As its name suggests, the founders of Five Towns College originally had planned to establish the independent, secular co-ed institute of higher education in the southwest corner of Nassau County. But, by the time the New York State Board of Regents granted its charter, the property that would have been its campus—and matched its moniker—was no longer available. So, Five Towns spent its first decade in Merrick after it opened in 1974, then moved to Seaford and settled in ’92 at its current Dix Hills location, the site of a former high school. Four modern residential halls were built about a decade later on the scenic, centrally located college campus.
Five Towns College offers 13 degrees, from a doctorate in the musical arts to an associate in business administration, and more than 360 different courses. Classes range from hands-on training on professional-grade mixing consoles for audio recording technology majors to more cerebral child psychology classes for students in the childhood education program. That’s in addition to general core curriculum courses and theater arts classes for aspiring entertainers. Five Towns also offers graduate-level courses for students pursuing a doctorate in musical arts, a master’s degree in music or in science.
Stanley G. Cohen, the college’s president since 1972, has orchestrated its growth from fledgling commuter college into an undergraduate and graduate institution with more than 125 faculty members and 1,200 students. The accomplished musician fine-tuned Five Town’s academic mission to music, media, business, teaching, the performing arts and the entertainment industry.
John D. Quinn serves as chair of the eight-member board of trustees.
Five Towns’ advisory council is chaired by Songwriters Hall of Famer Ervin Drake and includes composers, entertainment executives and theater operators.
Students interested in applying to join this creative campus community can start by visiting Five Towns College during one of their weekend open houses or weekday tours. Prospective students can speak with college representatives, explore classrooms equipped with state-of-the-art technology, visit the student radio station, WFTU, and get a feel for campus life by picking up a copy of the student newspaper, The Record.
Five Towns College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, while its academic programs are registered by the New York State Education Department.
The college is approved by the New Jersey Higher Education Assistance Authority, the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency, Rhode Island Higher Education Assistance, the New York State Higher Education Services Corp., the state Commission for the Visually Handicapped, the state Bureau of Veterans Education for the Training of Veterans, Vocational and Educational Services for Individuals with Disabilities as well as the U.S. Department of Education for the Federal Grants, Loans and Work Studies Programs and the U.S. Department of Justice, Immigration and Naturalization Services with Authorization to Accept and Enroll Non-Immigrant Foreign Students and Social Security Administration.