Nick Thrasher was ready to improve his life. He just needed a way to do it which fit with his busy schedule. Thrasher was working full time driving a truck for FedEx. He also had a family at home he needed to support. Last spring he came to Onondaga Community College’s Open House and learned Weekend College would be starting in the fall. The weekly class schedule of Friday nights and Saturdays were exactly what he was looking for. “The fact I could do this and keep working at the same time made it perfect for me. I’m the main source of income in my family. I needed to earn a degree without sacrificing my job.”
Over time Thrasher came to the realization he needed a college degree. He had left home at age 15 and worked throughout high school, often choosing his job over going to class. “I’d always worked with my hands and done manual labor. As I got older I realized I wanted to do something that was easier on my body. I look at some older guys I work with and none of them can walk the greatest. I realized it was time to go back to school and get a degree.”
In the fall of 2018 Thrasher became a member of OCC’s first Weekend College class. He enrolled in the Business Administration program and excelled. “At first getting back into the swing of things was rough but I have a good support system at home. Once I got used to having that work load I was fine. There have been nights where I’ve only slept a couple of hours but that’s what I’ve needed to do.”
Since enrolling in Weekend College, Thrasher has also benefited from camaraderie among classmates. “We’ve all gotten along great. I’d been so busy between work and supporting my family, I hadn’t had time to make friends. Through interacting with people here I’ve made friends.”
Thrasher will earn his degree this December. He’s considering pursuing a bachelor’s degree in the world of finance. He’s thrilled to be in this position at age 28 and offers advice for anyone considering following his path. “Weekend College is designed for adults who are working full time. The workload is what we all thought it was going to be. You can do it but you definitely need a good support system at home.”
Enrollment is now open for the next group of Weekend College students. Classes begin Friday, August 23. Prospective students will be required to take placement exams for math, English and reading. Students who perform well on their placement exams will be able to complete coursework in 18 months.
Four degree programs are being offered in fall 2019:
- Alcohol & Substance Abuse Counseling A.A.S.
- Business Administration, A.S.
- Criminal Justice, A.S.
- Early Childhood, A.A.S.
An Associate of Science (A.S.) degree is designed to prepare a student for transfer to a 4-year institution to pursue their bachelor’s degree. An Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree is a career program which prepares students for employment.
All classes are held on the OCC campus. Financial Aid and scholarships are available for those who qualify.
OCC’s partnership with SUNY Oswego will ensure students majoring in Business Administration or Criminal Justice a seamless transfer into a bachelor’s degree program which is offered through a combination of online and in-person classes at SUNY Oswego’s downtown Syracuse campus at Clinton Square. With this partnership, students can complete their associate and bachelor’s degrees at a SUNY price right here in Syracuse.
More information about OCC’s Weekend College program is available at this website. If you’d like to speak with a college representative you can do so by contacting the Student Recruitment office at (315) 498-2221 or firstname.lastname@example.org.