KeyBank, a Fortune 500 company, on August 29th presented Onondaga Community College a $40,000 check. Their generous support will help create a College Connection Coach for OCC Advantage, a unique college-readiness and scholarship program. The College Connection Coach will work with students at East Syracuse Minoa and Solvay High Schools by providing college-readiness programming throughout their four years of high school and assisting students with the OCC enrollment process.
The OCC Advantage program provides students at East Syracuse Minoa and Solvay who meet attendance and grade point average (GPA) requirements, complete community service, and graduate the opportunity to attend OCC tuition-free. Students complete the federal application for financial aid (FAFSA), apply for the New York State Tuition Assistance Program, and the Excelsior Scholarship Program. The OCC Advantage program makes up the difference in tuition costs so that qualifying students will complete their associate degree debt-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, reapply for federal and state financial aid, and complete community or campus service.
The College Connection Coach is designed to work with high school students in their junior and senior years to help them complete the OCC Advantage requirements, help them navigate the college admission and financial aid processes, and connect them to the campus community. The coach will work closely with district staff to coordinate their efforts in support of student success.
“We are thankful for KeyBank’s vision and support of the OCC Advantage program and for their foundational support for the College Connection Coach. Their investment in the future of these students will assist in providing them with a pathway to a college education free of thousands of dollars in debt,” said OCC President Dr. Casey Crabill.
“This program is putting students in our community on a path to prosperity and opportunity,” said Stephen Fournier, KeyBank Central New York Market President. “We are proud to partner with OCC and give young people the tools they need to succeed in high school, college and life.”