Staying Home to Go to College

Community colleges make the grade for Valley students looking to save a little cash and prepare for their careers — without sacrificing the A-plus education


(page 8 of 15)

Study group gathers at SUNY Orange (OCCC)
SUNY Orange students enjoy the sunshine and some studying on the campus’ green

Orange County Community College

By: Greg Ryan

Big changes are afoot at OCCC. In November, the state’s Department of Education bestowed “branch campus” status on the school’s Newburgh site, meaning that for the first time, students there could earn certain degrees (early childhood development and care, business management, and criminal justice among them) without ever commuting the 25 miles to the main campus in Middletown. The Newburgh site will reach full capacity when renovations to the Tower Building are completed in 2011 (a new classroom building in Newburgh should open by fall of 2010). Not to be left behind, the school’s Middletown home is set to undergo some growth spurts of its own over the next few years. A new Science, Engineering, and Technology Center will be built at the location, thanks to the college’s $25 million capital campaign, which was launched last year. These physical additions serve to enhance academics at the first county-sponsored community college in the SUNY system (and the first two-year college in the nation to offer an associate’s degree nursing program). Today, the school offers 38 degrees and certificates, ranging from the general (mathematics and natural science) to the career-specific (radiologic technology). Extracurricular activities on campus include Colt Rock Radio — an Internet radio station staffed by OCCC students — and a student senate. 
115 South St., Middletown. 845-344-6222;


Up next: Dutchess Community College


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