QU planning LA program

Daniel Grosso

Los Angeles is home to more than 3 million people, but the city may soon play host to more than a few Bobcats.

Quinnipiac University is in the “exploratory stage” of creating a semester-long internship program in Los Angeles that would send undergraduate students to study in the city, according to Associate Dean of the School of Communications Michele Moore.

The main focus of the program would be internships in Los Angeles. Moore said the university is also planning to tie in other academic opportunities so undergraduates can stay on course for graduation. This would create a different experience than studying abroad.

Students take courses offered at their institutions when studying abroad, which are typically more general courses. According to Moore, the Los Angeles program would feature academic work directly relating to a student’s major and the work they would be doing in the city.

“I would think of it more as a study away,” Moore said. “It’s an internship experience with other academic components.”

The School of Communications surveyed its students last year and found they were interested in a learning opportunity in Los Angeles, but the idea was taken a step further. Deans from other schools at Quinnipiac wanted to give their students opportunities in Los Angeles, expanding the idea outside of the School of Communications.

“We’re really very happy that it’s advanced to the point where other schools are interested,” Moore said. “It’s a Quinnipiac experience, which is what really makes it valuable.”

According to Dean of the School of Communications Lee Kamlet, deans from the College of Arts and Sciences, School of Communications, School of Business and School of Health Science went to Los Angeles over the summer and reconnected with alumni in the area.

“There is a very strong, energized alumni group in Los Angeles, and they shared their enthusiasm to network and mentor students, and assist students with career opportunities or internships in the Los Angeles areas,” Kamlet said.

The university’s strong relationship with alumni could open many doors for undergraduate students, strengthening the internship-based program.

“Internships are valuable experiences and are key to the success of a program like this,” Moore said. “Students are able to apply their knowledge in a totally different area.”

Quinnipiac is looking at the opportunities available from alumni in Los Angeles, including those in film, design, marketing, advertising, talent management, law and writing. Deans from each school will then work together to create an academic plan of study for the Los Angeles program. Once each school has approved the plan, it will need to be approved by President John Lahey and the Department of Academic Affairs.

“Our intention is to offer courses taught in L.A. by Quinnipiac professors, or part-time faculty engaged by QU,” Kamlet said. “The courses may be taught in Los Angeles, online or a combination. At the present time, we do not intend to partner with any other university in Los Angeles.”

Although Quinnipiac is looking to offer its own opportunities in Los Angeles, the university does not plan to expand quite yet.

“I’m not a big fan of these satellite campuses,” President Lahey said in a September interview. “I think more of the Quinnipiac experience comes right here. I doubt we’re going to do a full-fledge degree.”

The Los Angeles program of study is popular among Quinnipiac’s educators. Moore said she hopes the program can be finalized within the next 18 months. However, there is still a lot that needs to be done.

“You really want to make sure everything is in place before you offer it. We want to make sure it’s a strong academic and valuable experience for our students,” Moore said.

Moore said the prospect of opportunities in Los Angeles is something she would like to begin mentioning to incoming freshmen and applicants to the university.

“That’s the good thing about Quinnipiac,” Moore said. “They’re open to ideas and look for what’s best for their students.”