NYU highlights professional pathways

New initiative focuses on skills, job training, career development

professional-pathwaysThe NYU School of Professional Studies (NYUSPS) is developing and introducing several new non-degree educational initiatives, which will serve professionals who are already established in their fields, as well as those who are unemployed and underemployed.

Spearheaded by Dennis Di Lorenzo, Harvey J. Stedman Dean of the NYU School of Professional Studies, the newly launched Professional Pathways offer Diploma Programs and Career Advancement Courses that tailor the educational experience to meet the needs of two very distinct groups of students.

“As the composition of the workforce, the demands of industry, and the economic climate of New York City and New York State have changed, we have worked diligently to ensure that NYUSPS has developed educational programs and services that take into consideration these paradigm shifts and meet them head on,” asserted Dean Di Lorenzo. “We have met with, and listened carefully to, government officials, hiring managers, educational leaders, and members of educational advocacy groups, all of whom have voiced deep concern about workforce development, job readiness, and employment and educational inequality, as well as the ability to validate the skills acquired through professional education programs at all levels.”

The School’s new Diploma Programs have been designed to help those who are unemployed or underemployed to acquire skills in key industries that are hiring in New York City and New York State. Three tiers of Diplomas are offered to ensure that content is relevant for the specific groups they serve—those who have earned high school degrees, those who have earned some college credit, and those who hold a college degree.

“This is a new and exciting venture for the NYU School of Professional Studies—one that allows us to truly make a tangible difference in the lives and the livelihoods of people in the local community and beyond. We know the industries that are hiring and our curriculum aligns with their needs.”

Diploma Programs are short in duration (many can be completed in one semester), affordable, and deliver skill sets in fields that offer onramps to solid careers including those in: medical coding, project management, health care informatics, real estate, hospitality, restaurant management, and financial planning. In addition to immediately applicable skills, these programs also feature comprehensive online career development resources that serve to complement knowledge gained through class participation.

Career Advancement Courses offer established professionals the option to focus granularly in areas of specialization that differentiate them in the marketplace and increase their value to current and prospective employers. “These courses provide students with a more concise form of learning that maps to their career paths,” noted Dean Di Lorenzo. “They are distinct from the typical exposure based programs you would find in the realm of continuing education.” Students who successfully complete a Career Advancement Course earn a digital badge, which can be displayed through their social media presence or on their digital résumé.

The School announced these new initiatives during a thought leadership event titled: “Workforce Development: Empowerment Through Partnership,” which was held on October 7 at the New York Marriott Marquis. Two panels featuring top experts from government, industry, and education, discussed the current job market, the plight of the underemployed and the unemployed, and the ways in which they could partner to create educational and employment opportunities that would benefit all New Yorkers.

The panels were moderated by Steven Greenhouse, former labor and workplace reporter, The New York Times; and Lauren Weber, a reporter at The Wall Street Journal. Nearly 300 attendees heard from a diverse array of panelists that included: James Brown, NYC labor analyst, NYS Department of Labor; Jeff Livingston, educational policy expert; Marshall Steinbaum, research economist, Center for Equitable Growth; Richard Constable III, senior vice president, government relations and commercial contracts, Wyndham Worldwide Corporation; Steve Fiehl, chief innovation office, CrossKnowledge; Katy Gaul-Stigge, executive director, Mayor’s Office of Workforce Development, New York City; Michelle A. Henry, vice president, global philanthropy, JPMorgan Chase & Co.; Stacy Martinet, chief marketing officer, Mashable, Inc.; and Deborah A. Santiago, co-founder, chief operating officer and vice president of policy, Excelencia in Education. The lunch keynote speaker was Danielle Moss Lee, chief executive officer, YWCA of the City of New York.

“As a leader in professional higher education, it is our job and our duty to bring the best minds together and begin the dialogue that will open the doors to collaborative efforts between education, government, and industry, said Dean Di Lorenzo. “Working collectively, we can build educational and training programs that serve the workforce of today and the future.”

Material from a press release was used in this report.

Laura Ascione