In the area of health sciences and management, the school has taken a modest but critically important step: the creation of a post-baccalaureate, pre-medical program. This series of courses is directed at graduates who would like to apply to medical school but lack the proper undergraduate preparation. Offered in the evening, the program’s courses are necessary for any pre-health track. The program also serves as a foundation for the school’s development of new programs in health management and health services.
In online education, the school has focused its efforts on developing an in-house online course development process under the leadership of Steve D’Agustino, Ph.D., the new director for online learning at PCS. Working with the Office of Instructional Technology and Academic Computing (Fleur Eshghi and her staff), D’Agustino has created a strong model for online course development throughout the curriculum, including core courses. The school’s initial goal is to have 15 new online courses running by the end of the 2011-2012 academic year. After that, the goal is to develop five to seven new online courses a semester. Within another year there should be at least 30 online courses available to students every semester, and this number will continue to grow. These courses fill the minute they are offered and prove to be a great attraction for prospective students—who always ask about online course offerings. These will enhance the overall appeal of PCS.
Finally, in the area of curricular changes, the school proposed a revised core curriculum for its students that will continue to undergo revision based on the helpful comments of the Arts and Sciences Council. A revised draft is scheduled to be presented in the 2011-2012 academic year.
The successful development of the school’s new identity and of these new curricular initiatives also depends upon the school’s forging stronger and clearer relations with faculty and chairs across the different schools and campuses. One extremely important step in this direction is the creation of a faculty council particular to PCS. With its new identity, its strong inter-school and inter-departmental relations, and its ambitious new programs, PCS is poised to become a flourishing and energetic school within Fordham University and, perhaps more importantly, within the larger world of non-traditional higher education.