September 9, 1996
Friends World Program of Global Field Work Flourishes at Southampton Graduate Campus
400% Enrollment Surge in First-Year Students for Long Island University's International ProgramContact: Jane Finalborgo or Joe Dionisio
Friends World, a unique program of international field study dedicated to social justice, has experienced a remarkable 400% enrollment surge in first-year students in the last three years. From a 1993 enrollment of 127 students and an entering class of 17, the program, with seven overseas centers on five continents, has enjoyed three consecutive years of growth.
As of this month, there will be more than 210 students in the program and a first-year class of 71. Friends World's new Comparative Religion and Culture program is fully enrolled with a waiting list. With this success, long-term goals such as the opening of a new center, and hiring of additional faculty are near fruition.
"The more than four-fold increase in new students is directly attributable to a successful effort to increase national and international awareness of the program's rich independent study opportunities," said Lewis Greenstein, Director of the Program.
The program is counter-cyclical. A recent report in the journal, International Higher Education, says: "While the rest of the world's universities are becoming more international, the United States shows signs of de-emphasizing internationalism in its higher education system."
"Obviously," Greenstein says, "our results are bucking the trend."
Friends World provides an overseas venue for Long Island University students as well as scores of students from other colleges. Centers include Israel, England, Costa Rica, Kenya, China, Japan and India.
With the goal of "global education for social change," the mission of Friends World is to educate men and women beyond their native cultures and boundaries. Typically, students live, study and work in two to three different cultures while earning a bachelor of arts degree.
The international and experiential nature of the program attracts students who spend their first year of study in the United States, and the next three years abroad.
In 1992, Friends World was fully accredited by the Middle States Association. Originally, the program was Friends World College of Huntington, N.Y., chartered in 1965 under the auspices of the New York Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends. Now non-sectarian, it affiliated with Long Island University in 1991 after encountering severe financial difficulties. The administrative headquarters and North American academic program were then relocated to Southampton Graduate Campus.
Southampton Graduate Campus is one of the six campuses of Long Island University, which in the last decade has become one of the nation's ten largest private educational institutions.