CUNY SPS Receives Second Workforce Development Grant

Male and female student working together on laptop

The CUNY School of Professional Studies (CUNY SPS) is pleased to announce that the CUNY Workforce Development Initiative (WDI) has awarded the School a $10,000 grant for the General Education program. Dr. Angela Francis, assistant dean for general education and first year experience at CUNY SPS, will oversee the implementation of this funding.

The WDI grant will be used to finance the revision of a selection of CUNY SPS general education courses as well as a prior learning assessment and an internship course. The updates to these courses will focus on special assignments to address the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) career readiness core competencies, which include critical thinking and problem solving; oral and written communications; teamwork and collaboration; digital technology application; leadership; professionalism and work ethic; career management, and global and intercultural fluency. 

According to Dr. Francis, “Each course will have an assignment that enables students to develop a core competency skill and then a reflection assignment that encourages students think critically about that development, something that will help them discuss their abilities in interviews and other professional contexts.” 

A further focus of the grant will be on the ePortfolio, an electronic collection of evidence that highlights a student’s learning journey over time. “We are working on developing an ePortfolio template that students can use to highlight their achievements. Students would be able to use these ePortfolios as part of their professional web presence/personal branding as they showcase their skills to potential employers and others,” explained Dr. Francis.

The Workforce Development Initiative is a University-wide fund that provides grants to improve students’ career prospects in targeted job sectors. This is the second consecutive year that CUNY SPS is receiving the WDI award. Last year the award went to the Liberal Studies program. 

In 2021, the grant will benefit students in any field who complete their general education requirements with CUNY SPS. “I’m particularly excited about this; it means [the grant] can touch a wide range of students, particularly since individual students can identify the NACE competencies that would best assist them in their careers,” added Dr. Francis. 

About the CUNY School of Professional Studies

For over 15 years, the CUNY School of Professional Studies (CUNY SPS) has been leading online education in New York. Notable for offering the most online bachelor’s and master’s degree options at the City University of New York, and for serving transfer students as the University system’s only undergraduate all-transfer college, CUNY SPS meets the needs of adults who wish to finish a bachelor’s degree, progress from an associate’s degree, earn a master’s degree or certificate in a specialized field, and advance in the workplace or change careers.

The School’s growth has been remarkable, with twenty-four degrees launched since 2006. Enrollment has risen by more than 30% in the last four years to over 4,000 students in the credit-bearing programs. Thousands more are enrolled in non-degree and grant-funded workplace learning programs. In addition, the School has an active alumni network and has established the CUNY SPS Foundation, which offers multiple scholarship opportunities to current students.

CUNY SPS has consistently been named by U.S. News & World Report as one of the country’s top online institutions. This year, the School was ranked in the top 2% in the nation on the publisher’s list of the 2021 Best Online Bachelor’s Degree Programs.

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