Amid declining enrollment, Gratz College plans to discontinue its two-year Florence Melton Adult Mini-School program at the end of this year, college officials announced last week.
Since Melton started 12 years ago, 566 students have completed the curriculum. But the number of first-year students who committed to the program has declined dramatically from an average of 53 to 15 this year, Gratz Chief Operating Officer/Acting CEO Joy Goldstein and Board of Governors Chair Bruce Holberg wrote in a letter e-mailed to about 1,000 people.
Though the structured Melton program is ending, Gratz isn't pulling out of adult education altogether. The college has served this population since 1895 when Solomon Schechter, then a young instructor at Cambridge University, was hired to teach a six-week course on Rabbinic Judaism. Going forward, the letter said, faculty members will continue to develop adult education courses, but for a shorter-term schedule.
"All over the community, we will offer engaging adult education — long-term intensive study options and shorter-term courses –which will be infused with the warmth and closeness that are so central to our community of learners," Goldstein and Holberg promised in the letter.
They urged supporters to send suggestions for future courses and "continue to engage your minds, hearts and community spirit here at Gratz College."