July 9, 2009 | CUNY Matters Columns
The university will start the next academic year with a host of new degree programs – some 20 for September, with more on the way in the spring and thereafter.
This burst of academic creativity reflects CUNY’s decade-long expansion of full-time faculty hires and the University’s continuing commitment to graduate as well as undergraduate education.
Queens College, for example, starts bachelor’s programs in Chinese and classics, as well as master’s in behavioral neuroscience (brain-behavior relationships) and applied behavior analysis (e.g., changing behavior in educational and organizational settings and in people with developmental disabilities). Baruch College launches a master’s in entrepreneurship, while the CUNY School of Professional Studies unveils a new online master’s in business management and leadership. Hunter College debuts an MS in biomedical laboratory management and an MFA in playwrighting. In the spring City College expects to begin master’s programs in urban sustainability and in the study of the Americas.
These new degrees illustrate the depth, strength and flexibility of the faculty, as well as our commitment to provide students with the knowledge they need to understand and succeed in a fast-changing world. Here are some other examples:
York College is building on its longstanding relationship with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Northeast Regional Laboratory, located on its campus, to launch a BS in pharmaceutical sciences. This applied sciences degree will ground students in biology, chemistry and physics, as well as pharmacology and drug design – areas that are critical to the FDA’s mission of safeguarding the food we eat and the medicine we take.
Graduates will be well positioned for advanced study or for work directly out of college. Congratulations to 2008 York graduate Angelo Damanti, who interned at the FDA lab while earning his diploma and was then hired as a chemistry analyst.
John Jay College of Criminal Justice is drawing on the expertise of approximately 45 faculty members as it starts the University’s first BA in gender studies. Taking an expansive view of the impact of gender and sexuality, the program’s scope is national and global, encompassing social, cultural and historical inquiry.
John Jay and several community colleges are launching dual-degree partnerships to make it easier for students to earn degrees in criminal justice and forensics. Students at Borough of Manhattan, Bronx, Kingsborough, LaGuardia and Queensborough Community Colleges can earn an associate’s degree and, with a certain GPA, automatically be admitted to John Jay as juniors to pursue a BA. The result should be greater access into exciting fields of study and contemporary careeers.
Hostos Community College and City College are similarly teaming up with a dual-degree in mechanical engineering.
On the health care front, the Hunter-Bellevue School of Nursing offers a MS to registered nurses who want to become clinical nurse leaders. This is one of the nation’s first such programs since the American Association of Colleges of Nursing established the category in 2007.
The modern clinical nurse leader blends clinical knowledge with advocacy for patients and organizational and business expertise. She or he manages the health care team (nurses, technicians and other professionals) to improve medical results for patients, minimize risk of error, and assure the flow of information, among other important tasks. Also, in fall, 2007, CUNY began offering the highest level public health degree — doctor of public health (DPH). As of this fall, students will be enrolled in three tracks of the DPH program: community health and sociology, epidemiology, and environmental science.
These highlights of the vigorous expansion of academic offerings reflect CUNY’s progress toward becoming a fully integrated University. Students have an ever-growing number of options, and they can move from associate’s to bachelor’s to graduate programs as their interests and expertise beckon them. This is indeed an exciting time to be at the University, whether you’re a student, faculty member, college president — or chancellor.