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Flex Start program helping take the guess work out of college

Going off to college is challenging enough, but imagine investing in a school, only to realize you’ve made the wrong decision. A new program offered as OCC looks to end that, while keeping kids in college and on the right track.
Syracuse (WSYR-TV) -- Going off to college is challenging enough, but imagine investing in a school, only to realize you’ve made the wrong decision.

It happened to LaFayette’s co-salutatorian. For weeks, she says she didn’t know if she would complete her freshman year of college, until she learned about a new program called “Flex Start,” offered at Onondaga County Community College.

The day Monica Blaidsdell set foot on Seton Hall’s campus in New Jersey last month, she knew she had made a mistake.

“I got there and I realized in the beginning that it wasn’t the right fit for me. I didn’t like a lot of what the school was about and I didn’t like the location. I realized it wasn’t for me,” she said.

Blaidsdell, like many other students, look forward to college as being one of the best times of their lives. But for weeks, things didn’t go as planned.

“I honestly felt kind of stuck the whole time. I felt like I didn’t have other options, so when I went on the computer and looked here I felt kind of saved because it was something I needed,” Blaidsdell said.

She was able to stay on track and in college, because of the Flex Start program at Onondaga Community College. It’s a program that allows students to earn credits in just 10 weeks, instead of 15, and registration is open until the last week of September.

“We know that college deadlines don't fit in life deadlines, so we are very interested in finding as many options and flexible start times and end times to accommodate all types of students that are wanting to attend college,” explained Enrollement Management VP at OCC, Kristine Duffy.

Duffy says students can take a full-time schedule with Flex Start or just test the waters by taking one class.

"We selected courses that we felt were the most general education type of courses that would be transferable anywhere, fit into a variety of our degree plans, so at least it gets the student in a jump start type of situation,” continued Duffy.

If you would like to enroll in the Flex Start Program and get financial aid, you should apply by the end of this week. The final deadline is September 28.
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