Onondaga Community College

Town of Onondaga Historical Society/SUNYOCC.edu

A group of Onondaga Community College students is preparing a play to memorialize the historic 100th anniversary of the tragedy known as The Disaster at Split Rock.  It happened July 2, 1918 on the site of a former limestone quarry turned munitions factory during World War One not too far from the college.  OCC Journalism Professor Laurel Saiz says overheated equipment is believed to have sparked a fire that ignited a dynamite storage facility.

"So people's body parts were found, like, half a mile, a mile away."

Chris Bolt/WAER News

WAER’s City Limits Project – investigating poverty in Syracuse turned its focus to education.  How is poverty impacting schools and adult education?  And how much is the basic mission of these institutions changing as they have to deal with the effects of poverty in our community? 

(Full Audio of the panel discussion below)

When you’re inside a school as students are heading to class, the energy and the expectation should be that learning is about to take place to enrich the students.  


A new workforce education program at Onondaga Community College has reimagined the typical process of finding a career in the growing manufacturing industry. The Apprenticeship Accelerator Career Training Program is designed to give 10 Central New Yorkers an opportunity to change jobs and also earn a paycheck from a choice of four local companies. Associate Vice President of Economic and Workforce Development at OCC Mike Metzgar said a four year paid-apprenticeship is guaranteed after 10 weeks of training.


The graduation rates at three community colleges in Central New York are going up, according to a new study.  However it also finds that only one-in-four students are graduating in three years.

John Smith/WAER News

Automotive Technology students at Onondaga Community College could be landing internships with a high-end electric vehicle company by the fall of 2018.  A letter-of-intent has been reached between the college and Tesla.  The company brought an EV worth about $147,000 to the college with doors that mechanically lift upwards.  Perhaps the white leather seats and large electronic dashboard will also draw you in.  However, if you’re an Automotive Technology student like Anton Prusakob, you look beneath the surface.

Taylor Epps / WAER News

Getting children to think about recess is easy, but getting them to start thinking about college may not be as simple. Onondaga Community College and the Syracuse City School District are working together to plant a seed in students’ minds early. Superintendent Jaime Alicea and O-C-C President Casey Crabill say the partnership will give kids more opportunities.

"One of our goals in the Syracuse City School District is to graduate our students to be college and career ready.  Exposing the students to college at an early age will provide them with opportunities."


The thousands of college students flooding into Syracuse this month bring along a challenge for those fighting underage drinking.  A new coalition started to help reduce underage and binge drinking among students, which includes prevention experts, colleges and local bars and restaurants. 

Prevention Network’s Phil Rose finds intense drinking on the rise to a level where brain function is actually compromised.

John Smith / WAER News

Much like composers uniquely arrange all of the notes, Onondaga Community College Visual Arts Department Professors also made a masterpiece of their own in a wonderfully organized and colorful art gallery of Syracuse Jazz Fest history.  The newest exhibit that officially opened to the public this week is called “Jazz Fest Memories and Memorabilia.”  

Founder and Executive Producer Frank Malfitano lives and breathes the music industry.  He championed enough support over the years to keep the festival going strong for 35 years.  Malfitano points out that he feels indebted to the work of multi-talented individuals who also shape the festival.

Chris Bolt/WAER News

The newly-approved state budget makes impacts on public schools, as well as the ability to continue through college.  But increased education aid still leaves questions for schools and students. 

Always controversial, overall state aid to school districts rose more than a $1 billion in the state’s spending plan.  New York State School Boards Association Executive Director Tim Kremer thinks the extra aid hits the right targets.

New Restaurant to Benefit OCC Students and the Northside Community

Dec 2, 2016

Students at Onondaga Community College can learn in a new restaurant that will also pay benefits for Syracuse's Northside community.  Sarah Robin, the first restaurateur in residence, will have Pakistani food on the menu in the teaching restaurant.

“I want to open my own restaurant in the future so this whole program is helping a lot. I know how to cook but I really want to learn some management skills” Robin said. “So I think this hotel and these skills will help me to really make me the person whom I have to be.”