September 1, 2021
Three exciting opportunities —degree specializations that reflect students’ passion and career goals — have been added to the academic offerings at Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC/CUNY).
This means that in addition to over 50 other areas of academic focus, BMCC students can graduate with an Associate in Arts (A.A.) in Modern Languages, specializing in Spanish Translation and Interpretation; an Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) in Business Management, specializing in Risk Management and Insuranceand an Associate in Science (A.S.) in Music, specializing in Jazz and Popular Music.
Students expand their understanding of musical concepts with a specialization in Jazz and Popular Music
The specialization in Jazz and Popular Music was designed by Music Professors Quentin Angus and Can Olgun in the Music and Art Department.
When Professor Angus went from being an adjunct to a full-time faculty member in 2018, he founded a jazz ensemble for students, adding that option for students to join the BMCC orchestra, wind ensemble, string ensemble and choir were already available.
“The jazz ensemble came out of classes I was teaching at the time; guitar and music history,” says Professor Angus. “Students knew they had to do an ensemble and expressed that they wanted more options, particularly different genres. Can Olgun even delivered a student petition saying they wanted to study jazz and popular music theory, which is very different from classical theory — it’s very different ways of thinking about music; figured bass versus chord symbols, Sonata versus pop song forms — and that started discussion of the specialization.”
The department eventually came to a conclusion, Professor Angus explains, that even in the new major students should cover classical music in their first semester, then move to a focus on jazz and pop, “so they are more well-rounded and better understand the difference.”
In addition, he says, while BMCC’s Music graduates had already been able to transfer directly into baccalaureate programs at Lehman College, CUNY, the new specialization has opened up pathways for students Jazz and Popular Music students’ credits through articulations with The City College of New York, CUNY and Hunter College, CUNY, where would transfer.
Eventually the new specialization will be offered as one of BMCC’s growing OER (Open Educational Resources) options, saving students considerable expensein the way of textbooks.
With further degrees, graduates of the program are on track to pursue careers as sound engineer technicians, producers, touring musicians, studio musicians, music directors, composers and arrangers, teachers and much more.
A specialization in Spanish Translation and Interpretation gives an edge in the professional world
Eda Henao, Chair of the Modern Languages Department, says that while the Modern Languages Department also offers a certificate in Spanish Translation and Interpretation for students seeking to improve their employment marketability, having the associate degree specialization ramps up the students’ credibility when they seek to enter a career in that field.
“It is on the BMCC Vision Statement, to guide students toward careers that reflect their goals, and enable them to support themselves and their family by ‘advancing socioeconomic mobility through the transformative power of education,’” says Professor Henao. “You can do a lot of things with an associate degree in modern languages — somebody who is bilingual is an asset to any workplace. And now, with this specialization, the graduate has an edge in the business, health and legal world, as well. Their degree carries not only cultural value, but also hands-on practical value. It enhances students’ earning potential and professional options. Furthermore, this A.A. degree will provide students with a cross-disciplinary curriculum that could serve as a foundation for further studies.”
Careers that a Modern Language major with a specialization in Translation and Interpretation might enter are varied and wide, Professor Henao says.
They range among fields such as K-12 education, the legal industry, medical and corporate translation and interpretation, multicultural advertising, fashion, export-import businesses, journalism, non-profit organizations, international corporate communications, government foreign policy and more.
A Risk Management and Insurance specialization offers industry-recognized micro-credentials
To earn an Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) in Business Management, specializing in Risk Management and Insurance, students complete both general requirements, such as Liberal Arts courses, as well as curriculum requirements met through Business courses.
In addition, each student takes elective courses in the area of study that looks at Risk Management and Insurance.
These include the courses Property and Liability Insurance Principles, Commercial Insurance Principles and Insurance Operations.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, insurance underwriters, actuaries and sales agents, insurance-related finance managers and others are among the fastest-growing careers today.
Students specializing in Risk Management and Insurance would benefit from BMCC’s relationship with Zurich North Americaand Aon, leading providers of insurance products and services, and strong supporters of apprenticeship programs.
“One of the strengths of the program is that students earn micro-credentials in three of the Risk Management and Insurance courses. These micro-credentials, recognized by the Insurance Industry, allow students to earn their certification as an Associate in General Insurance.
This program is articulated with the Bachelor of Science program in Risk Management and Insurance at St. John’s and the BBA program at Lehman College. It is a great program for students to start with here at BMCC.”
- BMCC students can now graduate with an Associate in Arts (A.A.) in Modern Languages, specializing in Spanish Translation and Interpretation; an Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) in Business Management, specializing in Risk Management and Insuranceand an Associate in Science (A.S.) in Music, specializing in Jazz and Popular Music
- The new specializations reflect student interests and goals, and transfer to bachelor’s degree programs
- They also give graduates an edge in the job market as they compete against others with associate degrees, while they continue their education