Onondaga Community College: Expanding Remarkable Educational Opportunities across the World

We strongly focus on environmental-related learning opportunities

Located on a 280-acre campus in Syracuse, New York, Onondaga Community College, offers over 40 associate degrees and one-year certificate programs which can lead to employment and four-year college transfer opportunities. The college is proud to be Central New York’s partner in education for success. OCC operates under the State University of New York (SUNY) system and is locally sponsored by Onondaga County.

The campus has 11 main buildings, including the SRC Arena and Events Center, an athletics complex, and four residence halls featuring several new and renovated facilities. Popular options for students interested in transferring to a four-year institution include Business, Criminal Justice and Humanities & Social Sciences. Students interested in going directly into the workforce after earning their associate degrees have outstanding options to choose from including Mechanical Technology, Electrical Technology and Nuclear Technology. Bachelor’s, masters and doctoral degrees are also available on campus through the Regional Higher Education Center. OCC is an “Achieving the Dream College” and has been named a “Military-Friendly” school by a reputed media publication for its service to the student veterans.

About the President 

Dr. Casey Crabill, President of Onondaga Community College, is a lifelong community college educator. She has served in various prestigious roles at numerous educational institutes including Raritan Valley Community College in New Jersey; Redwoods in Eureka, California; Quinebaug Valley Community College in Danielson, Connecticut; Dundalk Community College in Dundalk, Maryland. One of the signature achievements during her tenure on the OCC campus is the complete renovation of library building which had not undergone any significant change since it opened in 1973. The library now includes more computers, study rooms, technology and seating than its predecessor. New additions include a café and charging lockers for students’ mobile devices. The improvements have resulted in a 25% increase in student use.

Eco-Friendly Initiatives

Onondaga Community College has made a concerted effort to use campus infrastructure to engage students. In 2015, the main campus quad, built in the early 1970s, was entirely demolished and rebuilt utilizing green principles. The quad was designed to slope to one side where rain gardens capture storm water runoff. Water from surrounding pavement and grass flow into the gardens and infiltrate the soil. This process cleans the water and prevents excessive amounts of storm water from flowing directly into Furnace Brook which bisects the campus.

A 21.16 kWp solar array was installed on the roof of the Whitney Applied Technology Center. The panels produce renewable energy, reduce the College’s greenhouse gas emissions and are used for students’ education and hands-on learning. The solar array project is linked to sustainability- related curriculum in the Architectural Technology program.

The college strongly promotes eco-friendly activities and encourages students to take part in various events. Its chapter of international honor society Phi Theta Kappa held “The Truth About Recycling,” a free educational event for the entire campus community. The event included an Environmental Education Fair during which attendees learned simple ways to make a positive impact on the environment. Environmentally-focused groups participating included OCC’s Whole Earth Club, Onondaga County Resource Recovery Agency, OCC’s Architecture Club, Onondaga County’s “Save the Rain” program and OCC’s Politics Club. In a recent event, they welcomed Lois Gibbs to the campus for a lecture session. Gibbs is an environmental activist who forced the government into action when she learned 20,000 tons of chemical waste was buried under her neighborhood, Love Canal.

Expanding Future Opportunities

Interestingly, 85 to 90 percent of the students at Onondaga receive financial assistance through the traditional state and federal funding sources. Onondaga Community College students enjoy studying abroad opportunities in historic and culturally rich locations such as India, Peru and Mexico.

Nursing students have made annual service learning trips to Guatemala where they have delivered medical supplies and held community health presentations on a variety of topics including: oral hygiene for children, the importance of vaccinations, breastfeeding, prenatal care and the importance of good nutrition while pregnant and breastfeeding.

Students took part in activities to build fuel-efficient stoves to improve air quality in the homes of Guatemalans who previously used more traditional cooking methods. Thanks to the College’s Career Services office, it provides students with a variety of employment related services year round including resume and cover letter review, job searching and interview preparation, career exploration, job shadowing and internship opportunities. The Career Services office has an online job portal which connects students with employment opportunities year round.

Words of Trust

“OCC built my path to success. The staff here was always available to help me and professors helped me improve my skills.” Adnan earned his degree in May 2018 and now attends Syracuse University.

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