OCC Academic Calendar

OCC Academic Counselors

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