The Honorable the Members of the Board of Regents


Johanna Duncan-Poitier


Higher Education and Professional Practice


Master Plan Amendment: Katharine Gibbs School-NYC, A.A.S. Criminal Justice


July 23, 2004


Approval (Consent Agenda)


Master plan approval is required when an institution offers its first program in a new discipline


Goals 2 and 4






Katharine Gibbs School-New York City has requested an amendment of its master plan in order to offer an Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree program in criminal justice.  This action is required because this would be the institution’s first program in the discipline area of social sciences.


The Office of Higher Education has determined that the proposed program, if approved, would meet the standards of registration in the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education.


Recommendation:  I recommend that the Board of Regents take the following action:


VOTED, that the master plan of Katharine Gibbs School-NYC be approved, effective September 10, 2004, authorizing the School to offer an Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree program in criminal justice.  This master plan amendment will be effective until September 30, 2005, unless the Department registers the program prior to that date, in which case the master plan amendment shall be without term.


Katharine Gibbs School-New York City

Criminal Justice, A.A.S


Katharine Gibbs-New York City (KG-NYC) is a two-year college that offers associate degrees and certificates for students interested in a wide variety of careers. The School’s central location is at 50 West 40th street in midtown Manhattan.  The School is accredited by the Accrediting Council of Independent Colleges and Schools. The current program offerings include Digital Design and Film, Business, Fashion Design and Merchandising, Hotel and Restaurant Management, and Information Technology Systems.  The School proposes increasing its offerings with an Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree in Criminal Justice.


The demand for personnel in criminal justice-related fields has risen dramatically over the past three years as a result of the increased concern related to terrorism and security, as well as the burgeoning prison population.  The A.A.S. degree remains a popular program option due to the larger proportion of occupationally - related courses. New A.A.S. programs have been introduced in outlying areas such as Westchester and Long Island, but not in the boroughs of New York City. Of the 223 students enrolled in certificate programs at KG-NYC who were surveyed, 61 students (27 percent) expressed interest in enrolling in a criminal justice program, while another 11 percent said they might be interested. 


The program will consist of six quarters of a day and evening program totaling 92-quarter credits.  Fifty-two of the credits will be in the program concentration; thirty credits will consist of General Education credits; the remaining ten credits will be foundation courses including Professional Development and Introduction to Computer Concepts. Students will experience a mix of theory and application; their educational experience will be rounded with a complement of academic courses in the social sciences and humanities and will acquire proficiencies in communications and mathematics.


The program was developed with input from professionals in the field. All of the advisors have had distinguished careers in criminal justice and are now practicing academics and scholars in various institutions of higher learning. The program represents the best thinking and experiences of those individuals.


Beyond the foundational theories of crime prevention and security, the curriculum design will prepare students for entry-level positions in both the private and public sectors. The coursework is structured to prepare students for entry-level, part-time positions in security while continuing their studies.  The second quarter Private Security course will offer students the option of signing up for an 8-hour certificate program and receiving a certificate from the American Society for Industrial Security.  The certificate will qualify the students for employment in the security profession, thus providing them with much-needed experience and a source of income while they complete the program.  Topical focuses in the course offerings include terrorism, events planning and security management – all of which are relative to the post 9/11 environment in New York City.  KG-NYC A.A.S. degree will emphasize immediate placement.  Preparation for the Civil Service Examination will be integrated into the foundational courses during the first and second quarters.  Specifically, two courses -- professional development and career development -- will stress the importance of the Civil Service Examination along with the other character elements essential for success in the field. Finally, students will acquire a basic understanding of cyber crimes and cyber security by studying system components, software, networks, and related threats.


KG-NYC is an open admissions institution. Entering students must have a high school diploma or GED. Students enrolled in the Criminal Justice program will be required to sign a regulatory statement attesting to their understanding of certain limitations they may experience with employment opportunities due to prior criminal or bankruptcy problems.


KG-NYC is an urban institution with a diverse population. It is anticipated that 25 percent of the students in the program will come from the Regents Region of New York City. Approximately 60 percent of the students will come from the remainder of the Regents Regions in the vicinity of New York City: Bronx County, Richmond County, Queens County and Kings County.  


Prior to opening the program, the School will hire a full-time department chair with teaching duties.  Initially the program faculty will include the chair along with current and new part-time faculty. An additional full-time faculty member will be hired at the beginning of the program’s second year.


The school is expanding its library holdings, both print and electronic, to support the program; no additional facilities will be needed.


Enrollment in the A.A.S. program is projected at 30 students during its initial quarter, rising to 325 by the fifth year.




Eight colleges responded to a canvass of all degree-granting institutions in New York City.  Six respondents stated they had no objections to the proposed program.  Two institutions raised objections:  CUNY Bronx Community College and Hostos Community College.


CUNY Bronx Community College’s view is that their Associate in Arts (A.A.) programs in Criminal Justice and Security Management, combined with Associate in Science (A.S.) programs in Criminal Justice offered by John Jay College and Monroe College, and other programs in the tri-state area already meet community needs.  However, the audience for an A.A.S. degree in Criminal Justice will be different from that for Associate in Science (A.S.) programs in that field, and students interested in a program located in Manhattan are not likely to be interested in programs elsewhere in a tri-state area.


Bronx Community College also states their programs have 100 percent articulation with John Jay College, but that KG-NYC does not provide senior college transfer for their students.  KG-NYC responded that their program is not intended as a transfer program.  Rather, it is designed very specifically to prepare students for immediate employment.  KG-NYC students are strongly oriented toward short-term job prospects.  Only a small number are expected to go on for a bachelor’s degree, and KG-NYC indicates they will assist them with articulation on a one-to-one basis.


Hostos Community College stated that the proposed KG-NYC Criminal Justice program closely parallels their A.A.S. program in Legal Studies.  However, examination of the curricula for the KG-NYC A.A.S. in Criminal Justice and the Hostos A.S. in Public Interest Paralegal Program showed little overlap in content.


According to the Hostos website, Hostos does offer an A.A.S. in Public Administration.  This degree has two concentrations: Public Administration and Criminal Justice.  Students are required to take 27 credits representing 35% of the course load in their area of concentration.  The course descriptions describe theoretical constructs pertaining to institutions and their interactions.     By comparison, the KG-NYC proposal places a far greater emphasis on the applied in criminal justice and the distribution of Criminal Justice courses is 56%.  According to the Hostos website “…The Public Administration curriculum is designed to prepare men and women with the foundation for employment in management; supervisory, or executive positions in one of the many career areas available in the public sector at the federal, state, county, and municipal levels of government; in the private sector, in various areas of small business and corporate and industrial organizations; and in community organizations…” The KG-NYC program prepares students for careers in law enforcement, public or private security, corrections, investigation, probation and parole.