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A New Day for Continuing Education


Isabelle Frank, Ph.D., dean of PCS, says the renamed school will provide instruction in areas tied to employment growth. Photo by Chris Taggart

Fordham College of Liberal Studies, the University’s adult and continuing education division, has been renamed the Fordham School of Professional and Continuing Studies (PCS), the University has announced.

The re-launch of Fordham’s adult education school enlarges on its mission by helping older students advance their knowledge in areas outside of the arts and sciences—especially in subjects tied closely to employment growth.

The new name reflects more clearly the full breadth of the school’s mission, which encompasses adult bachelor’s students, post-baccalaureate students and members of the College at Sixty, a non-degree program geared toward retired professionals.

PCS will serve as a portal to adult programs and professional initiatives already operating in the University’s other nine schools.

“From the 1940s to the present, Fordham has helped thousands of adult students attain their educational goals,” said Isabelle Frank, Ph.D., dean of PCS.

“This mission has always been grounded in the Ignatian belief that a university must do more than equip a graduate with particular skills or specialized information,” Frank explained. “It should help students achieve a high level of knowledge while enabling them to wrestle with ethical and social questions that shape our personal, civic, social and professional actions.

“Fordham PCS builds on these achievements while heralding a new stage, focused on creating innovative, collaborative programs across all of Fordham’s professional and liberal arts schools,” she said.

Highlights of the broader curriculum in PCS are:

• a bachelor’s degree in professional media, which includes faculty members from communication and media studies, media management and computer science.

• a bachelor of arts in business, which is offered in collaboration with the Gabelli School of Business.

• a post-baccalaureate curriculum in pre-health/pre-med, which is offered in collaboration with the science departments at Fordham College at Lincoln Center and Fordham College at Rose Hill.

These programs join existing offerings in 20 fields of study, including legal and policy studies, organizational leadership and fields across the traditional arts and sciences. Those who cannot fit their interests into an existing major can develop their own degree plan.

As flexibility is key with adult and returning students, PCS offers day, evening, weekend and 15 online classes in traditional and nontraditional fields.

In addition, PCS recognizes the diverse backgrounds of its student body by accepting up to 75 transfer credits. Also, a portfolio system allows students to earn up to 30 credits for their professional and experiential knowledge.

Since many PCS students already are thinking about graduate school, the school is expanding its collaborative accelerated bachelor’s and master’s degree programs. As a result, undergraduates are allowed to take graduate credits in their final semesters toward degrees in business administration, education, social work and the arts and sciences.

In the last decade, adult and continuing education has been the fastest-growing market in higher education, Frank said.

“With the School of Professional and Continuing Studies, the University renews its ongoing service to the nontraditional student,” she said.


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