Instructional Schedules and Formats

Cohort Study

Students seeking the A.A., B.S., M.B.A., M.Ed., and Ed.S degrees follow instruction programs and schedules organized in the cohort format. The format has a number of features that make it particularly well adapted for individuals to pursue advanced study while simultaneously being involved as full time professionals.

Within the cohort format, students take courses consecutively, one course at a time, rather than several courses simultaneously. This allows a fully concentrated focus upon the content of each course.

Classes in the cohort format meet weekly (for periods of from five to eight weeks, depending upon the course or degree sequence) and are supplemented by substantial use of student-directed study groups. The organized study group is critical to the format. Student projects, actions, reports, etc., are organized around the study groups. While each course may involve individual student projects, more frequently student work is accomplished in a collaborative manner in and through the study group.

All University graduate programs which employ the cohort format have experiential requirements for admission. These requirements relate to the importance of study groups and the need to insure student participants whose professional experiences and insights may be brought to bear upon problems and issues considered by the study groups.

An additional unique feature of the cohort format is that students move through the sequence of courses within the cohort, with the same students with whom they started study. Thus, a cohort consists not only of a series of courses, but also of a specific group of students who have moved through the set series of courses together as a cohesive unit. The educational integrity of the cohort format, based upon competent instruction, concentrated focus upon single courses, cohesive groups of students, study groups and established syllabus, allows the degree sequence to be accomplished within a predetermined period. This time period is much accelerated over what is possible in a traditional semester format. The cohort format requires a high degree of student involvement, rigorous student participation, and sustained student contributions.