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The Power of Partnerships

New York Tech enhances student experiences and outcomes through unique collaborations with industry partners.

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Students work on projects at the new IDC Foundation Digital Fabrication and Robotic Matter Design Lab (FabLab)

New York Institute of Technology is improving the academic experience and professional outlook for its students by building and enhancing industry partnerships across multiple disciplines. Through hundreds of partnerships with companies including JetBlue, Canon, Play for All Media, and more, New York Tech is helping its students prepare for fulfilling careers and lives.

These types of collaborations have a long history in the United States. As far back as the 1800s, universities formed relationships with industry partners to help train the next generation of workers. As the nation’s economy has grown and culture has shifted, they have taken on new forms, especially during and in the wake of COVID-19. Today, leading higher education institutions like New York Tech use these valuable relationships to boost cutting-edge research and transfer expertise from academia to the working world and vice versa.

“For the students, working with industry partners gives them the experience of seeing what the real world looks like, and how it feels to work in a certain industry or role,” says Jerry Balentine, D.O., FACEP, FACOEP, executive vice president and chief operating officer at New York Tech. “For the university, it can mean great name recognition by partnering with major companies, excitement for faculty in staying connected to the latest in industry, and even higher student retention.”

Broadening the STEM Pipeline

New York Tech’s College of Engineering and Computing Sciences (CoECS) has launched a holistic effort to provide professional skills training and certification not only to students, but to alumni, faculty, and staff as well.

“For the students, working with industry partners gives them the experience of seeing what the real world looks like, and how it feels to work in a certain industry or role.”

CoECS is working with Zscaler, a leader in cloud security, to offer a series of free online courses on zero-trust cloud services to members of the New York Tech community. If desired, the courses can lead to an industry-recognized certificate in cloud security skills.

“Having the certification is going to be a great item on the résumé for students heading into the job market or for our alumni who may be looking into a career shift or upskilling,” says Babak Beheshti, Ph.D., CoECS dean.

The college has also partnered with Red Hat, a leading provider of enterprise open-source solutions, so that students can participate in the Red Hat Academy. Through this resource, students gain practical experience and access to free training in Linux, cloud, container, and Kubernetes technologies.

Professional skills training and certification bring practical learning to students, alumni, faculty, and staff.

“In line with New York Tech’s mission to provide career-oriented education to future makers, doers, and innovators, our collaboration with Red Hat provides yet another opportunity for our students to gain practical, real-world experience to help secure sought-after and industry-recognized skills and certifications,” says Beheshti.

New York Tech recently became one of the first U.S.-based educational partners of OutSystems, a Lisbon, Portugal-based developer of a leading “low-code” app building tool. Through this partnership, students will be introduced to online training and a developer-led certification bootcamp. New York Tech is also collaborating with Google and Coursera for students to access Google Training materials to build in-demand skills, including project management, UX design, data analytics, automation with Python, and IT support.

Another robust way in which students can engage with industry in the technology space is through the university’s Entrepreneurship and Technology Innovation Center (ETIC). Since 2015, the ETIC has served as a hub for cultivating fresh ideas in engineering and the applied sciences by promoting collaborations among industry, the academic community, professional organizations, and government.

For example, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) contracted with CoECS and the ETIC in late 2021 to have New York Tech students build technology prototypes based on existing NASA patents. This technology includes a robotic therapy vest for patients with neurological impairments and a high-tech C-gauge to measure cord tension in everything from parachutes to bridge cables.

Currently, seven New York Tech students from computer science, mechanical engineering, and electrical and computer engineering degree programs are working to build the prototypes, while digital art students are developing instructional and marketing materials to help NASA commercialize the technology.

The Entrepreneurship and Technology Innovation Center (ETIC) provides students, entrepreneurs, and organizations with a collaborative place to test concepts, develop prototypes, and accelerate ideas from concept to product development to market entry.

Meanwhile, thanks to funding from The Voya Foundation, New York Tech is working to increase diversity in science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics (STEAM)—even before students reach college. Outreach projects, funded by a Voya grant, include programming and educational activities for public school students and teachers in minority and underrepresented communities in Long Island and New York City.

“The Voya Foundation funding has allowed New York Tech to engage over 3,000 public school students, teachers, and families in STEAM-based learning activities,” said Amy Bravo, M.A., senior director of International and Experiential Education. “Their generous support has helped to lay the groundwork for a more diverse generation of makers, doers, and innovators, who will help to reinvent New York State as a center of technology and innovation.”

Putting Design into Practice

In fall 2021, New York Tech’s School of Architecture and Design celebrated the grand opening of the IDC Foundation Digital Fabrication and Robotic Matter Design Labs—part of the school’s Fab Lab—on the Long Island campus. This enhancement is one of the latest student experience improvements made possible because of the school’s relationship with the IDC Foundation and a $2 million grant provided by the foundation in 2018.

“The Fab Lab represents a strategy for the continuous integration of emerging technology in our students’ design work,” said Maria Perbellini, dean of the School of Architecture & Design. “From day one, students can turn their computer drawings into scaled models so they can really see the spaces they’re creating, as well as understand the interplay between digital making and physical reality.”

With its donation of an additional $590,000 for scholarships, fellowships, and novel student activities to encourage the school’s culture of making, the IDC Foundation supported the establishment of two new post-graduate master’s degree programs in architecture: one in computational technologies and the other in health and design.

“Throughout a difficult year, the school has remained a transformative and continuously evolving place of learning at the forefront of technology and innovation,” said Perbellini. “In addition to campus enhancements for students, we aggressively prioritized effective advising, mentoring, and guidance, which led to an increase in enrollment through the pandemic and the return of all our students.”

The FabLab is a state-of-the-art facility that promotes innovation and facilitates entrepreneurial initiatives for students and faculty on New York Tech’s New York campuses.

Improving Quality of Life for All

At New York Tech’s College of Osteopathic Medicine (NYITCOM), students are given a host of opportunities to work side-by-side with practitioners in the field through some well-established clinical partnerships with prominent organizations. Since 2018, the college has nurtured an extremely beneficial strategic partnership with Catholic Health Services, offering students the chance to do medical rotations and pursue residencies and fellowships on Long Island after they graduate. Meanwhile, the partner hospitals and organizations gain far more than just well-qualified students and employees.

“Throughout a difficult year, the school has remained a transformative and continuously evolving place of learning at the forefront of technology and innovation.”

“[NYITCOM] affords CHS some strong clinical growth opportunities for the next generation of future providers. The school produces nearly 300 graduates per year; approximately 50 percent enter primary care and look to practice on Long Island,” said Patrick M. O’Shaughnessy, D.O., M.B.A., FACEP, executive vice president and chief clinical officer, Catholic Health Services. “CHS will offer NYITCOM students expanded clerkship opportunities at all of our six high-quality campuses.”

“These kinds of partnerships are ways of building deep relationships in the industry, rather than just a transactional one,” said Balentine. “NYITCOM becomes engaged with the hospital on many levels, offering them opportunities for enhanced research capabilities, better professional development for their staff, and high-quality analysis of their data, just to name a few.”

Partnerships with hospitals provide clinical experiences for medical students and meet community needs for physicians and health professionals.

Similarly, NYITCOM’s satellite location on the Jonesboro campus of Arkansas State University is partnering with Baptist Memorial Health Care to offer up to 25 positions per class that are dedicated to NYITCOM students who want to train at Baptist’s hospitals and clinics. In years to come, NYITCOM hopes to double the number of student positions.

“This partnership aligns perfectly with our goal to train future physicians who are more likely to stay and practice in the Mid-South area,” said Shane Speights, D.O., dean of NYITCOM at A-State. “The opportunity to study within the Mid-South’s largest healthcare organization with a variety of locations in both rural and urban areas will be extremely valuable for our future doctors.”

“There is a significant shortage of physicians, particularly primary care, in Tennessee, Mississippi, and Arkansas. This shortage poses a grave health risk, particularly to people in underserved rural and urban communities,” said Jason Little, president and CEO of Baptist Memorial Health Care. “We believe this Baptist-NYITCOM program will help alleviate this shortage by giving more of our best and brightest students the opportunity to study and practice medicine in their home communities.”

Also in Arkansas, NYITCOM is part of the USDA Supporting Health Advances for Rural Employees (SHARE) project that aims to improve the overall health and quality of life for the state’s rural workers. This two-year, $1 million project will focus efforts in four Arkansas counties with some of the highest rates of health disparities. NYITCOM students will be trained to conduct worksite assessments, provide wellness screenings, and more in an effort to improve the health care access and education of local employees, employers, clinical staff, and community health workers in the region.

“We want to ensure that there is a place for every student to learn and grow—and this is based on our mission to offer access to opportunity to all students.”

Destined for Success

These are just a few ways in which New York Institute of Technology is working to improve the experiences of its students during college and after graduation, on campus and out in the world.

“We want to ensure that there is a place for every student to learn and grow—and this is based on our mission to offer access to opportunity to all students,” said Henry C. “Hank” Foley, Ph.D., president of New York Tech. “Our promise to students is to provide an outstanding experience that empowers them to be doers, makers, healers and innovators, to solve 21st century challenges, and to reinvent their future. We are grateful for the collaboration of so many and the generosity of our partners on behalf of our students.”

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