MMC Receives $300K Booth Ferris Grant to Expand CityEdge
Marymount Manhattan College has received a $300,000 grant from the Booth Ferris Foundation to support CityEdge, the College’s multi-pronged college-to-career initiative that combines a rigorous place-based liberal arts curriculum with focused professional opportunities and services to position MMC students to compete and excel in a constantly evolving professional world.
“Now in its fifth year, CityEdge captures the distinctiveness of an MMC education, which immerses students in the life of New York through City-based coursework, activities, and pre-professional experiences, such as internships,” says Kerry Walk, President of the College. “We are grateful to the Booth Ferris Foundation for recognizing the tremendous impact of our signature program, which truly gives our graduates an edge, and for opening up new possibilities with this generous gift.”
The two-year grant allows the College to expand CityEdge to meet the changing needs of MMC students, many of whom are experiencing pandemic-related financial hardships. With the generous support of the Booth Ferris Foundation, MMC plans to enhance current CityEdge programming while expanding it to offer new services and opportunities for career preparation. This will include an enhanced focus on preparing students for both remote and in-person work environments, which will give them an additional edge in today’s increasingly competitive professional world.
The grant will improve existing CityEdge programs, including:
- Increasing External Industry-Based Internship Stipends to $1,800. These stipends will be awarded to 30 MMC students who intern at nonprofit or government agencies. This is an increase from $1,000 stipends that were awarded to 25 students. This is significant because internships are one of the primary ways companies recruit future employees. At the same time, student interns develop a range of skills that better position them to find full-time employment in this challenging job market.
- Dedicated Funding for Signature CityEdge Seminars. A key curricular component of CityEdge, these seminars give students direct access to many of NYC’s world-class resources. This funding will support guest speakers, field trips, and other activities through which students engage directly with NYC.
- Customization of CareerLab. This online professional development course will now feature customized pages on MMC Engage, the College’s campus engagement platform. The grant will also fund continued access to CareerLab’s signature software: Brand Yourself, Big Interview, and Real World Playbook.
New programs and services will enhance CityEdge, including:
- Going Global. Students will now have access to this worldwide job and internship search system, which includes more than 16 million opportunities. Designed to support students across the globe, this software will help MMC’s international students find jobs at home or find employers who will sponsor them in the United States. Domestic students can also use this software to find work abroad.
- Graduway. MMC will begin utilizing this networking program to help students make online connections with individuals with common interests and experiences. This software will also allow the College to develop a robust mentoring program that connects alumni and current students.
- On-Campus Internships. In Fall 2021, the College is launching an innovative on-campus internship program. These internships will provide students with educational and experiential opportunities to gain hands-on, pre-professional experiences in divisions and departments across MMC. They will also allow students to build both technical and interpersonal skills early in their academic careers that will prepare them to pursue external internships and job opportunities both during and after college.
- Immersive Pedagogy Institute. To support faculty as they revise existing Signature CityEdge Seminars and create new ones, the College will launch this innovative institute that builds upon the Place-Based Learning Academic started in 2019. Offered in partnership with the Center for Teaching Innovation and Excellence (C-TIE), this institute will play an important role in enhancing immersive, experiential pedagogy in Signature CityEdge Seminars and across MMC’s curriculum.
- Staff Professional Development. Grant funding will allow the College to maintain its membership in the National Association of Colleges and Employers and to support staff participation in a variety of professional conferences.
“This grant is important for MMC students because it supports resources that are foundational to their professional development. It allows our office to use cutting-edge material to support students in ways we couldn’t otherwise,” says Robin Nackman, Executive Director of Career Services. “Through these platforms, MMC students take control of their own career development. They start to own the process.”
“With the support of this grant, we will be able to deepen how the faculty promote student engagement by bringing NYC into our classrooms and bringing our students into NYC,” says Peter Naccarato, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculty. “Needless to say, this is an exciting opportunity to continue building the curricular aspect of the CityEdge program, strengthen its link with the co-curricular aspects of the program, and advance goals of the current and next strategic plans.”
This is the second grant that MMC has received from the Booth Ferris Foundation. In 2016, the College received a $250,000, three-year grant from the foundation to fund experiential learning initiatives and professional development opportunities for students that served as the initial foundation for the CityEdge program.
CityEdge distinctively combines professionally oriented educational experiences with intensive career preparation within the vast learning and career network of New York City. MMC deliberately immerses students within the growing knowledge economy, emphasizing increasingly important “soft skills,” such as effective leadership, communication, problem-solving, and project management.
About the Booth Ferris Foundation
The Booth Ferris Foundation was established in 1957 under the wills of Willis H. Booth and his wife, Chancie Ferris Booth. Since that time, approximately $281 million has been contributed from the Foundation to worthy organizations for a variety of charitable purposes. Grants are made to charitable organizations that are exempt from federal taxes under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and that are not classified as private foundations.