Release Date: January 11, 2016
BUFFALO, N.Y. – The University at Buffalo was awarded $2 million by the State University of New York to develop two new programs designed to help students complete their degrees and obtain successful employment upon graduation.
The new programs are part of an $18 million investment awarded to SUNY campuses throughout New York State. The awards were announced today by SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher during her annual State of the University Address.
The awards will support SUNY’s Completion Agenda, which aims to boost the number of SUNY degrees awarded annually to 150,000 by the year 2020 by bringing evidence-based programs to scale.
Through the SUNY Investment and Performance Fund:
UB President Satish K. Tripathi said the university was very pleased the proposed UB programs were selected by SUNY for funding.
“Over the years, UB has invested significantly in enhancing the educational experience so that we ensure our undergraduate, graduate and professional students are prepared to be global leaders in their fields. And these investments are showing real outcomes. Regionally, nationally and globally, top employers tell us they love to hire UB grads because they know they bring with them the experience, expertise and global perspective that are so valuable in the 21st century — from business and industry to arts and the public sector. These new programs will enable us to build even further on these efforts and expand their benefits across the system” Tripathi said. “I applaud Gov. Cuomo and our elected leadership in New York State for investing in students and campuses throughout SUNY, and we look forward to collaborating with our SUNY partners in advancing the goals of the SUNY Completion Agenda.”
UB’s new Professional Pathways for the Arts and Humanities program will provide arts and humanities students with more direct routes to employment, increasing student success while also increasing the number of degrees awarded. UB will develop new advanced certificates, interdisciplinary master’s and combined bachelor’s-master’s degree programs that combine professional training with liberal arts education, as well as online training modules and workshops for advanced undergraduate and graduate students that are aimed at developing targeted professional skills.
Planned degree programs include “Speech, Language and Hearing Science,” “Social Media” and “Addiction Studies.” Online modules and workshops are planned in Professional and Technical Communication, Leadership and Entrepreneurship, and Digital Literacy.
These programs will emphasize applied learning and professional training. To ensure the increased potential for career success, these new programs link the core competencies that students will learn to employer needs and employment opportunities determined though market analysis.
The partnership between UB and the three other SUNY university centers at Albany, Binghamton and Stony Brook will leverage best-practice teaching, digitally enhanced learning technology and supplemental digital materials to increase student learning and success in STEM and other high demand/high impact gateway courses and improve student retention, degree progress and success in later courses.
Within five years, for important high demand/high impact gateway courses, the four university centers will adopt common learning outcomes and assessment measures, develop diagnostic tools to identify areas individual students need to develop to succeed in gateway courses and build a collection of digital open-education resources to enhance instruction and student learning. The university centers plan to first adopt and implement the program across their four campuses and then ultimately across all SUNY campuses.
In all, 32 program proposals involving 22 SUNY campuses and collaborations with nine community colleges were selected to receive funding. Campus proposals were evaluated by a distinguished panel of external reviewers, including leaders in higher education, finance, policy and research.
“These awards are a remarkable sample of what SUNY campuses are prepared to do in order to help more students complete their degree,” said Zimpher. “Whether it’s working with area high schools to get students ready for college, supporting students at risk of falling behind or providing an applied learning opportunity to ensure career success, SUNY is committed to improving student outcomes at every stage.”