Hezel Associates Recommends New Strcuture for OCC’s Distance Learning

June 7, 2004

SYRACUSE, NY. – Continuing professional education remains one of the fastest growing segments of the higher education market, particularly in community college settings. Hezel Associates, a consulting firm for the education sector, recently completed a six-month study for Onondaga Community College (OCC) that included a market analysis and the creation of two strategic plans – for Community Education and Outreach Services and Distance Learning. The plans positioned OCC to be an agile and responsive college with the ability to increase community access to education through the deployment of distance learning.

“When an institution implements distance learning, it rightly opens the institution to new models of delivering education and inevitably, to structural changes, “said Dr. Richard Hezel, president of Hezel Associates.

Hezel’s research included an analysis of demographics, trends, competitive offerings and demand factors. The market analysis identified shifts in learner demand with Lifelong Learning and mobility of delivery taking on deeper meaning for non-traditional students.

To further inform its recommendations, Hezel Associates conducted focus group interviews with area employers, college faculty and administrators, and continuing education experts from community colleges in New York State.

According to Onondaga Community College President Debbie Sydow, “Over the past several years, Onondaga Community College has engaged in a comprehensive, systematic assessment of institutional effectiveness as part of an ongoing effort to ensure that OCC’s limited resources are invested in direct support of its core mission. A number of extensive studies were conducted over this period, including an important review of outreach programs conducted by Hezel Associates.”

“Our objective was to position OCC as an agile learning institution, better prepared to serve emergent needs in Onondaga County and surrounding areas,” Hezel said. Dr. Sydow said Hezel’s report contributed significantly to the development of OCC’s realignment plan, a plan that will guide the college toward improving the effectiveness and efficiency of educational services provided to students.ABOUT HEZEL ASSOCIATES
Hezel Associates has worked with local, state and national clients in 30 states across the nation, providing services such as needs assessments, benchmark studies, strategic and marketing plans, evaluations and state educational technology assessments.

Headquartered in Syracuse, N.Y., Hezel Associates provides research, evaluation and strategic services to clients in education, technology, publishing and business.

The firm has earned a distinguished national reputation as a leading expert in distance education research and consulting. Clients such as the U.S. Department of Education, the World Health Organization, Habitat for Humanity International, the Public Broadcasting Service, the University of Texas TeleCampus and Regis University have relied on Hezel Associates’ recommendations to make strategic decisions, and create and implement policies. The company was founded in 1987 by Dr. Richard T. Hezel, a leading research-oriented consultant in the field of education technology. For further information about Hezel Associates, visit

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