NEW YORK, September 1, 2005 — A curriculum that features digital animation, Chinese, money management, classic literature, astronomy, photography and computer networking may not seem unusual at the high school or college level. But it also is standard fare for the 7-to-12-year-olds who will enroll in the Gifted Children’s Program, one of the new offerings being introduced by Queens College’s Continuing Education Program (CEP).
The public can learn about this and many other new CEP courses at an Open House on Monday, September 19, beginning at 6 pm in the Student Union Building, Room 404, Queens College main campus, 65-30 Kissena Boulevard, Flushing (see www.qc.cuny.edu/about/directions). Anyone who registers that evening will receive a 5 percent discount, and three free courses will be raffled. Visitors to the Open House will have the chance to observe a pasta-making demonstration; learn how to place a restaurant order in Chinese, Italian and French; watch a mock closing on a house sale; and learn the correct way to take blood pressure.
Classes begin Monday, October 17 at the main campus as well as at the college’s satellite location, 39-07 Prince Street between Roosevelt and 39th Avenues (718-640-9200). This site is near the Main Street stops of both the IRT #7 subway line and the Long Island Rail Road, as well as many bus stops and municipal parking lots in downtown Flushing.
“With hundreds of general interest, certificate and professional development courses in its catalog, CEP has become a major resource for career training, educational enrichment and recreation for Queens residents,” says Thomas Cracovia, CEP’s executive director. “We have 16,000 non-credit students registering each year, several of whom take more than one course. We also plan to explore new educational areas and develop additional courses to meet the diverse, ever-changing needs of the community.”
The academic and arts after-school program for gifted children, geared to youngsters who are performing a year or more above their current grade level, includes courses in six different series: Languages, Computer, Arts, Sciences, Literature and Business. Students will be admitted to the program on the basis of an essay and interview; their scores on SAGES-2 (a test given at the college); and their city, state or diocesan test scores and grades from their current schools. Unless otherwise specified, most classes will meet after school for 90 minutes on various weekdays, Saturdays and Sundays for 10 weeks. The size of each class will be limited to a maximum of 12 and a minimum of six students to insure the best possible conditions for learning.
According to CEP Liberal Arts Coordinator Valerie M. Ricchiuti, the Gifted Children’s Program offers youngsters a unique opportunity for a challenging, fun education and access to experiences they might not otherwise receive in their regular classrooms. Among the more unusual courses offered are “American Sign Language,” “Aerospace Education,” and “Order of the Courtroom,” the latter a good choice for budding attorneys. The instructors are chosen not only for their teaching ability and experience in their subject areas, but also for their love of and comfort level interacting with children.
“The program has been designed primarily for enrichment and therefore involves more than skills development,” says Ricchiuti. “The students have a say in the subjects taught and when they’re scheduled, and they, not their teachers, drive the pace of the classes.
“From the point of entry, they are treated as adults and are responsible for determining and completing their workloads toward obtaining a certificate that validates their achievement in a particular discipline,” continues Ricchiuti. “Moreover, courses like money management, in which children learn about taxes and how basic bank savings, checking accounts and credit cards work, foster better communication and socialization skills as they continue to practice what they’ve learned in the classroom with their parents and other adults at home.”
Queens College’s Continuing Education courses, which are reasonably priced and start at under $200 per class, run the full gamut from starting your own business and paralegal studies to yoga and public speaking. In addition to the Gifted Children’s Program, among other new or noteworthy CEP programs scheduled this fall are:
• Driver Rehabilitation Program, which serves 1700 clients annually, and for the first time in New York State is being given in Korean;
• English Language Institute (ELI): A full-time program established in 1945, this is the second oldest English language program in the U.S. ELI has educated tens of thousands of students from all over the world. Both daytime and evening full-time sessions, which meet four days a week, are given over three semesters. Students work on listening, speaking, reading, writing and grammar skills, designed to help them improve and strengthen their ability to communicate in English.
• English as a Second Language (ESL): This part-time program is similar to ELI, but geared to people with limited time to study English because of work or family
obligations. Courses in general English, pronunciation and Business English are taught during the day, evenings and on weekends for four semesters. All instructors for ELI and ESL have master’s degrees in linguistics.
• CISCO Regional Networking Academy: Queens College has partnered with
CISCO Systems, a worldwide leader in the training of network specialists, IT technicians, engineers and professionals. A variety of courses are available to prepare students for CISCO’s qualifying exams for certification, opening the door to well-paid computer jobs.
• Allied Health Programs: Considered among the largest, most diverse and comprehensive program of its kind, the current roster features 52 certificate and exam-preparatory courses for health administrators and clinicians. Courses cover such topics as medical technology in Spanish, interpersonal communications, hospital billing and coding and basic patient skills. The program attracts a varied student body, which includes doctors, retirees, high school graduates, full-time moms returning to the workforce, and professionals from many fields who are preparing for new careers. Course offerings continue to expand in response to the growing health care market and job opportunities. Queens College Allied Health graduates are held in very high regard when they apply for these positions.
• Food, Wine and Culture of Tuscany: Offered in Spring 2006, this 11-day excursion features an up-close-and-personal opportunity to learn about the Tuscan culture and lifestyle, emphasizing its art, wine and food.
For additional information on CEP, or to obtain a copy of the fall course catalog, please call: 718-997-5700 or go online at www.qc.cuny.edu/CEP .
Queens College of the City University of New York (CUNY) is dedicated to the idea that a first-rate education should be accessible to talented individuals of all backgrounds and financial means. Founded in 1937, the college offers an exceptional liberal arts curriculum, with over 100 undergraduate and graduate programs and a variety of specialized honors programs. Located on a beautiful, 77-acre campus in Flushing, Queens College enjoys a national reputation for its liberal arts and sciences and pre-professional programs. In fact, it ranks #8 in the nation according to the 2006 edition of The Princeton Review America’s Best Value Colleges. Queens College’s nearly 17,000 students come from more than 140 nations and speak scores of languages, creating an extraordinarily diverse and welcoming environment.
For more about Queens College, please visit http://www.qc.cuny.edu/index.php
Contact: Phyllis Cohen Stevens
Deputy Director of News Services