College Cohort Program begins sophomore year for CAS
September 11, 2013
The College Cohort Program continues to evolve as it enters its second year in the College of Arts and Science. The CCP, which made its CAS debut with last year’s freshman class, now includes a new program for current sophomores.
The sophomore program includes group activities organized by a student cohort president, as well as classwide activities organized by committees.
“Every cohort president will plan an activity each semester for their cohort as well as sit on one of three committees — college life, academic inquiry or service,” CAS dean Gabrielle Starr said. “Together they’ll host an activity or program for the entire class around these topic areas, including inviting faculty to informal visits or discussions.”
The CCP, run by the CAS New Student Center, is intended to foster academic and social networks which help students adjust to college life in their first year and build their foundations as upperclassmen.
“The goal is to build small networks that support strong, diverse communities through cohort meetings, team building activities, and by providing access to NYU and CAS resources and services,” Starr said.
According to the New Student Center, after freshman year, cohorts are designed to remain a foundation for exploring and engaging in the variety of academic and cultural offerings at NYU and throughout New York City. That mission relies heavily on the cohort presidents, who work with faculty and engage with their peers to continue building a strong sense of community within the cohorts, within CAS and within NYU.
“There is a sentiment among students here that NYU lacks community,” sophomore cohort president Bob Gardner said. “While I disagree, I understand many are still discontent with the social scene. I decided to get more involved in my cohort when I decided to accept responsibility for this issue. I will have succeeded as president of my cohort if I give even a fraction of my cohort a sense of community.”
Cohort president sophomore Alyson Ferro said the students ultimately have control over the shape their cohorts take.
“Students can expect from the cohorts whatever kind of activity they wish to participate in,” Ferro said. “Some of the pos- sible events include outdoor sport-related events such as kayaking, pop culture events involving shows and inexpensive concerts or food-related gatherings.”
The CAS cohort program was inspired by the Stern School of Business’ own cohort system, which has existed for approximately 10 years. The Stern’s program also lasts four years and is designed to foster community. But Starr says CAS has made the CCP its own.
“In a short time it seems the CCP has become a staple here at CAS,” Starr said. “Ninety-two percent of students reported that the cohort meetings helped them learn about NYU resources, and 74 percent reported that the cohort meetings helped them adjust to life at NYU.”
Sophomore Adu Matory said the help from the cohort program inspired him to be a cohort president this year.
“I realized that I lucked out in terms of the community that developed around me freshman year,” Matory said. “So I decided to try to create the same warm environment for as many students as I could.”
A version of this article appeared in the Wednesday, Sept. 11 print edition. Elaine Lee is a contributing writer. Email her at [email protected]