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      OCC announces new partnership with Le Moyne College

      When she enrolled at Onondaga Community College, Angela Schultz was already thinking about where she would complete her bachelor's degree. She says it is a huge relief to know that after she completes her two year associate degree at OCC, partnerships would allow her credits will transfer into Syracuse University, Le Moyne college and several other schools.

      "I think it's really good because you don't have to worry about, is this going to transfer in? It makes the process so much easier," said Schultz.

      On Monday, Le Moyne joined the University at Buffalo, St. John Fisher, SUNY Alfred and Syracuse in the "2 Plus 2" partnership agreement. The program allows OCC students to transfer to those schools as juniors after completing one of four associates degrees. Right now about 65% of OCC students are enrolled in a program that would allow them to transfer to a four year school. The President's of OCC and Le Moyne say the partnership gives many students and families a more affordable road to a four year degree.

      "This collaboration now is another way students can use their finances wisely to pursue their educational goals down this path," said Dr. Fred Pestello from Le Moyne.

      "It allows families to plan so if they say we have this much money to deal with towards getting a bachelor's degree for you - it allows them to stretch those funds," said Dr. Casey Crabill from OCC.

      Paying for college can be a burden on many families and students and the lower costs of Onondaga Community College allow students to get started without some of the financial stress. Freshman Jamie Leone says she wants to go on to a four year school but likes having time to decide on a major and get her entry levels courses completed at OCC.

      "I was worried - I didn't want to be in a ton of debt, especially when I wasn't exactly sure what I wanted to do in the end - so it's very helpful that you can just transfer in," said Leone.

      Students enrolled in the 2 Plus 2 program will receive counseling from both OCC and Le Moyne to make sure they stay on track.