At a Student Government Association (SGA) meeting on Oct. 3, President Michael Alexander announced multiple changes being made to the Lasell Works program. Incoming Lasell Works students will no longer receive decreasing tuition and now have the option to live on campus during their sophomore year work experience. Current students in the program will not be impacted by these changes and will still receive their decreasing tuition.
The changes came following the announcement of Lasell’s 33 percent tuition reduction. Assistant Director of Lasell Works Karina Fontanez, who stepped into the role following Stephanie Williams’s departure, said this overall reduction is the reason for Lasell Works’ transition to the typical tuition model.
“Given that the university as a whole has lowered tuition, the students are already going to get the tuition cut,” Fontanez said.
Fontanez said along with this, incoming students will now also have the option of living on campus while they work and complete online classes during their sophomore year. Fontanez believes this is a positive change for students in the program.
“It broadens their availability for more city jobs, but also gives them the opportunity to remain on campus and participate in sports or have on campus resources like the Academic Achievement Center,” Fontanez said.
As of right now, Lasell Works consists of several housing shifts impacting the students’ college experiences, as they live on campus their first year, and then off campus their sophomore year to work full-time and take online classes, before returning to campus for their junior and senior year.
Fontanez said offering the option to remain on campus during the sophomore work experience will help students.
“It also helps kind of smooth the transition back to in person classes because they don’t lose the social connection of being on campus,” Fontanez said.
Emily Lifson, a junior hospitality management major and Lasell Works student, was surprised by these changes.
“It’s also a huge change because what the Lasell Works program was is to be off campus and focus on a job and do your school work at the same time, but I can see why the changes were made,” Lifson said.
Although Lifson believes the removal of the decreasing tuition will impact the program, the decision to allow students to live on campus their sophomore year is beneficial.
“I feel like it’s a better opportunity for students if they wanted to live on campus during that time, because I know sometimes it is hard going [into campus] freshman year and then the next year leaving, and then coming back again,” Lifson said.
Fontanez believes this to be a positive shift for Lasell Works and the way students will experience the program.
“I think there’s a lot of opportunity for building partnerships, both for the university and for Lasell Works with the industries in the area,” Fontanez said.
Overall, Lifson also said she sees these differences in the program in a positive light.
“Change is always good, positivity is always good, so if the students come in and see these changes they could have something new to look forward to,” Lifson said.