After a brief delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic, New York Tech’s campus in Vancouver, British Columbia, has completed its much-anticipated campus expansion.
The move, which nearly doubles the college’s available space, unifies two campuses and four graduate-level academic programs into a multibuilding complex at Broadway Tech Centre, creating a more cohesive community for an already close-knit campus.
The Need for Change
Since 2018, New York Tech-Vancouver has been operating from two locations: one downtown and one 7.5 kilometers (about 4.5 miles) away at an eight-building urban business campus called Broadway Tech Centre. The two locations housed different academic programs, meaning that students, faculty, and staff either stayed separated from peers and colleagues in other departments, or spent 20 to 45 minutes commuting from one location to the other by car, bus, or SkyTrain.
The move to consolidate into one location will help create a more cohesive community—an important element of a university in which 100 percent of the students are international.
“We’re so excited for this brand-new space in part because we’ll all be on one campus,” says Maria Mejia, student engagement coordinator. “Many of our international students come to New York Tech and leave their families, neighborhoods, and communities behind, so we become their new family. You can feel a true sense of community and kinship here, and we are thrilled to have a physical space for us all to be together.”
The Broadway Tech Centre boasts landscaped grounds, including waterfalls and ponds.
The Vancouver campus expansion is also critical to accommodate the college’s exponential growth. “We’ve been on an upward trajectory for quite a while now, growing from around 160 students when I started in 2016 to now around 717,” says Irene Young, Ed.D., executive director and campus dean. “We continued to do well even through the pandemic, and now we’re excited to see this long-awaited expansion come to fruition for our community.”
Young’s words ring true; while many other higher education institutions faltered due to the pandemic, New York Tech-Vancouver continued to thrive due in large part to interest in popular programs. Standouts include the M.S. in cybersecurity; the master’s in energy management; and the M.B.A., which offers a general degree and concentration options in finance and business analytics, which is new for the spring 2023 semester.
A New Home
As of December 2022, New York Tech-Vancouver closed its downtown location and moved into an expanded and redesigned space at Broadway Tech Centre. The new campus totals nearly 40,000 square feet across three different buildings, which are connected by covered walkways. During planning, architects closely considered how students, faculty, and staff will use the space.
“We’ve committed a fair amount of square footage to spaces where students can spend time, whether they’re studying or just being together,” says Gregory Gerber, Ed.D., associate campus dean. “We have student lounge space in two buildings that totals three times the size of the one lounge downtown, and we now have a number of quiet and group study spaces, as well as areas to sit and relax in between classes.”
The new campus features vibrant colors, audio-dampening panels to reduce noise, and plenty of natural light to show off views of the surrounding trees. Classrooms are large and equipped with state-of-the-art technology, and a new green screen studio offers the latest equipment for students designing multimedia projects, working on real-time broadcasting, and creating professional video résumés to reflect the new state of hiring in a digital world.
The new spaces feature vibrant colors and include student lounges, plenty of natural light to show off views of the surrounding trees, large classrooms equipped with state-of-the-art technology, and a new green screen studio, among other improvements.
“The technology in each one of the classrooms and throughout the student spaces is top-notch,” says Gerber. “We have invested heavily in ensuring we have a learning environment that is tech-integrated so that we are preparing graduates for jobs of the 21st century.”
“We have taken seriously President Hank Foley’s call to put the ‘Tech’ back in New York Tech,” says Young.
The campus also celebrates its first physical library space, complete with reference materials, quiet study areas, a print lab, and project meeting rooms. The Innovation Lab, which in the downtown location shared space with faculty offices, now has its own footprint, plus 3-D printers and additional workstations for more student collaboration.
“Our students come from all over the world. They’ve given up everything they love and care about—their families, cultures, languages, and homes—to come to New York Tech-Vancouver and further their education, and we want to welcome them all with open arms.”
In addition to the more vibrant indoor space, Broadway Tech Centre boasts outdoor beauty as well—from landscaped grounds to waterfalls and ponds to sports areas.
“Not only are we excited about the consolidated campus, but we also have amazing outdoor space for more activities practically year-round,” says Mejia. “Broadway Tech Centre has courts for basketball, volleyball, and soccer, as well as a great barbecue area that will allow us to facilitate more collaborative activities.”
Many Cultures, One Family
Bringing students physically together in the new campus space will also help build bridges across cultural lines.
“Our students come from all over the world,” says Shannon Svingen-Jones, M.B.A., director of student affairs. “They’ve given up everything they love and care about—their families, cultures, languages, and homes—to come to New York Tech-Vancouver and further their education, and we want to welcome them all with open arms.”
With so many cultures coming together, New York Tech-Vancouver relies on a robust student affairs team to create connections and offer support, from hosting orientations that incorporate the song “We Are Family” into the theme to celebrating all the different cultural holidays.
“We have a great student affairs department, which can be a huge selling point when people are going to uproot their lives,” says Young. “They create lots of events and excursions so students can get accustomed to each other and what’s happening on campus and in Vancouver. We like to provide a balance of work and fun.”
In addition to honoring each other’s cultures, New York Tech- Vancouver also ensures that students are educated about the indigenous cultures that are native to the area.
“We ensure that information about indigenous cultures is an integral part of the New York Tech-Vancouver experience,” says Svingen-Jones. “It starts at orientation, where we invite an indigenous speaker to talk about their people’s cultures and history, and it continues throughout our curriculum. We have a unique opportunity and a responsibility to teach newcomers to our campus how precious indigenous peoples and cultures are, and they tend to grow a different level of respect for these communities than many domestic students have.”
The Broadway Tech Centre boasts landscaped grounds, including waterfalls and ponds.
Preparing for Lifelong Success
Another reason for New York Tech-Vancouver’s impressive progress and need for additional space is the success of its graduates.
“A lot of our growth also has to do with the ability of our students to find employment and stay in Canada—an important criterion for international students,” says Young. “After graduation, they are eligible for a three-year work permit, which can lead to permanent resident status and eventually citizenship. The government of Canada wants these students to come and to stay.”
More than 90 percent of New York Tech-Vancouver’s graduates stay in Canada to work and achieve residency, after which they often bring over additional members of their families.
“There are so many businesses here in Vancouver and even within Broadway Tech Centre that are aligned with the skills of our graduates, from energy management to cybersecurity to business administration,” says Young.
Vancouver is home to offices for global giants like Amazon, Google, Hootsuite, Electronic Arts (EA), Lion’s Gate Entertainment, and Lululemon Athletica, proffering opportunities for internships, co-ops, and long-term employment. The college has also recently signed an affiliation agreement with international security company Fortinet that gives them access to their training materials—a boon for the cybersecurity program.
The Evolution Continues
To celebrate the introduction of the new campus location for the spring 2023 semester, New York Tech-Vancouver will hold a grand opening event in June. They plan to invite all the companies from Broadway Tech Centre, which includes Nintendo and decision analytics software firm Copperleaf, among others, to facilitate networking connections from the very start.
The expansion also continues throughout the year, when an additional 10,000 square feet of space will be turned into more faculty and staff offices, as well as state-of-the-art meeting rooms.
This article originally appeared in the Spring 2023 issue of New York Institute of Technology Magazine.
By Kathrin Havrilla-Sanchez