Founded in 1831, New York University is the largest private non-profit university in the United States. NYU is accredited by the Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools and was the first university to receive blanket accreditation with respect to distance education from New York State. The University includes thirteen schools, colleges, and divisions. The School of Continuing and Professional Studies (SCPS) was founded in 1934 as a separate School within the University providing more than 2,000 credit and non-credit courses in its professional and degree programs for adults. All distance education within the university resides under its auspices.
SPCS has for several years offered a Master of Science degree in Management and Systems in both online and on-campus formats, providing students with the option to complete the degree program in one of three ways: entirely by taking online courses; entirely by taking on-campus courses; or by taking a combination of online and on-campus courses. Other online credit programs offered through the Virtual College are an advanced Professional Certificate in Information Technology and two Executive Master of Science Degrees -- in Hospitality Industry Studies and in Tourism and Travel Management. The University also offers a range of non-credit certificate programs and courses online.
The Executive Master's degree programs are structured around six-month-long terms. Each term includes a one-week pre-reading period for every course, a residency period course of one to two weeks in length, and three, seven-week online courses that are taking sequentially. The other programs are offered in standard semesters.
NYU's model for web-based is designed to both convey the necessary content and to actively involve learners in the acquisition of new knowledge. The model is comprised of six components; formal instruction, informal instruction, reference materials, assessment, evaluation and outreach. It relies on one overriding lesson learned in traditional classrooms: the active and engaged student is more likely to learn than the inactive, disengaged student.
NYU has been given waivers of requirements for a minimum number of weeks of instruction for an academic year and an eligible program, and the definition of a week of instruction (which together comprise the 12 hour rule); and waivers of the 50% rules.
Financial Aid Issues
The major challenges for financial aid administration relate to the executive master's degree programs, since these are offered in non-standard terms, while the rest of NYU's programs are structured in standard terms.
Additional Goals for Participation
NYU is exploring arrangements to allow a number of otherwise unrelated institutions to share enrollment information for the purposes of eventual student-based cross-institutional program development and subsequent multiple-site aid delivery. To this end, it has initiated discussions between National Student Loan Clearinghouse and school community.
Other Relevant Information
NYU is a member of the SLOAN-C ALN and received a grant from the Sloan Foundation to support development and scaling up of its online degree program in Management and Systems. The University is a QA school and an Experimental Site.
Demonstration Program Cohort
New York University joined the Distance Education Demonstration Program in July 1999 as part of the initial cohort.