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CASA helps College Students Seize A Special 4-Year Degree Pathway Partnership Opportunity
By CASA :: Thursday, July 17, 2008 :: 94977 Views :: Career & Education, Chaldean Education & Career Center, Chaldean American Student Association

Michigan, USA - With the help a leading Chaldean educator at Wayne State University efforts have been made to help qualified Chaldean students receive admission, garner scholarships, and transfer to Wayne State University from Oakland Community College.  Preferring to remain anonymous the Chaldean professor and lead administrator has been aggressively pursuing new options and pathways to help high school and community college students overcome barriers. 

Chaldean American Student Association (CASA) is pleased to inform Chaldean college bound students that Wayne State University and Oakland Community College (OCC) have signed an agreement making it easier for students in business, computer science and engineering at OCC to complete a bachelor's degree at Wayne State.   Chaldean students wishing to transfer to WSU will find it convenient to attend their upper-division courses on the main campus of WSU or at Wayne State's Oakland Center in Farmington Hills.

Under the new plan, students who earn an associate's degree, or are registered at OCC in the business administration program, will be able to complete a bachelor of arts in business administration or bachelor of science in business administration from Wayne State's School of Business Administration.

Students earning an associate's degree, who are registered at OCC in the computer information systems program, will be able to complete a bachelor of arts in computer science, a bachelor of science in computer science or a bachelor of arts in information systems technology from the WSU Department of Computer Science. Students earning an associate of applied science in technological sciences will be able to complete a bachelor of science in engineering technology.

WSU and Oakland Community College signed the agreement this past week.  College leaders said that the partnership with OCC in these areas will assist students in meeting their higher education goals.  And that the university is committed to easing the transfer process and making a bachelor's degree achievable for everyone.

The Chancelor of Oakland Community College said, "These agreements open paths for our transfer students to six different bachelor degree options in high demand fields at one of the region's outstanding universities.  Half of our students intend to transfer to four-year schools, and Wayne State University is one of their top choices; we are very pleased with the opportunities that these agreements present to our graduates."

Chaldean community leaders have been working aggressively with universities to address the unique needs of the Chaldean community.   “Many Chaldeans have more responsibilities and restrictions that your average American college students.  Often our students are required to work full time, continue to assist at home, and are limited on how involved they can be on college campuses,” said our anonymous Chaldean community leader.  “One of our strategic objectives at WSU is to reach out and provide educational options for students beyond the traditional campus boundaries.”

When asked why he prefers to remain anonymous our Chaldean community leader in education says, “It is better for our community when people work together and not have to worry about who gets credit.  So much more can be accomplished when you don’t care who is credited with doing it,” he says.

CASA board members feel the partnership with OCC is a big step in right direction.   The partnership will give Chaldean students in Oakland County the opportunity to earn a four-year degree in high-demand fields right in their neighborhood.  Students who are taking classes at OCC's Orchard Ridge Campus can cross Farmington Road and complete their degree at our Wayne State Oakland Center. 

Oakland Community College is the largest community college in Michigan and the 26th largest in the nation. The college offers degrees and certificates in more than 130 fields including university transfer degrees in business, science and the liberal arts. Approximately 70,000 undergraduates attend OCC each year.  

Recognizing the need for Chaldean students to share information, help one another, and work together, CASA is working on forming new CASA chapters at Oakland Community College and Macomb Community College.  With the new partnership developed Wayne State University and the two community colleges will be in close contact with the CASA chapter at WSU.  CASA will be helping and guiding other students to take advantage of the easy transfer pathway for Chaldean college students considering attending WSU.

St. Joseph, MI USA

St. Joseph Chaldean Catholic Church
2442 E. Big Beaver Rd.
Troy, MI 48083
Tel: (248) 528-3676
Fax: (248) 524-1957

Congregation Organizer:
Rev. Michael J. Bazzi

Church Constructing Pastor:
Rev. Sarhad Y. Jammo

Current Pastor:
Msgr. Zouhair Toma

Parochial Vicar:
Rev. Ayad Hanna

 Current Pastor: Msgr. Zouhair Toma

Msgr. Zouhair Toma (Kejbou) was born in Telkaif, Iraq in 1947.  He was ordained a priest in Baghdad, Iraq in 1968, and accepted his first assignment to serve the community of Baquba.  The Monsignor’s leadership skills and organizational talents along with his mastery of theology were immediately evident.  He later assisted Sts. Peter and Paul in Al-Salehia, and St. George in New Baghdad.

In August, 1978 Monsignor Toma was called to serve the growing community of persecuted Chaldeans finding refuge in Australia.   Being the fist Chaldean priest to arrive in Australia he quickly established a parish for the Chaldeans in Sydney to serve their social and spiritual needs.  The parish was named after St. Thomas the Apostle and built a rectory. 

In 1989, for his incredible work he was granted the title of Monsignor, Chaldean Patriarchal Vicar for Australia and New Zealand.  Continuing his passionate work to serve the Chaldean community the Monsignor moved the Parish Center to a more accessible location and built a large church campus featuring a modern community center, residence quarters, and administrative offices in 1995. 

In 2003, Monsignor Toma added a magnificent church to replace the previous one in order to serve the fast growing community and also opened two other centers.  The first was Our Lady Guardian of Plants in Melbourne, and the second was Mar Addai the Apostle in Auckland, New Zealand.  Mar Addai in New Zealand included two very large churches along with rectories and community centers.  Overseeing the Patriarchal Vicariate for 28 years, he managed to inspire six more priests to help minister to the fast growing Chaldean community. 

In August 2006, Monsignor chose to assist the St. Thomas the Apostle Diocese in the U.S. as more Catholic churches were being built in America and address the growing need.  On October 2006, Monsignor was incardinated and appointed Pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Troy.