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'School of the New York Times' Launches With Courses for High Schoolers

New-York-Times-building-blog.jpgAmbitious high school students and parents of teens, take note: The New York Times is launching "The School of the New York Times" this October with a set of weekend classes for high schoolers and a one-day symposium on navigating the college admissions process. 

The media company announced its plans to get into the education business via a partnership with CIG Education Group, a New York-based investment firm, earlier this year. CIG Education Group previously worked with Sotheby's, the auctioneer, to create a series of graduate classes.

This fall's precollegiate courses and symposium are the first official offerings of the school, also known as nytEducation. The symposium has room for about 300 people, and each course will enroll about 30 students—all in-person. The program is set to eventually expand to include classes for adults and professionals, classes that are accessible online, and a set of two-week "in-residence" courses for young people. 

"In some ways, we've always thought of ourselves as an educational institution," said Michael Greenspon, the general manager of news services and international. The paper's Learning Network, for instance, provides resources and daily news quizzes for teachers, students, and parents. "But that's very different than what we're proposing now." 

The precollegiate courses aren't solely focused on journalism. One focuses on sports management, another on climate and energy, and another on arts criticism.

"Of course, there's journalism," too, said Gregory Miller, the Times' director of licensing and branded services. "Courses around journalism make a lot of sense. But the beauty of the New York Times brand is the courses can be as varied as our content: science, film, dining."

The symposium is perhaps even more loosely tied to what one might assume is the paper's area of expertise, though the Times has covered the college admissions frenzy for years

"We think there's a big demand for it, frankly," Greenspon said. "It's the time of year when juniors start to think about what they're going to do next year. The New York Times, being a trusted brand that's lived in this space for decades, can provide a service that will help parents and students."

nytEducation is being advertised in both the print and digital versions of the paper and to educators in New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut. Greenspon said that while he imagines early enrollees will mainly be "Times readers and their children" and mainly those who live reasonably close to the Manhattan location, he hopes the courses reach a broad audience. (He pointed out that Times readers are comprise a fairly broad audience: The paper has 60.5 million print and online readers.)

The precollegiate courses aren't currently for credit. "We're not seeking to replace the school," Miller said. "We're seeking to supplement it. We're trying to build a more complete student and to help them get into the schools they want to."

In their announcement earlier this year, Times and CIG representatives said this was a chance to expand the Times' well-regarded brand (and, one can assume, diversify its revenue streams). 

The classes cost $525 apiece and will be hosted at the New York Times building in Manhattan. Tickets for the symposium are currently set at $205. Admissions is first-come, first-serve.

Photo: The New York Times building in New York. (Richard Drew/AP File)

 

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