Communities & Organizations in NYC: Courses

There are two required courses (3 credits each) and one optional course (1-4 credits), available only to students that apply by the regular deadline, for the Communities & Organizations in NYC: The Study of a Modern Metropolis Program Study Away program, beginning in Summer 1 and ending in Summer 2.  Each Saturday, students will meet in a classroom in Manhattan and after spending some time there, the faculty director will lead the group through New York City to continue class.  Classes will be held at Manhattan Marymount College. Students participating in the optional 1-4 credit course will intern or complete an independent study on their own time, however, each student on the program should expect to spend at least one additional day per week in New York City (or approximately 6 additional hours per week) in order to complete required course assignments.

This unique program is many things, but it is NOT a program which focuses on securing an internship in New York City. Instead, coursework explores communities and institutions, and students will have the opportunity to visit numerous museums as part of the study of the City and students will look at the history of institutions and their impact. Students will intimately study NYC as an entity, which is the major focus of the program, followed by personal exploration, followed by creative exploration, followed by cultural exploration, followed by professional development.

 The City is a text that will be investigated, and amounts to so much more than just how to “get an internship.”  It should be noted, however, that knowing New York City so well can and has regularly led students to secure internships, post-graduate job opportunities, and so much more!  If you are looking for a guaranteed internship in NYC as your sole motivation for looking into this program, this is not the program for you.  However, if you are inclined to learning about the City in depth, you will enjoy and thrive in this program.  Due to time constraints with a 6-credit course load and required assignments, students that do seek out internships, should be aware that you are not permitted to undertake a full-time internship while studying away on this program.  The option to undertake a field experience or independent project exists to allow for the ultimate flexibility so that students are not restricted by a classic internship experience for the optional courses, should they decide to enroll.

This program views NYC as a textbook that must be studied in depth. This class is not about getting a job in NYC, although for the most engaged students, that regularly happens. This class has nothing, nada, zilch to do with Sex and the City. If a person is expecting to only see mediated images of NYC and not learn its history, culture, art, and intellectual heritage, they are free to watch Gossip Girl; that is not this program. Please keep reading for further details about all three courses.

STRC 4212: Special Topics: New York City Communities (3 s.h.)

This course is taught during the first half of the summer, preceding NYC Institutions.  Registration is simultaneous and the courses are co-requisites as students must take both courses during one summer semester.  

Nowhere do such diverse ideas, perspectives, cultures, rhythms and movements converge than in New York City.  Whether it’s retracing one’s heritage, or sporting the latest fashions, few in the United States and beyond remain untouched by its influence.  This course is designed to demonstrate how the city functions to this end and help students understand the actions, events and context which led to this event.  Students will examine constructs from mediated communication to urban infrastructure in both a localized and global framework to understand New York’s role.

The goal of this course is to create a tri-tiered community: The macro community of New York City will be explored by detailing the discourse of its micro-municipal, neighborhood communities. The students, forming peer groups and a scholarly community of their own, will complete this pedagogical trifecta. Students will also be discussing the changing role of and even identity of a “community” in a mediated, information age. By considering such elements through a communications lens, students will investigate the means through which a community establishes and portrays itself. Students will be collaborating not only in the classroom as part of their ongoing discussions and projects, most specifically project two, but will also be working as a team while in New York City. While there, they will be assisting each other as they experience this urban environment, creating peer relations that will help them understand and appreciate a world city.

STRC 4213: Special Topics: New York City Institutions (3 s.h.)

This course is taught during the second half of the summer, immediately following NYC Communities.  Registration is simultaneous and the courses are co-requisites as students must take both courses during one summer semester.  

Whether it’s an advocacy group, municipal office or global corporation, New York is home to just about any type of organization one could imagine.  This course is designed to expose students to different types of organizations, the role they play and how they function in context of other organizations.  Students will examine partnerships between different groups and offices to accomplish shared goals.

This class will be an extension of the information that you have learned in New York City I, Communities. While the former class focused on the creation of identity within public spaces such as neighborhoods and municipal districts, this course will be an investigation into a series of public institutions. Each of these organizations has had and will continue to have an impact on the culture and ethos of New York City. Beyond that fact, however, this course will allow you to bolster your knowledge of field research as you began in New York City I. It is the hope that you will increase your acumen not only of New York City and its environs but also the important impact that organizations have on the surrounding community.

OPTIONAL: STRC 4289: New York City Experience/Internship (1-4 s.h.)

Students may complete an independent study project or independently seek out an internship or field experience for credit at an institution, organization or company related to their field of study.  The course allows students to gain and reflect on experience with New York City-based organizations.
Students may undertake a summer-long internship or independent study experience that directly furthers their practical knowledge of public communication, public relations or organizational leadership. Students will be supervised and graded by the Communities & Organizations in NYC: The Study of a Modern Metropolis Program Faculty Director. The final grade is based on work journals, a final paper, attendance at meetings, the supervisor’s report, and a portfolio of all work created during the experience.

Faculty Director

Scott Gratson the Director of Undergraduate Studies in the School and the Director for the Interdisciplinary Communications program he advises nearly 600 students and coordinates several of the School’s undergraduate curricular and student affairs initiatives. Gratson teaches in the Department of Strategic and Organizational Communications. Courses include Argumentation, Persuasion, Public Speaking, and Campaigns and Movements and originated a course entitled “New York as Text,” a course which employs New York City as the backdrop of the classroom. Along with his work in the School of Media and Communication, he also works with Temple’s Trial Advocacy LLM Program. Gratson earned his Doctorate at the University of Denver while also working as a full time debate coach and instructor at The Metropolitan State College of Denver.  Combining his love for New York City and history, Dr. Gratson has volunteered for years as a docent and had helped to coordinate the College Outreach Program for The New-York Historical Society (NYHS), where he also serves on the Friends of The NYHS Board.  He has also serves as the archivist for New York City’s Hetrick-Martin Institute, the home of the Harvey Milk High School and the nation’s oldest and largest GLBT educational services organization. Dr. Gratson has been studying the history, culture and impact of New York City since 1988. He is an avid patron of the City’s museums, is proud of his family’s history in Brooklyn and enjoys being a Yankees fan.