NYU to lay off faculty amid professional studies program reboot

New York University is planning an overhaul of its continuing education classes — with a discounted tuition through a fast-tracked, two-year associates degree.

NYU’s School of Professional Studies Paul McGhee Division — which caters to non-traditional students past high school age — will offer a cheaper entry point for scholars who want a four-year bachelor’s degree — but may not be ready for the full college course load, the school said.

As part of the overhaul, 10 full-time faculty members were let go. The program was also redesigned to first funnel applicants into a two-year degree program, the school said.

SPS Dean Dennis Di Lorenzo said demographic changes and a drop in graduation rates spurred the revamp.

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“We’re finding many students transfer in here from community colleges or other colleges … it used to be the adult-degree program but increasingly it’s students who probably were not college ready out of high school but are coming back sooner rather than later,” he said.

At the same time, many of those non-traditional students aren’t able to complete a four-year degree, Di Lorenzo said.

In 2002, there were 1,848 students in McGhee with a 95% chance of graduating, he said.

Jimmy Krause, a former Marine and ironworker, is a history student at NYU’s School of Professional Studies.

(Courtesy of Jimmy Krause)

“Today we have 778 students with a 60% chance of completing — and a lot of that has to do with academic preparedness,” he said.

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Di Lorenzo insisted the university will continue to honor its commitment to the humanities even as it changes to the SPS Division of Applied Undergraduate Studies.

The core classes in the two-year associate programs will help prepare…

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