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Nazareth opens NYC recruitment office

Rochester Business Journal
January 22, 2016

The newest strategy for expanding enrollment on the Pittsford campus of Nazareth College is to open a recruitment office in midtown Manhattan.

The office opened Dec. 14 on the second floor of an office tower at 55th Street and Sixth Avenue in the city’s theater district.

With Nazareth hitting record freshmen enrollment levels the last two years it would be easy to wonder why the college would go to such efforts for recruitment.

“There is always a need to drive recruitment,” President Daan Braveman said. “Our traditional region is 90 percent in New York State, typically from Albany to Buffalo range. We are looking to recruit a broader range.”

Freshmen enrollment figures for Nazareth show a steady increase for the past three years with 423 students in 2013, 476 in 2014 and 519 in 2015.

“We did the New York City office in part to expand our commitment to urban education,” Braveman said, noting the college selected the Big Apple for its recruitment office because of its successful partnerships with exceptional high schools in Brooklyn.

“Medgar Evers is one of the best high schools I have ever seen. It could be a model for what urban education should be,” he said.

Medgar Evers College Preparatory School is a high school partner with Nazareth in the Young Scholars program. More than 40 students from New York City have been admitted to college through the program and receive financial aid to achieve the dream of a college education. In many cases, they are the first generation in their family to go to college.

“The thing about these high schools is they are high performing,” Braveman said. “We’re talking about the fact that 80 percent of the students qualify for reduced (price) lunch and 90 percent are college bound. Part of what we’re trying to do is change the narration about urban education by starting to focus on schools that are successful.”

Kayla Sinclair is a freshman at Nazareth from the Young Scholars Program. She graduated from Medgar Evers and is the second in her family to attend college. Her mother graduated from New Rochelle College in 2012.

Sinclair is a biomedical science major at Nazareth.

“I’m interested in Parkinson’s and other diseases,” Sinclair said, noting she has a special reason for wanting to learn about neurological disorders. “My grandmother died in October of Alzheimer’s disease.”

Sinclair graduated high school with high honors and well prepared for college, having earned 47 college credits in her junior and senior year through the Young Scholars program.

She has a full course load at Nazareth, holds a part-time job in the science lab and lives on campus, which is a benefit since that is where many of her friends are. She enjoys the tight-knit community of a small campus and the familiarity it brings “of knowing everyone everywhere you go.”

“If I had to pick one thing I miss about New York City, it would be the mass transit,” Sinclair said with a laugh. “It’s so hard to get around here without a car. There is a bus but it only runs three times a day. I would love to explore more of the city. I’m adjusting to that.”

She believes the new office in Manhattan will help attract even more students from downstate to Nazareth.

“It shows the college is taking an interest there,” Sinclair said. “It will attract more and also make it easier to apply and interview.”

The new office was created primarily for recruitment but it will serve other purposes as well.

“This is going to be a hub for Nazareth alumni and interns working in New York City,” said John Mordaci, director of freshmen admissions. “We want it to be a connecting place. It will be a wonderful place to network.”

Nazareth added a staff position, New York City regional office representative, and hired Francoise Brooks from downstate in December.

“Francoise has a background in visual arts and is a natural fit to interact with many of our contacts there,” Mordaci said. “Nazareth has a rich capacity in performing arts: music, theater, dancing and technical production. The New York City region has many students seeking those opportunities in our undergrad and graduate programs.”

Having the office in Manhattan will help aid graduates seeking careers in New York City as well, especially students in performing arts, Mordaci added, which gives the new office a two-way benefit to students and alumni.

For students in allied health fields there is a stronger tendency to stay in Rochester after graduation, Braveman pointed out.

“Physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy and music therapy, these programs are growing tremendously, and while in school the students have to do field placements,” Braveman said. “So if we can attract students outside Rochester we benefit our local economy, not just one campus.”

The Council of Independent Colleges recently did an analysis and found families spend an average of $60,000 per year for a student they send to a private college in Rochester, he added. The total economic impact from all private colleges in the Rochester area is $4 billion a year.

“Eighty percent of Nazareth students stay when they graduate. My first focus is Nazareth,” Bravemann said. “But there is this other benefit to the rest of our economy. It is one of our strategies in this to expand to other areas by forming partnerships with other schools in other metro areas.”

1/22/2016 (c) 2016 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or email

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