In today’s world, it is more important than ever to support initiatives that will lead to a better tomorrow. Investments in key sectors, such as higher education, continually reap dividends. NYIT alumni, many of whom are featured in this magazine, are proof of this concept, serving as innovators and leaders in health care, communications, architecture, education, and computer science.
A November 2008 study, Living and Learning with New Media, conducted by the MacArthur Foundation, notes that “to stay relevant in the 21st century, educational institutions need to keep pace with the rapid changes introduced by digital media.” This technology-fueled world, add the researchers, is creating vast opportunities for young people to explore their interests, develop skills that will prove useful later in life, and invent new ways to express themselves.
Our undergraduates are indeed surrounded by a breadth of technology and information that they incorporate seamlessly into their worlds. The data stream that flows through the consciousness of today’s students empowers them to learn and work in ways that were unthinkable even 10 years ago. Digital traffic lanes also afford us quicker, more efficient ways to create new methodologies of teaching. Educational barriers that were once rigid and constrictive are now engaging and boundless.
Clearly, NYIT has always been a leader in recognizing the role that technology plays in our world. Since the 1950s, our students have been taught to incorporate technology into their careers. Today, this is of the utmost importance, especially when you consider that students are preparing for careers that do not even exist today. By learning how to adapt to new technologies, they will define these new vocations with the skills and knowledge they bring with them. Their careers will be a continuing learning process.
But we do more than emphasize the technology in our name. We embrace it—from our distributed learning centers that link NYIT students around the world, to new degree programs that focus on emerging technologies and industries, to giving our students the latest classroom tools, such as robotic patients and 3-D motion capture studios.
Our technology focus has given us an understanding of how interconnected the world is and how knowledge and appreciation of diverse cultures, methodologies, and approaches are valuable tools in the highly competitive global marketplace. We understand the need to think from a worldly perspective. Employers of the fastest-growing industries put a premium on a skilled workforce with a global mindset, and graduates must keep up with the “brain race.”
The good news is that we are attracting a high caliber of students each year, as shown by grade point averages and test scores. Our competitive programs in the health professions, for example, receive more qualified applicants than they can ever accept—our physician assistant’s program receives more than 1,000 applications for 52 available seats, and our osteopathic medical school received many more applications last year than any other year in its history.
All of these elements add up to an NYIT that is on the right track to becoming a model 21st-century university. We will continue to produce global citizens who can compete in today’s marketplace, redefine the notion of a classroom without borders, and promote the free-flowing exchange of ideas among our campuses throughout the world. As NYIT students earn their degrees within this platform, our campuses around the world will become idea centers where commerce, culture, intellectualism, and academics congregate and where we meet to work on new ways of improving our society. Truly, a worthy investment.
I encourage you to join us on his journey.
Edward Guiliano, Ph.D.