New York Tech’s first cooperative education (co-op) track, which launched earlier this year for students in the College of Engineering and Computing Sciences, was honored with a Long Island Software & Technology Network (LISTnet) Long Island Summit Award (LISA) for innovation. The event, marking LISTnet’s 25th LISA awards, was held on November 7 at the Garden City Hotel.
College of Engineering and Computing Sciences Dean Babak D. Beheshti, Ph.D., accepted the award for the co-op track, which is available to students in five of the college’s undergraduate programs. “A co-op program is successful only if it builds a robust partnership between academia and industry,” he said. “While every sector has many ways of recognizing excellence within its own circles, this award from LISTnet is an acknowledgment by the industry of the efforts we have put in creating a program that both prepares our students for a successful career and benefits the industry by maintaining a pipeline of top engineering and computing sciences talent.”
A cooperative education experience provides academic credit for a structured job experience. A co-op track alternates a school term with a work term in a structured manner, involves a partnership between an academic institution and an employer, is paid, and intended to advance a student’s education. Four New York Tech undergraduates majoring in computer science or information technology began co-op tracks this summer and comprised the inaugural cohort.
What’s next for this new program? Beheshti noted plans to expand it on two fronts. “First, we will continue to broaden the list of our co-op employer partners. This will provide more co-op opportunities for our students through a rich set of companies in various sectors,” he said. “Secondly, we will expand the co-op offering to additional undergraduate programs. We have already seen strong interest and demand from our students for the co-op option, and we will continue to scale up our capabilities to meet this strong interest.”
Peter Goldsmith manages the co-op program at New York Tech and is a senior specialist in industry relations for the College of Engineering and Computing Sciences. He also is founder of LISTnet and currently serves as the chair of the non-profit organization dedicated to building a strong ecosystem for software and technology on Long Island.