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OCC joins forces with Cazenovia College with "2+2" program

Ellen Abbott
OCC President Casey Crabill (left) and Cazenovia College President Mark Tierno say the "2+2" program will benefit both colleges.

Onondaga Community College is tapping another central New York College to join it’s "2+2" partnership stable.

Cazenovia College is the latest institution to sign this kind of partnership agreement with OCC. What it does is allow students to take two years of directed coursework at the community college, then transfer to Cazenovia, to get a bachelor's degree.

OCC President Casey Crabill says one of the major pluses to these deals is that academic advisement comes from both schools.

“Students really appreciate the opportunity to hear directly from the school that they're thinking about," Crabill said. "If there are five different electives in English, which one should I take? Just tell me.”

OCC has these kinds of agreements with seven schools, including Syracuse University and Le Moyne. Crabill expects more schools will come over the next three to five years, some of them possibly outside New York state.

“We’re working on the regional ones first, because we already have relationships," Crabill explained. "But students tell us, hey, we may want to be a little farther afield than that. So we’ll be looking across the state, and there are a number of national institutions that are interested in OCC because we’re a large, fairly successful community college.”

From the four-year college point of view, Cazenovia College President Mark Tierno says there are simply more and more people looking at this more economical way of getting a four-year degree.

“The population at community colleges has risen, and the segment of the population that’s risen significantly, that we’re aware of, is the segment of students planning on earning a bachelor’s degree and planning it from the start, but are starting at a community college," Tierno explained. "That population is big, it’s talented, and we’re interested.”

Tierno says Cazenovia College wants to get in on the trend of students getting a degree in this more budget friendly way.

“That population has grown significantly in our culture, especially since the economic downturn in '08," Tierno said. "And that approach to achieving a bachelor's degree is more common. It was common before and now it’s more common. So that’s a potential source of transfer students.”

Ellen produces news reports and features related to events that occur in the greater Syracuse area and throughout Onondaga County. Her reports are heard regularly in regional updates in Morning Edition and All Things Considered.