by Shannon Gleba, Staff Writer
The Manhattan College School of Continuing and Professional Studies named Steven Goss, Ed.D., as the new dean at the start of January.
Goss comes to MC after many years working in education; first as a high school teacher interested in art.
“A lot of my focus was photography and video,” Goss said. “And when I was teaching in the classrooms, I was usually doing a mixture of wet lab and dry lab, like setting up a dark room but also using Photoshop. And so in 1998 or 1999 I was asking to go back to school to do art education. And I was looking at Teachers College at Columbia University. And they recommended a program to me that was more on the technology side. And since I was focusing a lot on that, I decided to try a program in instructional technology and design.” After teaching high school, he worked in many positions at schools like the Teachers College at Columbia University, the Bank Street College of Education, and New York University. At these institutions, Goss worked to develop many graduate degree programs.
Once the position at MC opened up, Goss was very interested in taking on the new role.
“It just seemed like a ripe opportunity,” Goss said. “I mean, the idea of being a dean and being able to focus on the academic side a little bit more close to them, you know, doing that as a vice provost, but that opportunity was just exciting. And I’d like to wear a couple different hats.”
He continued, “Also, I’ve been an adjunct for a long time. So the idea of working with adjunct faculty is always something that excites me, because I know you know, there’s a lot of work to do there, you sort of bringing that extra energy.”
The School of Continuing and Professional Studies caters mostly to older students on campus who are not on the regular course of undergraduate study, but also has some programming for younger students.
One of the largest programs in the School is the Camino Program, which helps students whose first language isn’t English to earn an Associate’s Degree.
“We have the Camino program, which is our associates program,” Goss said. “That’s what’s traditionally known as a bridge program. So it’s working with students, English second language, who you know, are looking to so they get 60 credits and then if they want, they can take those into Manhattan College or they can take them somewhere else.”
There are also opportunities for students to earn a Bachelor’s degree or Master’s degree on two different tracks.
“Then we have the Bachelor’s of organizational leadership,” Goss said. “And we have a master’s in organizational leadership. And our master’s has two tracks. So we have a track, that’s just the organizational leadership side, which is much more of that. You know, this increasing leadership skills in this sort of whatever organization are and then we also have an allied health track.”
Due to the number of adults in the workforce who are studying for a degree at the same time as working, the programs are often streamlined into 7 week courses, half the length of a typical course at MC.
“So our programs we run our own schedule […], we do a seven-week model,” Goss said. “So instead, students can take eight to 12 credits, first part of the semester, then the same second semester.”
The courses are run in this way so non-traditional students can complete their degree in a more timely manner.
“Professionals are oftentimes looking to skill up, you know, not doing a traditional pathway,” Goss said. “They know where they want to get back in this might mean a salary increase. This might mean you know, a promotion. And so being able to complete the program in a year or a year and a half is much more beneficial.”
Looking towards the future, Goss hopes to continue the success the programs the school has already established, but also work towards new goals, like expanding their portfolio of programs offered. In addition to offering a greater number of areas of study, Goss would also like to expand the online programming offered
“I think a lot of colleges are thinking about this and are trying to better understand how to do it and an appropriate way is bringing more of that digital access to the college,” Goss said. “And, you know, we’re doing that right now with our programming.”
He continued, “I think that the challenge will be is to think about, you know, how can we continue to do it in a way that supports our learners who are sometimes at a distance and do it in a way that where they still feel engaged to an institution, particularly one that has such a strong mission and thinking about inclusivity and respect and how those things look like in digital environment.”