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OCCC Student Spotlight

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Taylor Aldridge

Norman, OK

Taylor Aldridge, a sophomore from Norman, was looking for small class sizes, affordable tuition and available courses, all of which she found at OCCC. 

Why did you choose OCCC?

I live in Norman, so I could have easily chosen to attend Oklahoma University. I chose instead to make the drive to Oklahoma City Community College because of many reasons. The small class sizes provide for easy interaction with peers and instructors, making class participation and asking questions possible. The cost of tuition and books at OCCC are a lot less than at OU, which is a blessing because otherwise I wouldn’t be able to attend college at all. The instructors and administrators have all been very nice and helpful. They seem to care about each individual, unlike larger colleges. I also love that courses are available multiple days a week and at many times throughout the day, making scheduling around work and other obligations much easier.

What do you like best about your classes?

My favorite part about my classes at OCCC is that they are small. I love that I can ask a question whenever I am confused and the instructor is usually more than willing to clarify. Also, with smaller class sizes, the instructor can better read the students’ faces and teach accordingly.

What’s your favorite class?

My favorite class was probably Intro to Psychology with Prof. Dr. Hayes. The reason that I liked the class so much was not because of the course itself, but because of the instructor. She made learning the material fun with her lively spirit and entertaining, yet informative, life stories.

If you have declared a major and are in a program – what do you like best about the program?

I have declared my major as Nursing, but I have yet to apply to the program. I have been working on the prerequisites and obtaining as many preference points as I can get in order to ensure my acceptance. I plan to apply within the next few months to the Fall 2012 Traditional Nursing Program.

What do you like best about campus life?

The best thing about OCCC campus life is the large variety of clubs and organizations. Being part of a club/organization is a great way to meet new people and have fun.

What campus activities are you in/or have you been in involved in the past?

Last semester, my schedule allowed me to be more involved. I was in Chi Alpha and volunteered with other clubs when I could.

How has OCCC surprised you or differed from your expectations?

It has surprised me how challenging some of the courses are. I am hopeful that because of this, I will be fully prepared to transfer to a four year college when that time comes.

The many free labs with tutors have also been a nice surprise. They are lifesavers when you need help on an assignment.

How do you like your instructors?

All of my instructors have been very nice. Most are more than willing to answer any questions you may have.

What are your plans following graduation?

After graduation, I plan to get a job as a Registered Nurse and transfer to Oklahoma University Health Sciences Center to obtain a bachelor’s of science in nursing.

Would you recommend OCCC to friends and if so, why?

I would definitely recommend OCCC to friends because of all of the reasons I stated earlier. The small class sizes, reduced tuition, flexible scheduling, nice administration, etc. are all attributes of this wonderful school.

What advice would you offer to friends who are planning to enroll at OCCC?

I would advise friends planning to enroll at OCCC to enroll early. Enrolling early ensures that you get the schedule and classes you want and need to reach your goal. I would also recommend getting involved in the campus, if possible. Being part of OCCC makes going a lot more meaningful and getting to know your peers makes it more fun.

What else can you share about your academic experience?

Making the transition from high school to college can be very tough, especially if you are not prepared. One thing I did not realize is that college takes a lot more effort. It is very important, especially in the upper level courses, to set aside time to study. It is said that for every hour spent in the classroom, two hours should be spent studying outside of school. This is proving imperative to passing my upper level science courses.

Also, DO NOT GIVE UP!!! There have been a few times I have wanted to throw in the towel. I thought, I guess I’m not college material. I was so overwhelmed with stress I thought, you know, I wouldn’t mind working for minimum wage the rest of my life. This was so hard for me, but I pushed through it, studied like crazy, and to this day have achieved a 4.0 GPA!

What are some of your hobbies outside the classroom?

Outside of school, I spend most of my time studying, but other than that I like to do a lot of things. I like to volunteer at Lesley’s Daycare, a home daycare owned/operated by my mother. I volunteer occasionally with Habitat for Humanity building houses. I am the Captain of the Norman Police Explorers. I love the outdoors, so I enjoy camping, riding bikes, hiking, rock climbing, going for walks, etc. Occasionally, I like to snuggle up with a good book. I also love to cook, especially bake. I recently lost a lot of weight, so it is really fun to experiment with recipes trying to make them healthy, yet delicious.