Food Trucks, Ice Cream & Discount Pints!

You are invited to the 3rd annual OCC Advantage Summer Celebration! The friendraiser will be held Thursday, June 13 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Local 315 Brewing Company, 3160 Warners Road in Warners. Attendees will be treated to a food truck rodeo, ice cream by Gannon’s, $1 off pints, raffle baskets, and music by The Sheridans. Tickets cost $10 in advance, $15 at the door, and can be purchased by clicking on this link. Attendees under age 21 are free.

Proceeds from the Summer Celebration friendraiser will benefit the OCC Advantage College Readiness and Scholarship program. Students who meet attendance and grade point average (GPA) requirements, complete community service and graduate will be eligible to attend OCC tuition-free. The GPA requirement is 2.0 which is the letter grade equivalent of a “C.” Once enrolled at OCC students will have two years to complete work toward an associate degree or certificate, preparing them for a career or transfer to a four-year institution. During their time on campus students must meet minimum GPA requirements and perform community service.

Participating school districts in the OCC Advantage program include East Syracuse-Minoa, Jordan-Elbridge, LaFayette, Onondaga Central, and Solvay. OCC Advantage is supported through the generosity of Summer Celebration attendees and contributors to our Believe in Better fundraising campaign. You can learn more about Believe in Better and find out how you can support students at our website.

We hope to see you at the OCC Advantage Summer Celebration! You can learn more about the event by going to our Facebook page.

LaFayette High School Joins OCC Advantage Program

LaFayette High School’s Class of 2022 celebrates joining the OCC Advantage program during a ceremony in the high school auditorium.

Carolyn Redmore knows she’s fortunate. Redmore is a 9th grade student at LaFayette High School and her class is the school’s first to be a part of OCC Advantage. “We have this amazing opportunity to go to OCC for two years for free. We can save a lot of money for college. This is a great opportunity.”

Student Carolyn Redmore is interviewed by Spectrum TV videographer Mike Collins.

LaFayette High School’s Class of 2022 joined the OCC Advantage program during a signing ceremony last month. OCC Advantage is a unique college-readiness and scholarship program. All freshman students at LaFayette who meet attendance and grade point average (GPA) requirements, complete community service and graduate will be eligible to attend OCC tuition free. The GPA requirement is 2.0 which is the letter grade equivalent of a “C.”

Once enrolled at OCC students will have two years to complete work toward an associate degree or certificate, preparing them for a career or transfer to a four-year institution. During their time on campus students must meet minimum grade point average requirements and perform community service.

All 60 students who are presently freshman at LaFayette are eligible for the OCC Advantage program. As members of the class of 2022 they will be college-ready and able to attend OCC tuition-free should they choose to do so. During the 2018-19 academic year, full-time tuition at OCC is $2,450 per semester.

LaFayette joins the East Syracuse-Minoa, Jordan-Elbridge, Onondaga Central and Solvay school districts as participants in the OCC Advantage program. OCC Advantage is supported through the generosity of contributors to our Believe in Better fundraising campaign. You can learn more about Believe in Better and find out how you can support students on our website.

Jordan-Elbridge Joins OCC Advantage Program

Jordan-Elbridge High School’s class of 2022 along with J-E and OCC Administrators celebrate the OCC Advantage program.

The OCC Advantage program welcomed Jordan-Elbridge’s class of 2022 during a signing ceremony January 28 at the high school. All freshman students at Jordan-Elbridge who meet attendance and grade point average (GPA) requirements, complete community service and graduate will be eligible to attend OCC tuition free. The GPA requirement is 2.0 which is the letter grade equivalent of a “C.”

J-E students sign the OCC Advantage banner.

Once enrolled at OCC students will have two years to complete work toward an associate degree or certificate, preparing them for a career or transfer to a four-year institution. During their time on campus students must meet minimum grade point average requirements and perform community service.

All 95 students who are presently freshman at Jordan-Elbridge High School are eligible for the OCC Advantage program. As members of the class of 2022 they will be college-ready and able to attend OCC tuition-free should they choose to do so.

“This is the continuation of a very strong partnership we’ve long enjoyed with the Jordan-Elbridge School District,” said OCC President Dr. Casey Crabill. “All of us are very proud to stand beside you in this work that helps to ensure a bright future for your school and your entire community.”

“Over the last few years we’ve had some tremendous things occur,” said Jordan-Elbridge Superintendent Jim Froio. “I remember when we received the news that we were the recipients of the 3-year-old pre-school grant. I went skipping down the hall yelling, ‘We got the grant! We got the grant!’ I thought that might be the pinnacle of my educational career but I think this even trumps that at the other end of the spectrum. I really see and I hope all of you see what a tremendous opportunity is being laid at your feet.”

Jordan-Elbridge joins the East Syracuse Minoa, Onondaga Central and Solvay school districts as participants in the OCC Advantage program.

You can learn more about supporting our current and future students through our “Believe in Better” fundraising campaign. More information is available at this link.

Onondaga Central Joins The OCC Advantage Program

Members of Onondaga Central Junior/Senior High School’s class of 2021 celebrate their enrollment in the OCC Advantage program.

Onondaga Central Junior/Senior High School has joined the OCC Advantage program. A signing ceremony was held in the school’s auditorium January 22. “This is an exciting opportunity,” said Onondaga Central Superintendent Rob Price. “We thank OCC for their willingness to include us.”

OCS Superintendent Rob Price

OCC Advantage is a unique college-readiness and scholarship program. Members of Onondaga Central Junior/Senior High School’s class of 2021 who meet attendance and grade point average (GPA) requirements and also complete community service will be eligible to attend OCC tuition free. The GPA requirement is 2.0 which is the letter grade equivalent of a “C.”

Once enrolled at OCC students will have two years to complete work toward an associate degree or certificate, preparing them for a career or transfer to a four-year institution. During their time on campus students must meet minimum grade point average requirements and perform community service.

All students who are presently freshman at Onondaga Central Junior/Senior High School are enrolled in the OCC Advantage program. They will be college-ready and able to attend OCC tuition-free should they choose to do so. “This is about college readiness whether you come to OCC or not,” said College President Casey Crabill. “We are here to make the transition to college as smooth as possible. We are here as partners in education.”

Solvay and East Syracuse-Minoa High Schools are also members of the OCC Advantage program.

OCS Junior/Senior High School students sign the OCC Advantage banner.

A Family’s Plan for College

Jack Walters (center) is excited he will attend OCC tuition-free thanks to the OCC Advantage program. His mother Kate (left) and father (Jeff) are equally excited.
Jack Walters (center) is excited he will attend OCC tuition-free thanks to the OCC Advantage program. His mother Kate (left) and father (Jeff) are equally excited.

The Walters family knows an outstanding opportunity when it sees one. The new OCC Advantage program is as good as it gets. “It’s a gift. It’s incredible,” said Kate Walters. “We’re thrilled for all the hard work everyone did for us to be able to participate in this.”

Walters and her family live in the East Syracuse Minoa (ESM) School District. ESM and Solvay are the first two school districts taking part in OCC Advantage, a new and unique college-readiness and scholarship program. Students who earn a “C” average and show improvement while achieving other benchmarks will be eligible to attend OCC tuition-free. The program contains three main components:

  • Performance – Students need to maintain a 2.0 grade point average and show gradual improvement throughout high school.
  • Attendance – Students will be required to meet attendance goals throughout their four years.
  • Community Service – Students will perform community service as part of the OCC Advantage program.
Jack Walters in the TV control room at ESM.
Jack Walters in the TV control room at ESM.

Upon graduation from high school each member of the Class of 2020 who has successfully completed the program will have the opportunity to attend OCC tuition-free. Once enrolled in the College students will have two years to complete work toward an associate degree or certificate, preparing them for a career or transfer to a four-year institution. During their time on campus students must continue to meet minimum grade point average requirements and perform community service.

For the Walters family the timing couldn’t be better. Their daughter Robin will graduate from ESM this year and attend Ithaca College in the fall. Their son Jack is a freshman at ESM and future member of the graduating class of 2020. OCC Advantage will take care of his first two years of college tuition costs. “I thought it was pretty cool people could go to college for free,” said Jack Walters. “It will help me save money for where I want to go after OCC.”

It’s too soon for Walters to know for sure what he’ll major in. Outside class he works at the school television station, participates in dance competitions and is a hurdler and long jumper on the Track & Field team. His father has taken classes at OCC and understands what a value OCC Advantage is. “It’s a great opportunity. We’re pretty excited about it,” said Jeff Walters.

ESM and Solvay Join the “OCC Advantage” Program

East Syracuse Minoa celebrates joining the OCC Advantage program.
East Syracuse Minoa celebrates joining the OCC Advantage program.

When East Syracuse Minoa (ESM) Schools Superintendent Dr. Donna DeSiato analyzes the benefits of the OCC Advantage program she’s reminded of one of the most popular plays in history. “I had the privilege of seeing Hamilton on Broadway. Lin-Manuel Miranda who plays Hamilton is well recognized for a famous line in a song which says, ‘I am not going to miss my shot.’ It’s important that our freshmen have this opportunity and we want to make sure they do not miss their shot.”

Dr. Donna DeSiato, ESM Superintendent
Dr. Donna DeSiato, ESM Superintendent

DeSiato, who is both an Onondaga Community College alumna and a member of the College’s Board of Trustees, shared those comments with the ESM school community November 29 as it celebrated joining OCC Advantage, a new and unique college-readiness and scholarship program. Students who earn a “C” average and show improvement while achieving other benchmarks will be eligible to attend OCC tuition-free.

ESM is the second school district to become part of OCC Advantage, joining Solvay which held its own celebration November 9. “We’re educating our students and our families about the opportunity this program represents because it’s amazing. We’re thrilled to be a part of it,” said Solvay Schools Superintendent Lawrence Wright.

Students in Solvay’s and ESM’s freshman class will be the first to benefit from OCC Advantage. The program contains three main components:

  • Performance – Students need to maintain a 2.0 grade point average and show gradual improvement throughout high school.
  • Attendance – Students will be required to meet attendance goals throughout their four years at ESM and Solvay.
  • Community Service – Students will perform community service as part of the OCC Advantage program. “We want students to understand that education in life is about going beyond yourself. We’re using community service through the high schools for students to reflect on their skills, their interests, their community and see ways they can exercise the education they have already. It’s about what the student gets through reflection in service. So many students come to college undecided. If you’re undecided you can waste time and money. Those are precious commodities,” said OCC President Dr. Casey Crabill.
Lawrence Wright, Solvay Superintendent
Lawrence Wright, Solvay Superintendent

The college-readiness program will also include helping students learn the types of behaviors that will lead to success both during their years in high school and in college. Upon graduation from Solvay and ESM each member of the Class of 2020 who has successfully completed the program will have the opportunity to attend OCC tuition-free. Once enrolled in the College students will have two years to complete work toward an associate degree or certificate, preparing them for a career or transfer to a four-year institution. During their time on campus students must continue to meet minimum grade point average requirements and perform community service.

“This initiative provides access and opportunity to families which otherwise may not be able to afford it,” said Wright. “We have very capable students. We graduate over 90% of them. The majority will go onto college but the majority of them will also struggle to pay for it. That’s a big part of why this relationship is so special.”

Members of Solvay High School's class of 2020 who are enrolled in the OCC Advantage program.
Members of Solvay High School’s class of 2020 who are enrolled in the OCC Advantage program.

The OCC Advantage

These members of Solvay High School's Class of 2020 are the first students to benefit from the OCC Advantage program.
These members of Solvay High School’s Class of 2020 are the first students to benefit from the OCC Advantage program.

A new and unique college-readiness and scholarship program is bringing together Onondaga Community College and families in the Solvay School District. It’s called “OCC Advantage.” Students who earn a “C” average and show improvement while achieving other benchmarks will be eligible to attend OCC tuition-free. “We’re educating our students and our families about the opportunity this program represents because it’s amazing. We’re thrilled to be a part of it,” said Solvay Schools Superintendent Lawrence Wright.

Students signed the OCC Advantage banner.
Students signed the OCC Advantage banner.

The program and partnership were celebrated during an event November 9 in the auditorium of Solvay High School. Students in the freshman class will be the first to benefit from OCC Advantage. The program contains three main components:

  • Performance – Students need to maintain a 2.0 grade point average and show gradual improvement throughout high school.
  • Attendance – Students will be required to meet attendance goals throughout their four years at Solvay.
  • Community Service – Students will perform community service as part of the OCC Advantage program. “We want students to understand that education in life is about going beyond yourself. We’re using community service through the high schools for students to reflect on their skills, their interests, their community and see ways they can exercise the education they have already. It’s about what the student gets through reflection in service. So many students come to college undecided. If you’re undecided you can waste time and money. Those are precious commodities,” said OCC President Dr. Casey Crabill.
Celebratory cupcakes!
Celebratory cupcakes!

The college-readiness program will also include helping students learn the types of behaviors that will lead to success both during their years in high school and in college. Upon graduation from Solvay each member of the Class of 2020 who has successfully completed the program will have the opportunity to attend OCC tuition-free. Once enrolled in the College students will have two years to complete work toward an associate degree or certificate, preparing them for a career or transfer to a four-year institution. During their time on campus students must continue to meet minimum grade point average requirements and perform community service.

“This initiative provides access and opportunity to families which otherwise may not be able to afford it,” said Wright. “We have very capable students. We graduate over 90% of them. The majority will go onto college but the majority of them will also struggle to pay for it. That’s a big part of why this relationship is so special.”

The East Syracuse Minoa School District will be joining the OCC Advantage program later this month.