Student Updates - Fall 2020 Reopening

September 17, 2020

Dear Students: 

You may have heard that SUNY has recently required campuses to develop and implement a surveillance testing plan in addition to our other precautions. OCC’s plan was submitted last Thursday and approved today. It is on our website as an addendum to our full plan. The main points of the addendum are as follows: 

  • The College is conducting wastewater surveillance testing. This is designed to identify any areas of concern. 
  • Community monitoring – if the Onondaga County R value (“R” stands for reinfection) exceeds 1.2 for a 7-day period, the College will conduct enhanced pool saliva testing as follows: 
    • Faculty and Staff will be offered pooled saliva testing up to twice a month; 
    • 25% of students with on-campus classes will undergo pooled saliva testing each week. 

Again, you can read the full text of the surveillance plan which is now on the website (the link is also included here

I want to recognize Dr. Sean Vormwald, OCC’s Director of Sustainability and Environmental Health and Safety, for his dedication to managing our efforts to keep the campus safe. We are also grateful to our partners at SUNY Upstate Medical University who are assisting us with all of the testing. And thanks to all of you in our campus community for continuing to do all of the right things. Your actions every day are helping make the fall semester a success. 

Casey Crabill, Ed.D.


Onondaga Community College

September 9, 2020

Dear Students and Colleagues, 

Were this a “normal year” we would celebrate at the beginning of the fall semester with something called Convocation. It’s a formal ceremony marking the beginning of the academic year – in the same way that Commencement marks the end of the academic year.   We would typically gather in our beautiful SRC Arena. You would see your professors in academic regalia (caps and gowns) and receive words of advice from a faculty member and a fellow student. 

Like much of life, we have had to rearrange the idea of Convocation due to the rules designed to prevent the spread of COVID-19.  However, we did not want the academic year to be without a Convocation, so we will share this experience virtually.  Three of us have recorded messages for you. I will speak first followed by Biology Professor Justin Fiene, and, finally, you will hear from Mark Santariello who is our Student Government President. 

We hope you will take a few minutes, click into Convocation, and use it to make your college experience even better both inside and outside the classroom. You can watch and listen by clicking on this link

Because of you, fall semester is off to a great start. Thank you.  Let’s keep it going and finish 2020 #LazerStrong

Casey Crabill 


August 27, 2020

Dear Students,

We are so excited to welcome you to the fall 2020 semester! We’re happy to have you with us and look forward to a wonderful semester together.

I wanted to share a few quick reminders with you related to keeping our campus as safe as possible:

  • When you come to campus, the only entrance open is Route 175/West Seneca Turnpike. You will go through a screening process while in your vehicle. Your temperature will be taken with a no-touch device, you will be asked a few COVID-related questions, and we will scan your Lazer Card ID. If you do not have a Lazer Card yet we will take your name and contact information manually.  I encourage you to get your Lazer Card as soon as possible to expedite this process.
  • After you clear the screening process, you will receive a bag which contains important information (see attachment): masks, hand sanitizer, and earbuds for you to use when studying or attending remote classes in places with other students nearby. It will help keep the noise down and ensure fellow students have a successful semester.

If you are a returning student, campus won’t be as busy as you remember because many students are continuing with remote learning, and some areas may have changed they way they provide services, but let me assure you that we are still focused on you and your success. We’re so excited to have you back!

Have a wonderful weekend and I look forward to seeing you next week.

Casey Crabill


August 24, 2020


I hope everyone had a great summer.

Attached are two (2) sets of instructions for how students will be able to make an appointment and how they will meet the tutor virtually or remotely. Both PowerPoint instructions have a voice over component.  Feel free to share these with your students or post them on BlackBoard.

  • One is for English, Communication, and Writing for any course.
  • One is for subject areas outside of these, such as Math, Sciences, etc…

The website students will go to is:

Students will not have to make an account as our staff has made one for them. They will use their OCC e-mail and their password for our system will be: onondaga123

If they have any issues, please have them call our office: (315) 498-2103


Ted Mathews, Tutoring Coordinator

Kathy D’Aprix

Associate Vice President, Academic Support Services

Onondaga Community Colleg

July 29, 2020

Dear Students,

I hope your summer is going well! The fall semester begins in less than 5 weeks and we can’t wait to welcome you back to campus. I want you to know that your professors and our entire campus community have done a remarkable job creating a safe learning environment for you, and we are excited about the plans we have in place.  These plans provide choices to meet a variety of needs.

We have restructured our entire schedule so that approximately half of the classes will be on campus or face-to-face this semester. Many which will not be on campus will still be live through the internet and provide you the ability to interact with your professor and classmates.

As you go through the process of registering for classes you will be able to tell how that class will be taught. I wanted to take a moment and share the different formats with you:

  • Traditional Classroom Course – Course activity is organized around scheduled face-to-face class meetings.
  • Hyflex – These courses have some on-campus, face-to-face components. In order to limit the number of people gathered at any one time, students will attend class in person on a rotating basis on some days and participate remotely in class sessions on other days. If you select one or more Hyflex courses, you should expect to hear from us in mid-August about the specific days of the week when you will be attending these classes in person.
  • Real-Time Remote/Online Course – 100% of course activity is done online.  However, this course uses Web-based conference technologies (ex. Microsoft Teams, Zoom) to extend classroom lectures and discussions to students for real-time remote learning. There are set times and days that students will be working and learning together with faculty in a video format.
  • Online Remote Course – 100% of course activity is done online; there are no required face-to-face sessions within the course and no requirements for on-campus activity.

If you have questions throughout the registration process, please contact Student Central by calling (315) 498-2000 or emailing The sooner you register, the better. It will ensure you get the classes you want at a time and in a format that works for you.

As you prepare for the fall semester, it is important you update your contact information at this link: If classes are postponed due to bad weather, this is how we would contact you to let you know.

Finally, if you haven’t participated in the U.S. Census yet I ask that you please do so. Every ten years we use the Census to count how many people live in the United States and where they live. Those results determine how billions of dollars flow into states and communities each year, and how many seats in Congress each state gets. The need to participate has never been greater. Please take a few minutes and take part at

Casey Crabill