Detroit becomes a hub for access to OU

A number of offices at Oakland University will be utilizing the Franklin Wright Settlement in Detroit to house outreach and education programs.

“What our goal and purpose is, is to really use this as a multipurpose outreach center as a base for activities that the university does that are currently underway in the city of Detroit,” said Nicole Wells Stallworth, assistant vice president of the Office of Government and Community Relations.

The hope and goal for this space is to create a hub of access to Oakland for the Detroit area, providing events and information to a new crowd.

The Office of Government and Community Relations will have permanent office space in the building, but the building will also allow for many key campus stakeholders including Undergraduate Admissions, Student Financial Services, and Professional and Continuing Education.

“For Undergraduate Admissions specifically, as a means of acting as champions for access, the space would be used as a meeting place for Detroit residents interested in learning more about OU offerings,” said Shane Lewis, associate director of Undergraduate Admissions. “Admissions Advisers would have the opportunity of offering appointments for prospective students during select times, to assist them through the application and admission process.”

Undergraduate Admissions will be hosting a number of college readiness events and programs as well.

“These could include college readiness workshops [and] financial aid literacy workshops, like teaching students how to fill out an admissions application or learn about FAFSA,” said Dawn Aubry, director of Undergraduate Admissions.  

Student Financial Services also has big plans for utilizing the space.

“We will use the space for financial aid related presentations and workshops to help students and their families learn more about the financial aid available to pay for college, how to apply for financial aid and how to evaluate their financial aid awards,” said Carrie Gilchrist, senior financial aid outreach advisor. “Having an OU home in the city offers the ability to hold events in Detroit more frequently and to a wider audience.”

The Office of Professional and Continuing Education hopes to transfer existing outreach programs and offer them to the youth in the Detroit area.

“We can bring a lot of things for the younger crowd, like SAT preps, this is a location that would be well suited for those types of activities,” said Lori Crose, director of Professional and Continuing Education. “We do advanced placement here, and we would like to use the space to get together with teachers from Detroit and do some programming that would work around advanced placement teaching.”

The space at the Franklin Wright Settlement will provide access to OU resources and information, expanding influence in Detroit.

“It is our hope that this space will provide us with an opportunity to enhance our outreach efforts,” Lewis said. “Also, to ensure that we are being intentional about leveraging our university and its resources to make a positive impact on the quality of life within our immediate and surrounding community, including the City of Detroit.”