What do students say about ISP?
ISP was an amazing experience. It let me explore my interests in innovative ways with Professors and students that made me feel as if I was part of a community. ISP was a place where I could express my opinions, feel a sense of belonging, but most importantly, be challenged to be my best self.
Nicolas Montano, Thurgood Marshall Scholar 2013
I took twelve ISP classes at John Jay and loved each and every one of them. The unique classes offered by ISP are a refreshing change from standard college courses and the active classroom environment means there is never a dull moment. Analytic discussion is the main focus of each class and lively debates between the students and professors typically ensue. Moreover, ISP’s faculty are nothing short of amazing. All the professors I have had truly cared about the students and were exceedingly passionate about teaching, which made the classes all the more enjoyable. Another unique aspect about ISP was the close bond between classmates and the friendly classroom environment. In the majority of my other classes I was only acquainted with the students who sat next to me, yet in my ISP classes all the students were familiar with one another by the first month. The writing intensive course work helped me become a more proficient writer; a skill which has helped me immensely in my other classes as well. Overall, being a part of the ISP community has been one of my favorite experiences at John Jay, and one of the most memorable.
Elvira Kirilko, John Jay Valedictorian Class of 2015, Foresenic Psychology major and Honors student
ISP was truly a life-changing experience for me. At 32, I found myself back in college but without a definite academic goal. My first ISP courses encouraged me to root around in different disciplines, seeing how they looked at issues from different perspectives. As I gazed through the lenses of philosophy, history, psychology, literature, and sociology, I realized a more vibrant world view. The class work was engaging, challenging, and invigorating. I was hooked. I signed up for as many ISP courses as possible and learned about the CUNY-BA program where I was able to create a unique degree tailored to my specific interests. I would recommend ISP to any college student, at any level, and am incredibly thankful that I was able to take advantage of this program at John Jay College.
Heather McCown, CUNY Baccalaureate Program, Class of 2010
Graduate Student, NYU Steinhardt School of Dance
The Interdisciplinary Studies Program made me a better student. From the weekly papers to the open discussions, it required me to always be prepared and eager to participate. The program’s professors are always ready to throw a curveball; they challenge you to rethink your position even after you thought you had all the answers. I thought I had all the answers, my ISP experience taught me to think fast and outside the box. The skills I obtained from the program prepared me for law school and allowed me to excel.
Michael Rosenberger, Litigation/Appellate Attorney, Rapuzzi, Palumbo & Rosenberger, P.C., Wantagh, NY
What I love most about ISP is how confident you become in expressing your ideas, and how ready you are to be challenged. The personal experiences and perspectives that students and professors bring to the classroom make the process of learning more engaged, unique, and fun. ISP creates an atmosphere that fosters close relationships between students and professors. ISP is a sui generis experience that I encourage all serious students to take part in. The work is challenging, but it is well worth it. The sense of accomplishment is huge.
Newton Knowles, Class of 2011, Student, University of California, Hastings College of the Law
ISP’s co-teaching, collaborative learning environment enabled me to engage confidently in debate and dialogue with my fellow peers. Their professors bring a great knowledge and expertise to the classroom, and they are flexible and approachable. Not one but several ISP professors served as mentors for me. Overall, ISP provides an excellent support system. Without a doubt, the capstone of my academic experience has been the Vera Fellows Program, which is sponsored by ISP. The year-long experience, combining academic seminars with a hands-on internship at one of the prestigious VERA Institute of Justice agencies, reinforced my commitment to pursuing social justice through public service.
Sally Abdelgafar, John Jay VERA Institute Fellow 2012-13