When professors are not enough

OCCC offers a number of free, helpful resources for students including numerous labs that can help with writing papers and completing math or science homework, and thousands of books on most every subject. Some of the most used areas at OCCC are the Communications, Math, and Science labs, and the library.


One of the most popular labs on campus is the Communications Lab which primarily offers students assistance with writing, said Communications Lab Supervisor Lynette Leidner.

“(The Comm Lab can help with) essentially any step of the writing process, from understanding the assignment to brainstorming ideas about topics to write about, making outlines, how to write a thesis, how to write an introduction and how to structure the paper,” Leidner said.

“… We help students with grammar, help them to develop their content, fully explain their ideas, research, conclusions — every part of it. We’re here to help.”

Students can drop by any time the lab is open, she said.

“There are no appointments and everything is free. That goes for more than just classes in English,” she said. “We also help with test preparation.”

Communications Lab tutors go through an intensive training program, Leidner said.

“There’s a variety of teachers out there, so I like to make sure we deliver consistent content and that we can basically back up the instructors instead of maybe giving information that works against what the instructor told them in class,” she said.

English as a Second Language Conversation Group is another Communications Lab feature, Leidner said.

“It’s a safe place for students to … come,” she said. “We work on breaking down cultural barriers and language barriers. It’s not a place where they’re going to get lectured to. We have interactive activities and it’s a lot of fun.”

All students need to visit the lab at least one time, she said.

“We’re willing to sit down and work one-on-one with students wherever they’re at on their academic journey.”

For more information and hours, visit www.occc.edu/comlab, or call 405-682-1611, ext. 7379.


The Math Lab is available for students needing math homework assistance and is open 72 hours a week, said Math Lab Supervisor Christine Peck.

“We have a lot of available times for working students or students who are only here on Saturdays or only here in the evenings,” she said. “We have a lot of open hours.”

Peck said tutors are ready to help.

“If you’re in Calculus III, somebody can help you. If you’re in College Prep Math II, somebody can help you — anytime we’re open,” she said.

The Math Lab also has books, calculators and other resources that can be checked out and used in the lab, with a valid student ID, Peck said.

“None of our materials leave the lab, but students can use them here in case they didn’t carry their book to and from campus,” she said.

The Math Lab has more than 100 computers with Internet access for student use.

“Students who aren’t even in a math class can come in and use the computer to write a paper, or research something … .”

The Math Lab also rents graphing calculators.

“…We lease graphing calculators for a rental fee of $25 a semester … ,” she said.

Peck said the Math Lab will offer calculator workshops for students who are unfamiliar with the TI-83 and TI-84 calculators which, she said, are used for several math classes.

Peck suggests students come in to the Math Lab as soon as possible and make regular visits to the lab.

“Math is one of those subjects that you need to do a little bit of it every single day or every other day,” she said.

For more information and hours, visit www.occc.edu/mathlab, or call 405-682-1611, ext. 7291.


The Physical Sciences Center is a good place for students to have group study, quiet time, or socializing with friends, said B.J. Higgins, Physical Sciences Center Supervisor.

Free tutoring and computer resources are available to students, she said.

“For new students taking chemistry or physics for their first semester, this center will help them because we have a lot of resources available to them. If they’re in either chemistry or physics that first semester, they will be using Mastering Chemistry or Mastering Physics. If they’re engineering students, we have tutors for engineering physics.”

Higgins said the center offers a quiet refuge too.

“We have a little seating area over in the corner to study quietly or chill,” she said.

Higgins said students must sign up for lab appointments 24 hours in advance.

“If our center is open, we usually have a tutor available.”

She said her door is open to students with questions.

“If there’s ever a problem with a tutor or lab assistant when you’re in here, come see me. If you have a question about the center, you’re always welcome to come in and ask.”

For more information and hours, visit www.occc.edu/sm/physicallab.html, or call 405-682-1611, ext.


The Biology Sciences Center is a facility for any students taking a lab or lecture course, said Senior Biology Lab Assistant Stephanie Rollins.

She said Biology Sciences Center employees have a lot of the basic knowledge of what the students need to know.

“The people who work in the Biology Sciences Center are students with a degree or who are pursuing a degree,” Rollins said.

The center also is where online students complete their labs. Those who make appointments fare best, she said.

“If they make an appointment 24 hours ahead, they can do anything from experimenting with pill bugs in general biology all the way up to the digestive lab in anatomy and physiology,” Rollins said. Students are encouraged to study in the lab, Rollins said.

“The students can ask questions and we can quiz them for their test. We’ll do anything with you,” she said.

For more information and hours, visit www.occc.edu/sm/biologylab.html, or call 405-682-1611, ext. 7269.


The library is a good place for students to do research, check out general education textbooks for a couple hours or complete their homework, said Electronic Services Reference Librarian Tricia Sweany.

Students also can check out gen ed textbooks for up to two hours at a time for use in the library, she said.

Sweany said students can get help at the Librarian Assistance desk.

“We help students [with anything] from finding a topic for a paper, to kind of narrowing their key words down so they can do research,” she said. “We help direct them to which databases to use, which articles, and how to find books.”

Sweany said she also can help students with their assignments.

“It’s a lot easier for us because we can see what the professor is asking for so we can know how to direct students,” she said.

Sweany said the computers in the library are available to all students.

She said all students are allowed to make 100 copies on the library copier for free each semester by logging in to the library computers. Additional copies are 10 cents each.

Sweany said students should ask for help.

“A lot of students don’t ask for help when they should or they ask for it when it’s too late,” she said. “We actually like getting questions. That’s what we’re here for and that’s the main part of our job.”

For more information, visit www.occc.edu/library, or call 405-682-1611 ext. 7251.

For more information about other OCCC labs and resources, visit the main website at www.occc.edu.

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