One of Onondaga’s hallmarks is responding to workforce demands in the community. The College’s constant monitoring of and reacting to the needs of employers has led to the creation of several new programs.
Onondaga has numerous courses and programs aimed at preparing students to join the workforce.
These are designed for students seeking a quick path to job opportunities. The programs are credit based and provide the essential coursework typically required by employers for entry-level positions.
Early Child Care
Fire Protection Technology
Law Enforcement (formerly Public Safety Certificate)
Line Mechanic – Utility Worker
The following non-credit programs help prepare students to take certification or licensing exams and then to enter the workforce:
Certified Personal Trainer
Medical Interpreter Training
Clinical Medical Assistant
Home Inspector Training
Medical Coding and Billing
High-tech certification courses prepare students for the credentials they need.
Cisco Certified Entry Network Technician
Cisco Certified Network Associate Routing and Switching
Comp TIA A+
Onondaga’s Automotive Technology program is about to get a tune-up. The College’s Board of Trustees have recently approved a change in the type of degree graduates will earn. Once Onondaga receives approval from the State University of New York (SUNY) and the New York State Education Department, it will begin offering an Associate in Occupational Studies (AOS) degree rather than the Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree which is presently offered.
As the technology in vehicles has become more complex, the related coursework is becoming more demanding. While there will still be some liberal arts requirements, the change to an AOS degree will give students more time to focus on their subject-specific work. Modern mechanics require advanced skills to perform service and maintenance on state-of-the-art vehicles. Advanced technologies in areas such as computer controlled fuel and ignition systems, computer controlled suspension, anti-lock brakes, and microcomputer controlled heating and air conditioning systems, demand the automotive technician possess a solid background in electronic systems and diagnostic procedures.
Once Onondaga receives approval for the AOS degree program, the AAS degree will continue to be offered until either students in the current program graduate or transfer into the AOS program.
Onondaga began offering a non-credit course which trains students to become home inspectors. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 17% growth in the demand for home inspectors over a 10-year period with a projected annual full-time income of just under $80,000. The course includes 12 days in the classroom followed by five days of field training. Course instructors are certified with the American Home Inspectors Training Institute.
"Most of what we talked about was life. School seemed easycompared to life"
Paris Gregory came to Onondaga from Detroit sight unseen. He received guidance from a mentoring program for African-American males at the College to become an excellent student, and is now pursuing a four-year degree.
After graduating high school, Gregory headed east with his godbrother who was a student at Syracuse University. Gregory enrolled in Onondaga but realized he needed advice. He found it in Sankofa, a “safe place” resource for engaging and supporting African-American men as they strive to achieve their educational goals. “It helped me through mentorship. The people involved in it give me someone to look up to and motivate me,” said Gregory. “Most of what we talked about was life. School seemed easy compared to life.”
“Sankofa” is an African mythical bird that flies forward while looking backward with an egg in its mouth, symbolizing the future. The program teaches people to look back and gather the best of what the past has to teach so full potential can be reached. It is funded through the generosity of National Grid.
Through Sankofa, Gregory’s grade point average rose from 2.3 to 3.1 while working full-time. This fall Gregory enrolled at St. John’s University, where he is majoring in Early Childhood Education. He expects to graduate in spring 2015.
Nuclear Technology is a two-year degree program that welcomed its first students this fall in direct response to a workforce demand brought to Onondaga by the nuclear energy industry. The industry estimates 35 to 40 percent of its workers are eligible to retire.
Upon graduation, students in this program will be trained and qualified to work in any nuclear reactor in the country. A nuclear reactor employs approximately 450 to 600 people. Onondaga is the 38th college in the United States authorized by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to offer this degree. The program is funded by a $161,000 grant from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and $100,000 from Constellation Energy.
Due to high demand, the program is full for the 2013-14 school year. A wide range of traditional and non-traditional students are enrolled in Onondaga’s Nuclear Technology major including:
Onondaga and the Multicultural Association of Medical Interpreters (MAMI) teamed up to offer a Saturday course which trained people to pursue employment as professional interpreters in the medical field. The 135-hour course combined lectures and skill exercises, including one-on-one coaching and evaluation.
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