Admissions to The City College Division of Interdisciplinary Studies

– My name is Jason Chappell, and I’m the admissions
coordinator here at CWE. I’m also an academic advisor here. Being a program that’s aimed
at students 25 and older, most of our applicants have been away from college for some time. Whether you’ve been out of
school for two years or 20 years, returning to college can
feel like a daunting task. I really like the phrase, “Lay this path one stone at a time.” That’s really what my job is in advising. Is to help a student lay this path one stone at a time to reach their goal. This semester, this assignment, this class, this requirement. We start our admissions process
with an admissions workshop. Usually it’s a group of
about 20 to 25 students. I start with a formal
presentation about the program and then a very informal discussion about what comes next with the students. It’s nice in a large group of students because as we start talking
and students open up a little, usually they’re a bit
apprehensive in the beginning, but by the end of the workshop, the students have found that many of the concerns that they have, the other applicants
in the room also have. So we talk through those. As an advisor here, it’s really a continuation of that same conversation. We begin talking about your goals. What do you plan to do with your degree? Where are you going? Generally, I use four criteria when I’m helping my students
choose their classes. The first criteria is the most obvious. Just choosing the classes
that you have to take. Your general requirements. That’s the easier part, actually. Second, within your
academic concentration, there’s a lot of room for electives. So you can really tailor your study to your goals and interests
and what you may want to study next in graduate school. Third, focusing on areas where students feel they may need to
strengthen their skills. Research for graduate school. Writing. Public speaking for clarity of thought and clarity of expression. And then the fourth criteria is just classes that interest you. Most of our students
are transfer students, and they still have
room for open electives. You don’t get to do
that in graduate school, so now’s your chance. So take that art class on Friday night. Take the digital photography class. Take a music class. Take something that interests you. In most cases, my students will
find it actually strengthens their understanding of the
field they’re here to study. I had a student here
studying social welfare who took our digital photography class and produced a photo essay on homelessness in the city and the state
of the city’s shelters. You may be here studying
our Americas concentration. I would encourage you to
take a literature class studying the genre of
immigration literature. The narratives in that genre will only deepen your understanding of your studies. We’re also here to make
sure you’re getting the most of your college experience. You have a lot of resources
as a student at City College. We have a writing lab, a computer lab, and we have math tutors
and Spanish tutors. We have a terrific career counselor and grad school application mentor. So as an advisor, we want to
make sure you’re utilizing all of these resources to your advantage. So if you’re interested in returning to college to finish your degree, I encourage you to come
to an admissions workshop and start this conversation. We’re looking forward to meeting you.

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