Honors College

Honors student benefits from OCC, OU collaboration

Alex McGill's story gives meaning to the Oakland Community College and Oakland University collaboration to "Start Here...Finish Here."

Meeting with Honors College advising coordinator Anne Jackson has helped Alex prepare for her transition from OCC to OU this fall

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Honors College student benefits from OCC/OU
Alex McGill has experienced a smooth transition from OCC to OU thanks to the help and support of her many mentors and advisers at both institutions.

Start Here…Finish Here. You may have seen it on billboards across Oakland County this summer. Student Alexandria McGill gives it meaning.

The Oxford resident completed her degree this summer at Oakland Community College. She says she entered OCC “very shy and wanting to save money” while starting her dream in veterinary medicine. As an OCC student, one of her classmates suggested she join student government; later, OCC instructor Mike Robinson recommended she consider signing up to be a student ambassador.

“I wanted to get more involved in student activities and leadership but I felt awkward just showing up,” McGill said. “Now I tell students, don’t be afraid of anything! Just go in, take advantage of as many opportunities as you can, and if you are confused, just ask somebody – a counselor, professor or campus dean – you’ll thank yourself in the long run!”

McGill followed her own advice and attended an OCC spring student-leadership summit hosted at Oakland University’s Honors College. The event provided her extra exposure to the university and interactions with students and staff.

“I work part-time at a veterinarian hospital and didn’t really think about Honors College as my next step. I was just very focused on transfer and getting into vet college,” she said. “What I found out is this was my best next step! With my OCC experience, I could finish at Oakland University’s Honors College at no additional cost, no extra time to get through and with much greater opportunities.”

According to McGill, staff at the leadership event encouraged attendees to be a part of the new campaign. She found her GPA and OCC leadership experience made it easy to finish one step ahead.

“Getting involved in activities is an essential part of the college experience. You can grow in so many ways,” Robinson said. “It’s something many students forget when going to community college. OCC offers activities and opportunities to grow in more than just academics to cultivate real world skills and open new doors.”

“My achievements are because of my experience at OCC. I blossomed here. Finishing at OU’s Honors College has opened up possible study abroad opportunities, more academic rigor with honors classes and greater potential as I work toward my dream of becoming a veterinarian,” McGill said.

"Alex exemplifies exactly what we had in mind when our schools got together to figure out how we can best serve our students," said Oakland University Honors College Dean Graeme Harper. "We hope that many more students will realize they too can make their dreams come true by taking advantage of collaborations like the Start Here...Finish Here program."

On her list for finishing at Oakland University: traveling and working with exotic animals while studying abroad. Being that shy student who entered OCC is clearly in her rearview mirror.

To find out more about the Start Here...Finish Here partnership opportunities, visit the Undergraduate Admissions office at Oakland University, North Foundation Hall, Room 101
318 Meadow Brook Road, Rochester, MI 48309-4454, call (248) 370-3360 or email visit@oakland.edu.

About Oakland Community College:

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.

About Oakland University:

Oakland University is a doctoral, research university located on 1,443 acres of scenic land in the cities of Rochester Hills and Auburn Hills in Oakland County, Michigan. The University has 142 bachelor's degree programs and 138 graduate degree and certificate programs. Oakland is a nationally recognized public university with nearly 20,000 students. Academics include the School of Music, Theatre and Dance and programs within the College of Arts and Sciences, School of Business Administration, School of Education and Human Services, School of Engineering and Computer Science, School of Health Sciences, Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine and School of Nursing. Learn more about the university through its Fast Facts page.

Oakland University Mission Statement:

Oakland University cultivates the full potential of a diverse and inclusive community. As a public doctoral institutions, we impact Michigan and the world through education, research, scholarship and creative activity.

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