Why Hofstra?

April 29th, 2013 Comments Off on Why Hofstra?

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This is the time of year that admitted students are making up their minds, and they have been coming to the campus, calling, and otherwise seeking guidance on their choices in record numbers.

When I am asked to answer the question, “Why should I choose Hofstra,” the challenge I find is to make the answer as concise as possible, because I see so many reasons to come here.

But if I had to boil it down to two, I would leave aside many of our favorite talking points — great facilities, proximity to New York, a wealth of curricular and co-curricular activities — and concentrate on two things: top-flight teaching and a culture of collaboration and achievement here at the School of Communication.

Hofstra likes to say that “excellence in teaching is the expected standard” — which can sound like boilerplate. But the reality is that not only is excellence in teaching expected, there are an array of steps in place to make sure that we reach that standard. We perform careful screening of those who apply to teach here; we undertake extensive monitoring of classroom performance (including student evaluations of teaching, observations of junior—and senior—faculty by experienced teachers, and formal assessment of learning outcomes; and we intervene quickly when a teacher is having trouble hitting the expected standard, offering a variety of services on campus to help them become more effective classroom instructors, more caring mentors, and more consistent evaluators of student work.

All of this adds up to both a crystal-clear expectation of teaching excellence and a system designed to support those who need guidance.

Much of what we teach has a collaborative aspect, and the School of Communication has a culture of collaboration inside the classroom and outside. Students work together on film productions, Web sites, televised news programs, magazine production, public relations projects, radio broadcasts, and oratorical performances. For most of our students, internships with local media companies and related industries is a big part of the undergraduate experience, and students collaborate on sharing leads, opening doors, and working to build Hofstra’s network in the New York City area.

I have spoken with many employers in my three years as dean here, and they consistently praise their Hofstra interns for their seriousness, their preparation for the job, and their work ethic.

For incoming students, there is a record of success to build on in their own careers here, and dedicated faculty and staff to help them seize the opportunity and make the most of it. All this makes my job easy when I have to answer the question, “Why Hofstra?”

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