Katz School Introduces New Associate’s Degree

By: Yardena Katz  |  December 1, 2016


Yeshiva University’s Katz School of Graduate and Professional Studies recently announced a new Associate of Science (AS) degree in Management, which is now accepting its first group of students, who are slated to start classes in Fall 2017. The associate’s degree is the first of its kind at YU and provides students with either a pathway to their first career or, for those who perform well academically, a segue into the Bachelor of Science (BS) in Business and Management at the Sy Syms School of Business. This innovative program extends the opportunities for a YU undergraduate education to a broader scope of students.

“The current admissions criteria for our bachelor’s programs has in many cases limited some very fine young men and women from attending YU,” explained Rabbi Dr. Kenneth Brander, Vice President for University and Community Life. “As many as three hundred students are turned away each year. The associate’s degree allows students who aren’t ready for a four-year program or for others who learn differently to attend a two-year program.”

The sixty-credit program incorporates project-based learning as a complement to the conventional testing approach. Courses in management, business, communication and accounting will be accompanied by YU’s trademark dual curriculum. The Jewish Studies requirements will parallel those of the BS degree on both campuses, with women taking two semesters of core requirements and men eligible to enroll in JSS, IBC or BMP.

“The students who will be coming here are coming for Torah Umadda,” said Dr. Paul Russo, Vice Provost and Dean of the Katz School. “They want to be here—nowhere else but here. So what we offer is an education, but it is also a whole lot more.”

A distinguishing feature of the program is its series of College Experience courses. Taken sequentially, the set of four one-credit courses embodies an interactive approach by using businesses and organizations in New York City as centerpieces for student projects. “For example, if you’re doing a marketing project, you’ll get out in the field and look at what companies are doing. You’ll go out into New York City and observe how the office works, and interview and talk to people,” said Dr. Maria Blekher, the program’s director.

For Russo, another unique element of the program is the ways in which it accounts for student needs through novel teaching methods and individualized support. Aware that some students require more time on task, the program has incorporated problem sessions, studios and recitations into the lesson format so that students can strengthen their study skills and familiarity with coursework in a guided setting. “Our faculty are engaged in new and interesting ways of teaching,” he shared.

Associate’s degree students will be fully integrated into campus life with students from other schools. Rabbi Dr. Brander outlined that students “will live in the same dorms, and will participate in the same clubs, student government, sports and social events alongside other undergraduates.”