Buffalo State has been selected to take part in the second pilot phase of “SUNY Works,” a system-wide experiential educational model focusing on internship and co-op experiences. Faculty members and business leaders partner to develop programs that meet the needs of employers and link to the students’ academic programs.
Stephanie Zuckerman-Aviles, director of the Career Development Center, has been designated project director. The project has received a $7,000 grant via SUNY to support the development and implementation of the SUNY Works initiative at Buffalo State.
The funds were provided by a $500,000 grant from the Lumina Foundation for Education, whose mission is to expand access and success in education beyond high school particularly among adults, first-generation college students, low-income students, and students of color. In November 2012, the Carnegie Corporation of New York provided another $500,000 grant to SUNY Works because it focuses on addressing “the rapid and dislocating change in educational requirements” necessary to succeed, especially in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
“It’s very exciting,” said Zuckerman-Aviles. “We’re assembling the leadership team, which will include faculty representatives, business leaders, and other campus representatives. The team acts as a regional advisory council, and they will decide on our pilot project.”
SUNY Works’ goal is to establish academic programs that incorporate either a co-op or a structured internship at a business relevant to, and dependent on, the student’s academic study. Co-op experiences and some internships are paid. SUNY Works—part of SUNY’s education pipeline—recognizes that a majority of SUNY students work while attending college. By providing students with an opportunity to work in a business or industry that is relevant to students’ studies and career goals, students gain the experience that makes them highly desirable employees in the twenty-first-century workforce.