ProLiteracy and Onondaga Partner to Improve Adult Literacy in CNY

ProLiteracy, the nation's largest adult literacy organization, and Onondaga Community College, the fastest growing college in the State University of New York (SUNY) system and one of the fastest growing community colleges in the nation, are partnering to increase opportunities that advance literacy and education programs throughout the greater Syracuse area. 

This three-year partnership will explore joint opportunities between community-based literacy programs and community colleges with the goal of raising the adult literacy rate in Central New York and making it easier for adult learners to transition from adult literacy programs to community colleges and the workforce.

“Community colleges across the U.S. are playing an increasingly important role in higher education success for adult learners,” said David C. Harvey, president of ProLiteracy. “With an estimated 23 percent of Syracuse area residents struggling with literacy, the opportunities to make a difference in our community using both the research capabilities and community reach of Onondaga Community College are tremendous.”

“Onondaga Community College is committed to providing all local citizens access to higher education, and our highly supportive learning environment makes Onondaga the ideal choice for many non-traditional students, ” said Debbie L. Sydow, Ph.D., president of Onondaga Community College and ProLiteracy Board member. “This agreement is about building upon the mutual interests of two highly respected educational entities, and ultimately raising the adult literacy rate in Onondaga County.”

ProLiteracy, based in Syracuse, works with local and national organizations to help adults gain the reading, writing, math, computer, and English skills they need to be successful in today’s society. ProLiteracy advocates on behalf of adult learners and the programs that serve them, provides training and professional development, and publishes materials used in adult literacy instruction. ProLiteracy represents member programs in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, and in 50 developing countries. For more information, please go to and