BY LUIS GRONDA
The Long Island Business Institute adapts its services to the changing economic climate.
LIBI has two campuses, including one in Flushing. That location was chosen as it is one of the most diverse areas in New York City with many students hailing from different parts of the world such as South America, the Caribbean and East Asia.
The school has about 1,000 students attending the institute with about 87 percent of that number enrolled in the Flushing campus. Their other campus is based in Commack, Long Island.
LIBI offers business and office degrees, which are two of the most popular majors at the school. It also offers an in-depth English as a Second Language course, which allows students to improve their English reading and writing skills before they head out into the workforce.
While the economy has affected many businesses negatively, Monica Foote, the school’s president, said while the economic downturn affects every business in some way, education does tend to fair better as many people may choose to go back to school if they cannot find employment.
“That’s not to say that all colleges prosper when hard economic times hit. Many colleges, particularly those with high tuition costs, have seen a much lower freshmen class this fall,” she said. “LIBI is a career college, so we have seen a very steady stream of students come through our doors. We prepare students for in-demand careers so our college has seen many individuals come to us after being furloughed or laid off.”
There has been some impact to LIBI from the recession, though. According to Foote, the school needed to adjust their programs to respond to the new economy as quickly as they could.
“People looking to retrain can’t afford to waste their money, so we needed to deliver the kind of education that would make our graduates employable and in demand. That takes a lot of effort, resiliency and hard work,” Foote said.
The school did not have to raise its tuition when the economic crisis hit back in 2008 and this has remained the case since Foote arrived five years ago.
“We have not raised tuition since I arrived in 2008, and our graduates in seven of nine programs have zero student loan debt,” she said. “We have written eight new and already launched four new programs in the past year alone.”
They also have not had to apply for any type of financial assistance during the long recession because they have garnered much interest from the public while the economy has been down.
“As a provider of education, we are lucky to be sought out by students. We have been very fortunate not to have to apply for assistance during this very long recession,” Foote said.
The school offers programs based on the demands of the job and it has introduced new programs based on intense research it has done, including Digital Marketing, Elder Care and Homeland Security.
“To adjust to the changing economy we have also made decisions to update curriculum to better reflect the current needs of the employers,” she said.
The Long Island Business Institute’s Flushing campus is located at 136-18 39th Ave. For information, call (718) 939-5100 or visit www.libi.edu.
Reach Luis Gronda at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 127, firstname.lastname@example.org, or @luisgronda.