Beginning this semester, Yeshiva University’s Mordecai D. and Monique C. Katz School of Graduate and Professional Studies has launched a new associate degree in management, with thirty three students already enrolled across the Beren and Wilf campuses.
Students obtain their degree after four semesters during the regular school year and two seven to eight week sessions over the summer. In their first semester students will take two-hour long courses in first year writing, introduction to business, and business algebra. Assessments will be project and presentation based, rather than test focused. In addition to these traditional courses during the weekday, students will also take special classes on Friday. The Friday classes will alternate between a leadership seminar and a college experience course that will include trips to pertinent locations around New York City and guest lecturers from various industries. As for the dual curriculum requirements, students will enroll in the Stern or Yeshiva College courses with all the rest of YU’s undergraduates.
Tuition will be the same as that for Stern and Yeshiva College. Students who complete the program with a GPA of at least 3.0 have the opportunity to transition to a bachelor’s degree program at Sy Syms School of Business.
Dr. Paul Russo, vice provost and dean of the Katz School noted that “At YU, we believe it is our responsibility to educate citizens and leaders for the Jewish community and the world. While Stern College for Women, Yeshiva College, and Sy Syms School of Business do extraordinary work transforming the lives of their graduates, they meet the needs of only part of the community. To carry out our commitment to a broader population, our admissions team is meeting with students who seek to start college in a two year format and at the same time immerse themselves in a Jewish experience with their peers on our campus.”
The program is cohort-based; students are meant to work extensively with and alongside each other and develop a camaraderie in their learning. However, at the same time as they feel a sense of their own community, students are also welcome and encouraged to partake in all the university’s extracurricular offerings, campus life, and Jewish learning opportunities.
Director of the new degree program, Dr. Maria Blekher, told The Observer that “the associate in management allows students to unlock their potential” by offering “students the best of YU—a rigorous Jewish and management education combined with YU’s distinctive on-campus experience.” She also highlighted some of the more unique elements of the program, particularly the college experience courses that “use New York City as a classroom,” which helps the students “develop a deep understanding of the centrality and leadership role that New York City plays in global commerce, international policy, technology innovations, and current events.”
Simon Jaffe, program advisor and instructor for the Friday leadership seminar, said of his new position, “I’m delighted to be part of a team of faculty that will teach our students the traditional research, communication and thinking skills in addition to self-management, people management and leadership functions.”
One participant in the program, Ariel Schilp, explained that her time in a marketing and management program in Israel as part of the Bar Ilan Israel Experience this past year contributed to her interest in the new Katz degree: “I like marketing and advertising and I think it’s good to know business; you need to know it for everything.”
Professor of first year writing Dr. Shirli Sela Levavi, who has a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Rutgers University and taught has academic literacy in community colleges before coming to YU, told The Observer, “I was originally driven to teach by a sense of social mission. In YU I have the chance to teach in a great school and still feel a sense of social mission.”
She also praised her students after teaching her first day of class. “The students were sweet and smart, and I feel they deserve the chance they were given to enter this high ranking school.”