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Untapped Potential- Project DEgree Students are focused on Success

Owens Community College is one of nine community colleges in the country selected by the Bill and Melinda Gates global education initiative to sponsor the Project DEgee program. Since the fall 2010 semester, Project DEgree students like many of Owens students, represent a population of untapped potential.

Many faculty, staff, and administrators at Owens, are finding it exciting, inspiring and uplifting, to work with Project DEgree students who are looking at a community college education as a gateway opportunity and pathway to their success.

This semester, as another way of promoting critical thinking in the classroom, I am using the novel Outliers, written by Malcolm Gladwell, and pairing it with the course textbook in my Introduction to sociology class. This particular class is composed of Project DEgree students.

Outliers, a book about success, will provide real life experiences that shed light on rethinking why some people are successful in life, while others are not. The main thesis of Outliers challenges conventional thinking and wisdom on this phenomenon called success.

Several of Owens leaders and outstanding faculty have agreed to join Project DEgree students in the Introduction to Sociology course, to share their perspectives and lead chapter discussions which will engage students in analyzing Outliers major themes.

Dr. Laurie Fathe, Dean of Arts and Sciences; Eric Wallack, Fine and Performing Arts faculty; Tamara Williams, Interim Vice Provost; Prentice Simmons, Student Government President; Dr. Larry McDougle, President, , Scott Deaner, Social and Behavioral Sciences faculty; John Moore, former Owens Trustee; Willie Williams, Executive Director of The Source; and Dr. Renay Scott, Provost, and Executive Vice President, are members of the Owens Community College family who are indeed demonstrating the college goal, Your Success is Our Mission.

Dr. Marian J. Moore,
Instructor, Sociology
Project DEgree Faculty
Dept. of Social and Behavioral Sciences