Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Empowering the Resilience, Achievement and Growth of Young Talent

The Oakland University Trustee Academic Success Program maintains a deep legacy of enabling students to overcome the challenges of college to be successful.

Two students talking in a hallway

The OUTAS scholarship has helped approximately 800 students achieve academic success, including Zachary Laury (left) and Matsimela Miller (right).

Center for Multicultural Initiatives

icon of a calendarDecember 5, 2019

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A little extra guidance on the path toward graduation can add up to a world of difference. That has been the theory and reality behind the Oakland University Trustee Academic Success program (OUTAS). Launched in 1994, this nationally recognized program sets the standard for student academic excellence and leadership development.

The program focuses on providing scholarships and support to underrepresented minority students who experience academic success in high school and meet the University’s admission requirements. Support services are tailored to each student to ease the transition from high school to college. These programs range from peer mentorship, advising, professional counseling, career exploration and diversity programs.

OUTAS provides eligible freshmen students with merit-based renewable scholarships for four years. This financial support, combined with the other services, has a proven track record of success. Participants in this program, on average, have a higher grade point average than that of the overall student body and are more likely to graduate in four years.

Since its inception, OUTAS has helped approximately 800 students achieve their academic dreams. Two of these students are Zachary Laury and Matsimela Miller.

Zachary Laury is a junior from Saginaw, Michigan. He is studying physical therapy and plans to pursue a doctorate degree in the future. He credits the OUTAS program and the Center for Multicultural Initiatives for preparing him for academic success.

“My mentor took me under his wing and showed me what it takes to be a successful student in college,” says Laury. “The retention coordinators made sure to intervene when necessary and help me through any hardships that came up.”

Matsimela Miller, a junior from Detroit, Michigan, echoes a similar sentiment. For him, an OUTAS scholarship was the deciding factor in even pursuing a college education. “What sealed the deal was the Center for Multicultural Initiatives offering me the OUTAS scholarship,” he says. “This support gave me the financial security to actually attend college.”

Laury and Miller are not alone in their appreciation of the financial support. Many students are finding success thanks to this program. Omar Brown-El, senior director of the Center for Multicultural Initiatives, sees firsthand the impact this program is making.

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