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QuickSpec: Integration Edition

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 CC and GS

CCSC and overblown controversy.

University Writing essay and travel photography!

Columbia and losingagain….

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  • let's examine says:

    @let's examine 1) “GS is by all measures one of the finest schools of its kind”

    Seeing as your very next paragraph asks out loud “just what is GS?” in different terms, just what kind of school *is* GS? One explantion for why it’s so fine is that among similar programs for non-traditional students in the Ivy League, no school offers as comprehensive or complete instruction as Columbia GS. As Josh correctly points out, GS is basically a CC clone within the University, minus the core requirement.

    2) “Largely, GS students don’t live, work, or hang out on campus.”

    You’re ignoring the causation issue here. Maybe they don’t live, work, or hang out on campus because Columbia doesn’t give them guaranteed subsidized housing like it does for CC/SEAS and some of its graduate schools. One major complaint by GS students is that what housing they do get is scattered across the neighborhood instead of concentrated in a few buildings, which would help foster a sense of community.

    3) “This leaves the school’s role undefined—is it simply a commuter college meant to instill education without providing a sense of community, or is it something more than that?”

    You miss the point here. GS is a school with multiple constituencies. There are the GS/JTS dual degree students who are more or less the same as their ‘traditional’ student counterparts in CC. There are foreign and native students who’ve taken a few years off before attending College, or took a break and are essentially transferring. There are Pre-Med Post-Bac students back after college to fulfill requirements they missed in order to apply to Med School. And then finally there are adults who are either continuing their education later on in life, or maybe just beginning it. And of course there are the aprt-time student and the full-time students. These are all different people with different academic goals and needs.

    4) “While Awn has noted that the life experiences of GS students cannot be quantified by GPAs as readily as they can for CC students, the incredible success that Jessica Marinaccio, Dean of Undergraduate Admissions, has had in making CC among the most competitive schools in the nation and increasing the reputation of SEAS show why this could be a strong move.”

    Really? Jessica Marinaccio increased the reputation of SEAS? She conducted groundbreaking research? She hired new faculty? She built new labs? Do you relly have such a poor grasp on how this works? The director of admissions works with what they’re given.

    This is really one of the major problems. GS and CC/SEAS simply don’t operate (yet) on the same wavelength in terms of admission. You’d effectively have to a) treat dual degree applicants and gap-year applicants who don’t qualify for CC for some reason the same as CC/SEAS applicants b) force everyone carrying credit at another school to meet the transfer requirements for CC/SEAS transfers c) move GSs admissions cycle up in sync with CC/SEAS (it occurs later into the spring and summer) d) deal with the no SAT requirement at GS.

    Once you bring the admissions metrics in line, I’d be curious to see who still gets into GS. If people still do, more power to them I say.

    5) “With CC and SEAS still completely separate entities a decade ago, then-University President George Rupp and Provost Jonathan Cole worked with newly-appointed deans Zvi Galil and Austin Quigley to create a joint office of Student Affairs which would be run by the newly-designated Dean of Student Affairs, Chris Colombo. Admissions, financial aid, student advising, and residential life were all incorporated under this new office, which is now approaching its 10th anniversary. Since its inception, the Office has served as the basis of a University-wide undergraduate community.”

    There used to be a Dean of Students for CC and for SEAS. When the CC Dean retired, they abolished the office and forged Student Affairs together by putting Columbo, who had been the SEAS Dean of Students in charge. It’s effectively killed off CC’s identity within the Univeristy I’d argue, since Quigley plays little role in students lives.

    6) “Columbia has already begun to bring GS into this organization, inviting them to enter into the relatively new Office of Multicultural Affairs (a recent addition to Student Affairs) and working more closely with SDA.”

    Actually, everything costs money. One of the reasons why GSSC is in the financial toilet right now is because for the first time they “bought in” to NSOP for their students. That took a toll on their Student Activities Fee fund. CCSC, ESC, and SGA all have to do this.

    7) “Eliminating the distinction between CC and GS financial aid would provide a larger pool of funds for students from both schools.”

    Once again, you brush over the underlying issue. The financial aid pool is made up of tuition revenue, endowed money, and annual giving from alumni. The latter two sources are school specific and cannot be shared without ruffling a LOT of feathers.

    8) “One can envision a scenario where all three retire in the next few years following the release of the heavily-anticipated report of the Task Force on Undergraduate Education. This would allow Brinkley and University President Lee Bollinger to conduct a from-scratch restructuring mirroring the one that Rupp and former University Provost Jonathan Cole undertaken a decade ago.”

    Finally, something right.

    A GS integration can work, but a number of things need to be done to clear the ground. First, a study of how our peer institutions handle the various constituencies that make up GS. How do they deal with post-bac programs and part-time adult education? Columbia has this navel-gazing syndrome where we seem to never look to our peers for best practices (unless we’re complaining about superficial things they do right, like throw around the money that we don’t even have). We just stare at our own creation and try to reason our way to a better solution. That never works.

    Most likely the Post-Bac Pre-Med program should be moved to the School of Continuing Education. This creates a minor structural issue, which is a bit esoteric, but can be overcome. The real grey area is with older and PT GS students. But I’m sure we can find a solution.

    1. ... says:

      @... i often wonder about the idea that financial aid pools are school specific. the online donation website indeed allows a donor to give to a specific school. however, i’ve heard mention of a combined cc/seas financial aid pool from both the administration and student leaders.

      i wonder how it’s actually structured…

      1. well says:

        @well Thats the one thing that gives me pause. E.g., Kluge’s pledge includes 200 million for “Columbia College”. Does that mean SEAS has to get its share from the other half?

        I know the College Annual Fund for CC has a strong Fin Aid push to it because of the need for yearly gifts to fill out the funding need each year, and that Columbia is among the most reliant on tuition and annual giving for its aid compared to its major peers.

        1. ... says:

          @... you know. i must be losing my mind, as i distinctly remember last semester that all the kluge announcements had nebulous and non-specific text like “half to undergraduates and half to graduates.” i just looked at it now and it appears to name columbia college specifically.

          this is really strange, because i distinctly remember doing some cursory web research and thinking about how odd it was that the mention was vague.

  • ahahaha says:

    @ahahaha I don’t really take Hirschland very seriously. Also “I am privy to conversations that you are not.”


    1. Daniel Ellsberg says:

      @Daniel Ellsberg Each time Michelle Diamond opens her mouth, all I hear is blah blah blah.

  • 22-year old GSer says:

    @22-year old GSer One very simple way to integrate GS students into the community: fucking give us swipe access to dorms so our friends don’t have to schlep down from the 20th floor of EC to sign us in every time we want to visit. I promise we won’t bring all our scary old sex-offender friends.

  • Why says:

    @Why is David Judd allowed to have a column? He’s almost as bad as that idiotic columnist who defended the plagiarizing, race-baiting Madonna Constantine last week.

    Get better columnists Spec.

  • sadia says:

    @sadia You guys are the ones that made it an overblown controversy.

    1. no kidding says:

      @no kidding i hear way more about ccsc from bwog/spec than i do as at the freaking ccsc meetings

  • I may not be says:

    @I may not be pre-CC/GS integration, but I am pro-integation! Nice job on the headline spelling, Spec…

  • cc'08 says:

    @cc'08 I never understood all the GS hate. Some of the coolest, brightest people I met in college have been in GS, while CC and SEAS certainly both have their share of “creepy” people. Especially given that a merger would likely not be total, all the knee-jerk reactions are sad. Talk about overblown controversy.

    1. CC'er says:

      @CC'er I too have met some cool GS students. …That said, all of the creepiest people that I have met here are GS’ers.

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