With the major announcement by Dr. Rudy Crew that Medgar Evers College in Crown Heights will now be accepting Yeshiva and Seminary credits, there have been questions as to actual program, and the cost of tuition.
Ahead of their Open House this week, the college provided answers to some of the questions it has received from members of the community.
With the launch or OPAL, what does this actually mean? How many credits would be transferable?
Well to begin let’s discuss OPAL. OPAL stands for Orientation Program for Adult Learners. What OPAL does is that is transfers one’s life experience and prior education into general education (CUNY) credits. This means that the transferable credits and or the credits awarded for life experience are essentially credits matched to existing courses and credits that Medgar offers.
For example, if someone comes with 120 Yeshiva credits, Medgar would/might be able to transfer 60 of these credits and convert them into CUNY credits. For example, a typical Yeshiva credit called Talmud 101 would be converted to the Ancient Law course that Medgar offers. So, your Yeshiva credit now becomes a CUNY credit. If you are able to transfer the full 60 credits, you would be getting a minor degree in say religious studies, and a major in the area you want like accounting and or a degree in education.
If you are going into specific fields like medicine, you may not be able to get the full 60 transferable credits from your Yeshiva years, as you will be required to take a number of required courses that these general courses will not be helpful with.
Can you describe the step by step process of OPAL?
Yes. The prospective student applies to Medgar, and part of the process requests that Medgar evaluate their traditional college coursework, i.e., credit-bearing courses, CLEP, Advanced Placement, etc. Afterward, the student will be invited to attend an OPAL seminar where they are introduced to the project, receive an overview of MEC’s Digital portfolio, assessments of how to life experience will be evaluated, receive a program plan for intended majors, and sit for the math and English placement examinations.
The student then registers for Portfolio 101 that will assist students in the development of a reflective digital portfolio. Students will be guided through the process of aligning life experiences with course content in the General Education and select a major. (It is recommended that OPAL participants/students entering from Yeshivas either major or minor in Religious/Philosophy so that they may receive maximum amounts of life-experience credits.)
Once the portfolio is complete, an evaluation of the portfolio will be conducted by a designee of the College. Once the portfolio is accepted, the student will create an educational plan based on traditional coursework and e-portfolio evaluation. OPAL students will meet once a semester with a Project OPAL Mentor (Professor of the Portfolio 101) as well as an assigned advisor in the other major to review progress towards degree.
How much will tuition cost?
For in-state NYC residents, the cost of tuition would be $6,330 for each year. This is not taking into account any grants and or scholarships like Pell and TAP which can significantly lower ones cost of tuition on a yearly basis. There is also the recently launched Excelsior Scholarship Program. The cost of tuition can actually be free for anyone who is doing their first BA/BS. (To learn about the requirements and eligibility for the Excelsior Scholarship Program, visit hesc.ny.gov).
I know the cost of tuition, and how OPAL works, but what if I do not have the educational background in math, science and reading, would I still be able to attend Medgar?
The answer to that is yes. As Dr. Crew mentioned in his interview, Medgar created a tutoring center that works with freshman students in getting them academically on par with what Medgar and CUNY require of students. This is done with faculty advisors who help students map their courses and create an action plan with the staff at the tutoring center to ensure the student gets the training they need, while also not overburdening them with a course load that might not allow them to achieve their goals.
What degrees does Medgar offer?
They offer degrees in Computer and Information Sciences, Education, English and Literature, Liberal Arts and Humanities, Biology, Mathematics, Natural Resources Conservation, Physical Sciences, Psychology, Human Services, Health Professions, and Business.
Are there any requirements in order to attend Medgar?
Yes. Per CUNY requirements, one would need to have a high school diploma and or GED or have taken already 24 college credits (from a non-Yeshiva).
What if I do not have a high school diploma, would Medgar be able to assist me in getting one?
Yes. Medgar has a HSE Preparation Program that helps students learn for their GED, and then get their GED.
How and where can I learn more about registering and attending Medgar?
We invite you and anyone you know who might be interested in going to Medgar to attend the open house which will be held this Tuesday, April 17th from 6-9pm.
The open house will take place at 556 Crown St. Register for the open house at http://tiny.cc/mecinfosession.