As the pilot semester of Ithaca College’s New York City Center comes to an end, 15 of 21 applicants have been selected for the program next fall. Meanwhile, program coordinators are looking for ways to bolster the center for future applicants.
The launch of the NYC Center, which is open to students in all majors, is a key initiative of IC 20/20, the college’s 10-year vision plan approved by the board of trustees.
Bryan Roberts, assistant dean for student services at the Roy H. Park School of Communications said applicants for next semester come from the School of Humanities and Sciences, the School of Health Sciences and Human Performance and the Park School of Communications. Ten of the 15 students accepted for next fall are communications majors.
Addressing concerns that there have been low levels of interest in the program, Roberts said the idea is far from the truth.
“This is a program that is building strategically, and I think is ready to really take off. Rome wasn’t built in a day,” he said. “But 20 years from now, IC is still going to have a strong, thriving presence in New York City.”
Roberts said he sent out emails to potential candidates around deadline time to raise awareness about the program among students as they plan out their college career. However, the program is currently not recruiting more students for the fall.
“If a student really wants to go to New York and is a good academic fit — of course that is key — and then it fits with their other goals, we will enter into the discussion. But at this point, we are not actively recruiting,” he said.
Barbara Howard, associate dean of the School of Business, said one of the reasons the Fall 2012 turnout is lower than that of Spring 2012 was that accounting students, who constitute a good
portion of the number of participants, are required to take certain courses in Ithaca that are only offered in the fall. Howard also said that since the tax season falls during the spring, accounting students are more likely to secure internships.
Recently, it was decided that a journalism course that was to be offered at the NYC Center this fall would be cancelled. Roberts said this was done due to a lack of demand for the course on the part of those participating in the program, but the change is not permanent.
Junior Darren McGee, an integrated marketing communications major, is one of the students accepted into the program for next semester. McGee said distance was a factor in his choice of the New York City program over the college’s 18-year-old Los Angeles program.
“I originally wanted to go to Los Angeles,” he said. “But I figured more of what I wanted to do is centered in New York, and I didn’t want to go quite that far away. So I decided New York City would be a better fit for me.”
Meanwhile, junior Erin Dunphy, a journalism major, is currently a part of the college’s LA program and interns at the medical talk show “The Doctors.”
Dunphy said while New York City would have been closer to home for her, LA gave her the different experience that she was looking for.
“Honestly, what I’d like about the New York program is that I would actually be close to home,” she said. “[But] for me, getting that experience not only in my industry, but getting that experience of living in a new place is just as important.”
Roberts said the students currently in NYC will be able to give feedback on the program.
“They will have recommendations on where to live, and they’ll just be a wonderful resource,” he said.
Sophomore Blake Crist, an IMC major, is an intern with New York City marketing and PR firm G2. Crist said the opportunity and alumni connections in the city led him to apply for the program.
“The opportunity that I have gotten at my internship has been incredible,” Crist said. “I have gotten to do so many things that most interns don’t get to do. Right now I am working with senior executives that are at the top of the company, and I am pitching presentations to them and working closely with them, which is unheard of. Even people who are at entry-level jobs in the company don’t get to do this.”
Students currently at the NYC Center are interning with NBC’s “Saturday Night Live,” “The David Letterman Show,” Madison Square Garden and several other organizations and shows.