In spring 2012, students at St. Lawrence will have the opportunity to live, learn and work in New York City for a semester.
The inspiration for the New York City off-campus program began many years ago among faculty, students, and alumni. There are many alumni in NYC, it is relatively close to Canton and it is a rich city to study almost anything.
Dr. Karl Schonberg, Associate Dean of International and Intercultural Education, said the new program “reflects the generosity of the alumni network, not only with money but with their time.” John Angelo’63 and Judy Angelo ’64 were the driving forces behind the program. They donated money for the program, are working to raise the rest and used their connections to provide internship contacts. Schonberg said, along with making the program possible with funding, they “gave their time and energy.”
Mike Archibald, Vice President for University Advancement, said, “The goal for creating the program is to fund it completely through philanthropy (gifts). It cost 4 million to pay for the program for its first ten years, with the program running one semester in years one through three and both semesters in years four through ten. To date we have secured approximately 3 million or 75 percent of the goal.”
The application process will be similar to those for other off-campus programs. There will be the same deadline, a flyer available in the Center for International and Cultural Studies and information sessions. There will be two different sets of prerequisites for the program. Students will have had to take a certain amount of fine arts classes to participate in the arts section of the program. Students studying business and finance will have had to take three 200-level required classes for economics majors. Dr. Peter FitzRandolph, Associate Professor of Economics, will be the faculty program director.
In NYC, students will live at the 92nd St. Yaca Schonberg said the venue is not only very nice, but has “cultural events, such as poetry and literature readings.”
The team working on the program is currently developing a set of internships. There will be a wide range that students can choose from. “The internships that are already lined up for next January include, for finance: Angelo Gordon, Morgan Stanley and Permal Asset Management. In the arts: The Epic Theatre and Primary Stages. Many more are being organized this spring and summer,” said Archibald.
In addition to an internship, students will take a core course to learn about NYC, and choose one of two electives in either business finance or arts management. The NYC Semester Prospectus states, “Students will participate in an internship for 3.5 days per week for 15 weeks. The internships will carry one unit of credit and will be graded pass/fail. During the internship, students will be asked to do regular writing about their experiences. Beginning at the mid-point of the semester they will do an independent study in which they link their internship experience to academic research.” The best parallel for the NYC program is the London off-campus semester because neither is partnered with another university. St. Lawrence will hire its own faculty for the program.
Schonberg expects the program to be very popular. He hopes that it will become distinctive to St. Lawrence. “It has been built by dedicated alumni that feel passionate about it and supported by connections though the alumni network. The program is really about SLU and unique to us,” he said.
Supporters of the program hope that it will expand over time. It could become a yearlong program with opportunities to go in either the fall or spring and include students doing internships in a lot of different fields. “It will be interesting to see how it evolves and how students take advantage of a new opportunity,” Schonberg said.
Archibald said he hopes that the program will also attract prospective students. “The program is an example of new SLU innovation at a time when we and other colleges have had to cut back on programs. We feel if we can support new student opportunities like this one at a time when other colleges are downsizing or cutting back, we can, relatively speaking, become even more attractive to prospective students and deliver high-quality educational opportunities to current students in ways other colleges are not,” he said.
Alumni and faculty are providing students with a great opportunity to live and work in a city. The experience gained from an internship and time spent in real work environments will expose students to professionalism, help them to find their passion and prepare them for life after college.