In a world that seems to move faster and faster every day, some students don’t have the time to commit to a traditional four-year college education. For those students, DAUS is the answer. The Division of Applied Undergraduate Study, part of NYU’s School of Professional Studies, provides undergraduate pathways for “post-traditional” students, defined as students who—for any number of reasons—may have delayed pursuing their associate’s degree or who started a bachelor’s degree, but never finished.
However, the most important benefit of DAUS, according to Billie Gastic Rosado, associate dean and clinical associate professor at DAUS, is its flexibility. “DAUS is special because it enables transfer, part-time, adult, and other post-traditional students to pursue a degree at NYU in a way that fits their needs,” she says. “Across higher education, there are an increasing number of students who need programs that are more flexible. At DAUS, students don’t have to choose between work, family, or other important aspects of their lives. In fact, our classes are enriched because students are so well rounded and engaged in different things.”
One student who has benefitted from the program’s flexibility is Lisa Hawthorne Smith, who came to SPS with an associate’s degree and is studying for a BS degree in Organizational Behavior and Development, part of the Human Capital Management Professional Pathways program. Lisa has young children and works about 55 hours a week in the human resources department at WW (formerly Weight Watchers). “I am an executive assistant now, but I want to move up,” she says. “Taking these classes at night after working all day is hard, but what I’m learning in school I’m applying in real time. I think that SPS is an amazing program for someone like me.”
Shakia Rose, who is pursuing a BA in Social Sciences, is another student who has taken advantage of the DAUS program’s flexible schedule. Shakia works 84 hours a week and travels frequently for her job as content management and data collection lead for NATO’s intelligence directorate in Afghanistan and as the liaison for the military’s intelligence data entry team in Fort Gordon, Georgia. “Traveling through a war zone while taking three courses is overwhelming,” she says, “but SPS has made my experience returning to school an unforgettable journey. When I first started working in Afghanistan, I attempted school at another university. Their online services were not as swift and mobile as NYU’s. The internet in a Third World country can prove difficult at times. Luckily, NYU’s help desk support has been more than efficient. Outside of traveling within Afghanistan, I have also been able to meet class requirements in the UAE, Brazil, Maldives, Germany, and India. Without the sophistication of SPS’s online learning environment, I don’t know if I would have had as much success.”
Another important element of DAUS, says Dean Gastic, is that the students enrolled in the program can earn academic credit for prior knowledge they’ve acquired. “Working with the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning, students submit portfolios for credit review and speed up their timeline to a degree, which reduces their overall cost of attendance. Our associate’s degree gives students with no previous or minimal college experience the chance to begin their educational journey at NYU, while students who have earned an associate’s degree or have at least 45 transferable college credits can enroll in DAUS and complete their bachelor’s degree.”
Presently, DAUS offers associate’s degrees in Liberal Arts, Business, Health Administration, and Information Systems Management and BS degrees in Applied Data Analytics and Visualization, Digital Communications and Media, Healthcare Management, Information Systems Management, Leadership and Management Studies, Marketing Analytics, and Real Estate. Bachelor of Arts degrees are available in Applied General Studies, Humanities, and the Social Sciences.
Approximately 700 students are presently in DAUS, which offers 198 undergraduate courses in all. The division’s BS in Leadership and Management Studies program and BA in the Social Sciences program have the highest enrollment. Internship placements are available through the Wasserman Center for Career Development at SPS. DAUS students recently landed internships at Bank of America, NBCUniversal Media, CNN, Goldman Sachs, and the United Nations, among others.