Committee on Higher Education and Professional Practice



Johanna Duncan-Poitier




Regents Authorization:  Mandl School - Associate in Occupational Studies



September 15, 2005



Goal 2






Issue for Decision


          Should the Regents authorize the Mandl School, Manhattan, to confer the degree of Associate in Occupational Studies (A.O.S.)?


Reason for Consideration


          Mandl School needs Regents authorization in order to award the A.O.S. degree.


Proposed Handling


          The question of whether or not to authorize the Mandl School to offer its first degree program will come before the Committee on Higher Education and Professional Practice at its October 2005 meeting.


Procedural History


          Authorization by the Board of Regents for the Mandl School to award degrees is required under Title I, Article 5, Section 216 of the Education Law.


Background Information


          The Mandl School was established as a proprietary school in 1924 for the purpose of training medical assistants in physician offices.  The School is a licensed private school offering programs approved by the Departmentís Bureau of Proprietary School Supervision in Medical Assisting and related fields of allied health practice.  If authorized to grant the Associate in Occupational Studies (A.O.S.) degree, the Mandl School would offer credit bearing-courses leading to the A.O.S. degree or to a certificate only in the field of Medical Assisting.  The Mandl School is accredited by both the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) and the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT).  The School estimates initial enrollment of 150 students in its proposed programs in Medical Assisting, rising to 400-500 new and continuing students in these programs by the fifth year of operation.


The Mandl School has undergone a peer review under the Departmentís direction and has been responsive to all of the Departmentís recommendations related to the applicable Commissionerís Regulations for degree granting institutions.  The proposed programs meet the requirements for program registration.




It is recommended that the Board of Regents take the following action:


VOTED, that the Mandl School be authorized, effective October 7, 2005, to confer the Associate in Occupational Studies (A.O.S.) degree on students completing a registered program leading to that degree.

Information in Support of Recommendation


          Mandl School seeks Regents authorization in order to offer an Associate in Occupational Studies (A.O.S.) degree and a certificate in Medical Assisting. These would be the Schoolís first degree and credit-bearing certificate programs.  The proposed programs will allow Mandl to expand its services to the urban allied health industry. 


The proposed offerings build on Mandlís 80-year history of providing medical assistants to physicians, hospitals, labs, nursing homes, and other health care facilities in the State.  The proposed credit-bearing course of study will reinforce and amplify the Mandlís mission, which is to educate men and women regardless of their backgrounds to serve in the allied health industry; to provide educational opportunities that prepare students for allied health positions and that reflect the needs of an ever-expanding job market; to teach students the skills for occupational growth and employer expectations; and to impart to students the skills and attitudes needed for lifelong learning. The proposed programs will also enhance job opportunities for students, as the A.O.S. degree grows in importance as a fundamental credential in the field.


          The proposed programs are designed to provide instruction in medical assisting and general education.  The curriculum is designed to offer a balance of theory and application that is both challenging to students and useful in the field.  The proposed two-year A.O.S. degree program offers breadth and depth in the specialization, providing students with solid groundwork in classroom-based and clinical courses and in a required internship.  The medical assisting courses meet the standards of the allied health accrediting bodies in subject matter, content, and expected knowledge and skills outcomes.  A liberal arts core comprising 30 percent of the curriculum, supports and complements discipline-based study.  The certificate program, though reduced in scope, retains both breadth and depth, including the internship, while continuing to engage students in foundational general education crucial to career preparation.


  For admission to the proposed programs, applicants must have a high school diploma or GED and, through entry testing on the Accuplacer assessment measure, show proficiency in basic literacy and mathematical skills.


 Offered only at Mandlís campus in midtown Manhattan, the proposed programs will continue to draw principally from residents in that Borough and the surrounding New York City region.  Based on feedback from current and past students, the School estimates an initial enrollment of about 150 full- and part-time students.  At the end of the fifth year of operation, Mandl projects an enrollment of between 400-500 new and continuing students in the proposed A.O.S. and credit-bearing certificate programs in Medical Assisting.


Over the last several years, Mandl School has enlarged its facilities substantially, adding classrooms, offices, and additional laboratories.  A large Student Learning Center, which will house an expanded library, computers for student use, and seminar rooms, is under construction. Appropriate on-line library resources are available for students.  Mandl expects to add a minimum of four members to its clinical faculty and four members to its faculty for the proposed general education courses.  The Schoolís hiring standard for faculty is a masterís degree in the field of instruction.


          Projections from the U.S. Department of Laborís Occupational Handbook and the New York State Department of Labor indicate that at least through 2008, medical assisting will continue to be one of the fastest growing occupations.  In addition, skills from medical assistant training transfer effectively to a wide variety of administrative support occupations, such as medical secretary, hospital admitting clerk, pharmacy assistant, medical record clerk, occupational therapy aide, and physical therapy aide. 


 Mandl anticipates, based on current job placement rates of 80 percent, that it will sustain these rates if degree powers are granted.


The Department canvassed each degree granting institution in New York City with respect to potential detrimental impact on the institution should the requested degree power and attendant program be approved.  Responses were received from Columbia University, Fashion Institute of Technology, Laboratory Institute of Merchandising, Long Island Business Institute, Monroe College, New York School of Interior Design, Swedish Institute Inc., and Vaughn College.  No detrimental effects were cited by any of these institutions.