Crest for Policies

Policy C10
Policy Name: Admission of Ex-Offenders (Candidates with a prior criminal history or disciplinary dismissal)
Responsibility for Maintenance: Financial Services

Date of most recent changes: July 10, 2019

I. Policy Statement

The College is committed to equal opportunity in its enrollment procedures and educational programs. The College is also under the obligation to protect the safety and welfare of the Campus community.

The College reserves the right to review registrations into programs, and to place conditions on the enrollment of students who the College determines present a safety risk to College students, employees or property.

All candidates for enrollment must report to the College at the time of application or course registration if they have been convicted of a felony. If yes, applications or registration requests from such candidates will be reviewed by the Ex-Offender Committee.

II. Reason for Policy

This policy is intended to ensure that the College’s enrollment decisions are based on sufficient information and are rendered in a manner consistent with applicable law. The College is committed to providing a learning, living, working and community environment that is safe. Members of the College community have a corresponding responsibility to safeguard persons and property while on campus.

New York State Corrections Law (750, 752, 753) forbids discrimination against individuals previously convicted of criminal offenses. However, the law allows for an institution to deny enrollment to an applicant based upon a prior criminal conviction(s), where such enrollment would involve an unreasonable risk to property or to the safety or welfare of specific individuals or the public.

III. Applicability of the Policy

This policy applies to all applicants who answer yes to the following question, either in print or online:

Have you ever been convicted of a felony?  

IV. Related Documents

Onondaga Community College Policy C3 Admissions 

V. Contacts

Subject   Office Name   Title or Position   Telephone Number   Email/URL  
Questions regarding policy Financial Services
Senior Vice President & Chief Financial Officer
(315)498-2530 [email protected]

VI. Definition

Term   Definition  
Ex-offender A person who has a felony conviction.
Ex-Offender Committee Comprised of at least three (3) individuals appointed by the Vice President of Student Engagement

VII. Procedures

If an admission applicant or any non-matriculated student registering for classes, does not respond to the question “Have you ever been convicted of a felony?” the prospective student is contacted for a response, and if enrolling online, the enrollment process will be stopped and no further action taken on the application until a response is received.

If the prospective student answers “no” to ever being convicted of a felony, routine processing continues.

If the prospective student responds “yes” to being convicted of a felony, he/she is coded in the system as an “Ex-Offender”. A follow-up letter and Ex-Offender form are sent to the prospective student to determine the nature of the conviction and whether the prospective student is on probation or parole. A personal interview with the Ex-Offender Committee may be scheduled to discuss his/her criminal history/record, his/her current status and details surrounding his/her conviction and whether he/she is on probation or parole. The College’s policy and procedures regarding Ex-Offenders will also be discussed. After review of all available information, the Committee will decide whether to deny or grant enrollment/registration. If granted, the individual may be enrolled with certain conditions.

A prospective student who is granted enrollment by the Ex-Offender Committee, but does not attend the semester for which they applied and were originally enrolled, is required to undergo a subsequent review to be considered for enrollment for any future semester.

In circumstances where a prospective student is not truthful in answering the conviction question, or provides an incomplete or inaccurate disclosure, the College reserves the right to rescind enrollment based on the new information received.

A prospective student who is enrolled after disclosing that he/she has been previously convicted of a felony has the continuing obligation to disclose any new felony convictions (and their disposition) for the duration of his/her enrollment.

A prospective student whose enrollment may involve an unreasonable risk to property, or to the safety or welfare of specific individuals or the public, as outlined in Article 23A, Section 753 of the New York Correction Law, will be informed that his/her enrollment application has been denied with no reason given.

Approved by the Board of Trustees June 18, 2013

Updated and approved by the President March 28, 2016

Updated and approved by the President July 10, 2019