TEANECK, N.J. – Fairleigh Dickinson University may have a new program on the horizon.
Business professor Ira Jaskoll has proposed a similar program for women. Jaskoll of Teaneck also heads a program at the university for Orthodox Jewish men who are looking to get a secular education.
Many men and women in the religious Jewish world spend years after high school focusing on religious studies instead of pursuing an undergraduate degree, Jaskoll said. Eventually, many of them decide they want a bachelor’s degree too.
FDU’s yeshiva program for men accepts up to 72 transfer credits from religious studies and allows students to get a degree from FDU in under four years. Most of the classes are in business.
The women’s program, which Jaskoll is calling a seminary program, would be the same.
The men’s program currently has approximately 150 students and Jaskoll thinks the women’s program, if approved, would eventually have even more participants.
“If we make it quality, flexible and near their communities, there will be an interest because there’s really nothing like it,” Jaskoll said.
He hopes to start the program next year if the university approves it. From what he’s heard, community members believe the program is sorely needed because four year colleges are geared toward younger students pursuing their undergraduate degrees directly after high school.
“They can’t spend four years because they have to get on with their lives,” Jaskoll said of his students. “They don’t have time for that. They have to go out and earn a living.”