“We’ve been doing continuing education since 1947, offering bachelor degrees to adults coming back to school in the evening,” said Isabella Frank, Fordham’s dean of continuing education and professional studies. “Currently we have about 900 credit-seeking students, of whom about 800 are going for their bachelor degrees, and the other 100 are taking classes either for credits to apply to medical school or switch careers.”
The program offers two major degrees: a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Science. But most of the majors offered in an undergraduate program can be sought out by those interested in continuing education and professional studies.
“You can take most of the majors that exist in a traditional undergraduate program, but it depends on which campus you are in,” Frank said. “We have three campuses, so we have 900 students spread out throughout the three campuses, one in Lincoln Center, one in the Bronx—the main Fordham campus—and one in Westchester. So [for example] Lincoln center students, if they can take day classes, they can take some of the day majors.”
The most popular majors include economics, organizational leadership, psychology and communications, according to Frank. The University also boasts a new three-year-old business program at Fordham’s Westchester campus. There is also an option to create an individualized major, which allows students to draw classes from different areas within the professional studies program.
But while this may sound like a regular line-up most colleges offer, Fordham offers its own set of special classes.
“Because this is a Jesuit university, we do have classes that you’re not going to find in other schools,” Frank said. “There is an emphasis on philosophy and theology. For example, we have a senior values seminar called ‘Death and Dying,’ and we have a philosophy course called ‘Classical Values: The Art of Living.’”
Besides the unique philosophical courses, there are also courses in more modern fields of study.
“[For example] we have cyber-security, which is a growing field that we will be going into more,” Frank said. “We don’t have sexy-sounding titles the way other schools might, but we have a very strong core curriculum that our students take, [along with] online classes and intensive weekend classes.”
While it is common to see continuing education programs geared toward middle-aged adults, Fordham’s age range is from 18 all the way to 66.
“We have 18-year-olds who are full-time dancers in the NYC ballet of ABT and so they sort of take classes Monday evenings given their rehearsal schedule,” Frank said. “I think our age range, though it shifts every year, is in the low thirties, but it does range from 18 to 66 or 67.”
The application process for continuing education is different from that of a typical four-year degree program. The admissions process doesn’t review SAT scores but judges the applicant based on his or her readiness to attend school and understanding of what the program is like, according to Frank.
Fordham accepts up to 75 transfer credits and takes into account any prior courses that the applicant might have taken, even if they were completed 30 years ago.
For more information, visit Fordham.edu.
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