AMHERST, N.Y. –- Daemen College’s highly successful Brooklyn-based extension center, which has graduated more than 2,000 students over the past 15 years, has been elevated to branch campus status, the highest level in off-campus instruction granted by the New York State Department of Education.
The newly approved branch campus will serve as an academic and resource center for students in the college’s well-established Brooklyn program, a unique educational offering customized to fit the needs of the Orthodox Jewish community.
“Advancing from an extension center to a branch campus is a major step forward in Daemen’s evolution and sophistication as a college of national distinction,” said Daemen President Gary Olson. “We are now officially a multi-campus college.”
The branch campus, which is located in close proximity to Daemen’s two classroom sites in Brooklyn, will offer dual certification master’s degrees in early childhood and childhood/special education.
Since its inception in 2003, Daemen’s Brooklyn program has made it possible for more than 2,000 students to graduate with a master’s degree in special education. Classes are offered in a culturally appropriate format and tailored to meet the special needs of the community’s religious tenets, including class structure and schedules.
Dr. Michael Brogan, senior vice president for academic affairs and dean of the college, noted, “As a key educator in Brooklyn’s Orthodox Jewish community, Daemen is well-positioned to establish a branch campus that will provide valuable academic resources and tools to our students. We have taken our graduate programs beyond our main campus and into a community where there is a great demand for higher education options.”
In addition to the programs offered in a traditional classroom setting, Daemen’s recently launched fully online master’s degree in applied behavior analysis is offered to students in Brooklyn.
With Daemen’s new branch campus status, the college plans to draw on its strengths and reputation in the health sciences to add degree offerings in these areas at the Brooklyn-based site, which typically enrolls 120 nontraditional students each year. To best serve the needs of students, the college’s Brooklyn branch will have hours of operation that will accommodate evening and Sunday class schedules that have been established in accordance with the Jewish calendar.
“The new Brooklyn branch campus is indicative of Daemen being adaptable and nimble to meet the educational goals of Orthodox Jewish students in a format that is sensitive to their religious principles,” said Elizabeth Wright, dean of health and human services, who oversees the Brooklyn program. “Our vision for the branch is to continue to grow and expand Daemen’s degree options available to the Orthodox community.”