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Professors prepare for launch of JBS pilot

Published: September 18, 2009
Section: Front Page


In preparation for the launch of the Justice Brandeis Semester (JBS) pilot program this summer, professors have begun drawing up plans for individual JBS programs, Dean of Arts and Sciences Adam Jaffe said.

The JBS program is the brain-child of the Curriculum and Academic Restructuring Steering (CARS) committee which developed the idea of JBS as a way to alleviate overcrowding that could occur as a result of the university’s plans to increase the student population by 400 students over the next three years.

When JBS is officially implemented in summer 2012, students will be encouraged to take one semester away from the Brandeis campus. One option that will be afforded to students is JBS, which allows students to choose from a variety of discipline-specific ways to spend their fall, spring, or summer away from campus.

Currently, Jaffe said, the faculty is busy preparing plans for specific JBS programs to occur in this summer’s pilot program, and will have to submit their proposals by Oct. 1. Each summer program will have a budget of no more than $20,000 and they will be offered for either eight or ten weeks, with sessions beginning June 1 and ending either July 23 or Aug. 6.

Jaffe will then form a JBS committee consisting of faculty, staff, and one student representative. The committee choose between eight and 12 of the proposed JBS proposals to be executed this summer.

This summer’s pilot program will be designed to accommodate between 60 and 150 students, however Jaffe said he was unsure of how popular the pilot program would be.

“We don’t know what kinds of issues doing this JBS will create,” he said. “We might plan for 100 kids to apply and 500 do, or only 20 could. We don’t know. And that’s why we’re doing the pilot.”

Students participating in both the pilot and actual JBS programs will have to pay three-fourths of tuition, and will receive 12 credits for participating in the programs. Students who are regularly eligible for financial aid will be eligible for financial aid on the same basis for JBS.

However, students who receive federal financial aid may run into problems because, according to federal law, students cannot receive financial aid for more than two semesters per calendar year.

There will be two application deadlines for the JBS programs, one in early January, and another in early March, Jaffe said.

Jaffe said he did not know many of the specifics about the application process, but that the university has created the new position of JBS manager, which would overlook the logistical aspect of creating and maintaining both the pilot and actual JBS programs. The university is in the midst of a job search for the new JBS manager.

The JBS manager will also be responsible for securing housing for JBS participants.

President of the Student Union Andy Hogan ’11 said he hoped JBS participants would be housed in “favorable dorms” so that “where you live can be used as an incentive to participate [in the program],” however, he would not comment on which residence halls he had in mind.

Professors Adrianne Krstansky (THA) and Alicia Hyland (THA) are planning to propose a JBS for theater majors to run this summer.

Their JBS will include a class that focuses on acting techniques and a class that focuses on autobiographical theatrical writing. At the end of the summer, students will use what the used in each class to create a theatrical production that will be a compilation of the students’ autobiographical pieces from the first part of the summer.

Hogan also said he is currently working with the Legal Studies department to create a pilot JBS, and encourages any students interested in participating in the pilot JBS program to be in close contact with the professors working on that program.

**This article has been revised to reflect the following correction: an article published on Sept. 18 stated that “When JBS is officially implemented in summer 2012, students will be required to take one semester away from the Brandeis campus.” In reality, in 2012 students will be encouraged, not required, to take one semester away from campus.