Onondaga Community College Nursing Program Review

Onondaga Community College (SUNY OCC) is a two-year community college that is part of the State University of New York (SUNY) system. Onondaga has three campuses in Onondaga County, New York with around 12,000 enrolled students. The college has a regional higher education center where nursing students may pursue a bachelor’s degree on their campus in partnership with SUNY Empire State College, Binghamton University, SUNY IT, and Le Moyne College. There are almost 50 programs offered as well as residence halls for over 500 students. Onondaga also offers a nursing program that leads to an Associate in Applied Science degree.

Nursing Program

Associate in Applied Science

Onondaga Community College has an Associate in Applied Science program that can be completed in two or three years. Students take liberal arts and sciences classes as well as nursing core courses, and clinical experience in hospitals and other healthcare facilities. When the program is completed, graduates take the NCLEX-RN, the national exam for licensure as a registered nurse. Students of all ages may apply to the program, and many adults attend Onondaga. Although many students work part-time while enrolled in the nursing program, it involves many hours of study and preparation each week. For that reason, it is highly recommended that students do not work full-time. Students who are enrolled part-time must spend an average of 20 hours each week on their courses. When the nursing component is begun, one full day each week will be required for clinical experience. Other requirements of the program that must be considered are preparatory time to review texts and chart and weekly nursing process recording.

Onondaga does offer a unique program that provides the chance for students to learn the theory portion of the nursing program independently outside of the classroom. They complete self-paced modules and receive guidance from faculty. The materials provided to help students learn theory includes instruction materials such as multimedia materials and taped lectures. Students also learn through small group instruction and large lecture classes are rarely used at this college. Nursing skills are learned in the classroom and through clinical experience when they have a chance to practice these skills. Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) may have advance standing in the nursing program after they pass challenge tests proving that they have mastered the material in the beginning nursing courses in the program. They may receive up to 12 credits for their knowledge and experience.

Admission requirements to the program are that the student must have a grade point average from high school or any other college work of C+ or higher. They must have a high school diploma or equivalent and meet the standard scores on the nursing preadmission test. Onondaga also tests students to ensure that they meet the minimum standards in math and English that are equal to the beginning level of college studies.

Applicants must have completed biology and chemistry courses in high school and one of these must have had a lab. Students who have not had these may take them on the college level at Onondaga and must have a grade of C+ or better.

Even if applicants meet all of the admission requirements, it is not guaranteed that they will be accepted into the nursing program. Candidates are chosen by using a point system. Extra points are awarded to those who have had previous certification as a healthcare provider, such as LPNs or Emergency Medical Technicians. Extra points are also given for having the highest grade point average and for courses that have been taken within the last three years of education that meet requirements. Another consideration is if the candidate met the standards for the last group to begin the AAS program but it was full.

Onondaga Community College
4585 West Seneca Turnpike
Syracuse, New York 13215
(315) 498-2622