Student uses OSTC experience to secure university admission

Student uses OSTC experience to secure university admission

From freshman through junior year, Clarenceville High School senior Max Zarzycki was doing all the right things you typically hear a student should do to get accepted into college. He was getting good grades, participating in extracurricular activities and taking advanced placement courses to master the curriculum.

But then, his senior year, Zarzycki decided to take a path many students and families aren’t aware of or don’t even consider.

Instead of continuing to take AP classes, Zarzycki decided to attend Oakland Schools Technical Campus Southwest (OSTC-SW) in Wixom where he began taking courses in computer programming.

Zarzycki’s ambition is to major in computer science and minor in business, so he can eventually run his own company.

“My goal in life is not to work for someone, but to create my own job and I think computer science is the outlet for it,” he explained. “Plus, I enjoy it, so it just goes hand in hand.”

Zarzycki felt attending OSTC would provide him with the real-world experience he believed he needed to make his college application portfolio complete. 

“I really enjoy my programming class and I’ve learned a lot more here,” said Zarzycki. “It’s a lot more hands on and I learn better hands on, so it helps.”

It would appear that Zarzycki’s venture paid off.

This fall, Zarzycki is attending the University of Michigan on a full-ride scholarship.

“When I went on the (college) tours, I was actually praised for going to OSTC. They told me I had already gotten a jump start on college life and was better prepared than other freshmen,” said Zarzycki.

Zarzycki said OSTC curriculum has helped him because he actually spends a great deal of his class time at a computer, learning the ins and outs of computer programming. He has also been given multiple opportunities to earn certifications that will help him secure employment when he graduates. Currently, Zarzycki has earned or is in the process of earning his customer service, computer programming education apprenticeship, CIW, HTML, CSS and JavaScript certifications.

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The OSTC-SW Engineering, Robotics and Mechatronics program purchased 76 Arduino-based smart robot car kits for students to build and program at home. These robots are 4-wheel drive and come with an assortment of sensors and motor controllers for the students to assemble and program, making their class concepts and knowledge come to life.  

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From freshman through junior year, Clarenceville High School senior Max Zarzycki was doing all the right things you typically hear a student should do to get accepted into college. He was getting good grades, participating in extracurricular activities and taking advanced placement courses to master the curriculum.