The CUNY School of Professional Studies Launches MA in Youth Studies

Three girls reading a book

New York, NY -- August 3, 2016 -- The number of youth development programs throughout the country has grown exponentially as a result of the demand to focus greater attention on the needs of individuals ages 12 to 24. Consequently, there is an endeavor to support these programs with qualified frontline youth workers, directors, and administrators.

In response to the ongoing expansion of this pivotal sector, the CUNY School of Professional Studies (CUNY SPS), in collaboration with the John F. Kennedy, Jr. Institute for Worker Education, will launch an MA in Youth Studies in spring 2017.  The master’s degree provides an opportunity to deepen students’ understanding of the relationship between youth and society by analyzing current policies, opportunities, and best practices related to the field.  It also responds to the needs of those working in youth services by providing a pathway for professional development.

“We are thrilled to have a space at CUNY SPS where youth-workers, advocates, and researchers can earn an MA in Youth Studies,” says Dr. Sarah Zeller-Berkman, Coordinator of Youth Studies Initiatives at the JFK, Jr. Institute.  “The degree goal is to provide a balanced mix of theory and practice that will improve the skills and knowledge of those interested in taking their work (and earning potential) to the next level.   Our commitment to youth and community development using a strength-based, critical, participatory and intersectional approach occupies a unique place in the field.  We are excited to be early adapters, and hopefully innovators, in the growing youth studies and youth development movements locally, nationally and globally.”

The Youth Studies initiatives at CUNY SPS, which includes the master’s degree and an advanced certificate that launched in fall 2016, will also support field building efforts by hosting symposiums, conducting research and working in partnership with key youth-serving organizations, agencies, and funders.