More than a month into the Ithaca College in New York City pilot semester, students are reveling in the city’s cultural and academic offerings at the college’s new center, as the program’s administrators hash out the details of its expansion.
Twenty-three students from the college’s School of Business and the Roy H. Park School of Communications are currently enrolled in the program. Faculty and administration are seeking to expand the program, which does not yet offer centralized housing or class locations, to students from all five professional schools, according to Tanya Saunders, assistant provost of international studies and special projects.
The introduction of the NYC Center comes as one of the first major initiatives of IC 20/20, the college’s strategic vision plan for the next decade.
Among the 23 students enrolled in the program, majors represented include accounting, marketing, integrated marketing communications, documentary studies, cinema and photography, and television-radio. Bryan Roberts, assistant dean for student services in the Park School, said these majors were chosen to ease the transition from the college to the new center.
“This spring, we wanted to get the program up and running,” Roberts said. “[These majors] have the same types of internships, and we have a lot of contacts, so it was easy to place them.”
The center does not have a set curriculum. Instead, the courses offered depend on the majors and requirements of the students who sign up each semester.
The program does not presently have a physical, centralized location, so the classes offered must be held at different locations. This semester, Saunders said the college has rented space in the Cornell Industrial Labor Relations Center for lectures and internship seminars, but some classes meet in different galleries and studios across the city.
Next semester, some classes will be offered at Club Quarters in the World Trade Center. Other classes are offered online.
Saunders also said the college is unable to offer housing for students in the immediate future due to financial constraints. Many students in the program have been able to find housing in Manhattan and Brooklyn through Educational Housing Services, a nonprofit organization recommended by the college.
“Given the high cost and scarcity of the type of real estate we would want to acquire in New York City, centralized housing is not yet immediately available,” Saunders said in an email. “We are hoping, over time, with the support of New York City alumni, such a building will become available for lease or purchase.”
Holly Kreczko, a junior documentary studies and production major, said students are finding ways to get by in the city without breaking the bank.
“Expense wise, food is much more expensive,” she said. “It’s a good idea for one to set up a budget in order to balance the costs of eating out and groceries. Housing is expensive, so many students have opted to room with students from other colleges.”
In order to meet the program’s requirements, students must take at least six credits and complete either a six-credit internship or two three-credit internships. Internships students have been hired for range from the script department at “Saturday Night Live” to account management at G2, a global advertising firm. Kreczko is interning at Globalvision, an independent media company.
The classes offered in the inaugural semester include The Art and Science of Direct Marketing, Art and Architecture in New York City, The Making and Marketing of Independent Films, Government and Media, Political Campaign Imagery and Commercial Law.
Kreczko said she spends her free time away from her internship and coursework exploring the different Manhattan neighborhoods.
“Living in New York is great,” she said. “I’ve literally had something to do every day. The other day I went and explored the areas where ‘Ghostbusters’ and ‘Home Alone 2’ were filmed.”
This expansion is good news for Karla Lopez, a sophomore culture and communications major who said she wants to enroll in the program as an opportunity to visit the city.
“I’m from California, so I haven’t really experienced the East Coast yet,” she said. “I’ve been to New York a few times, but I feel like I haven’t gotten the full experience. This seems like a good way to do it with a safety net.”