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Hochul expands access to internship experiences for 3,000 SUNY students


Tue, Feb 6th 2024 01:55 pm

$10 million will provide internship & experiential learning opportunities before graduation

√ Fact sheet outlining campus initiatives available here

Gov. Kathy Hochul announced State University of New York campuses are investing nearly $10 million in annual state funding to provide 3,000 SUNY students with internships and other experiential learning opportunities before graduation. The funding was secured through the historic $163 million increase in direct operating aid to SUNY’s state-operated campuses for fiscal year 2024.

“Internships provide students with transformative opportunities outside of the classroom to explore their fields of study and gain vital, hands-on experience before graduation,” Hochul said. “With this nearly $10 million in state funding, we are expanding internship opportunities for thousands of students at SUNY schools to help ensure graduates have the skills they need to enter the workforce and pursue their careers.”

SUNY Chancellor John B. King Jr. visited SUNY Delhi, where he met with students and business leaders to discuss internship opportunities and the ways SUNY can create a workforce development pipeline in Delaware County and across the state.

Hochul’s team said, “SUNY Delhi will utilize its funding to provide high-quality applied learning opportunities by hiring student interns to assist with various projects on campus. Each internship will align with academic programs and be tailored to the student’s interests and career goals. The campus will also hire a director of career and transfer services to bolster student success; implement the online platform Handshake to improve job placement rates, career development resources, and enhanced alumni engagement; and offer financial support for students to ensure they have access to opportunities from the pre-employment/recruitment stage through completion of the internship/work experience.”

Other state-operated campuses will use their portion of the $10 million to expand internship opportunities and professional career development including:

√ All 29 campuses will increase the number of paid internship slots for undergraduate students.

√ At least 28 campuses will provide internship stipends, including wraparound supports like child care and transportation access, that students face to complete internships.

√ At least 25 campuses will hire staff for internship coordination, which includes developing employer and industry partnerships.

√ At least nine campuses will invest in software programs to create job boards and track internship opportunities.

King said, “Hands-on learning is crucial for a students’ success and upward mobility, and it is that real-life experience that employers are frequently looking for when hiring recent college graduates. In my State of the University address, I shared SUNY’s goal to work toward ensuring every undergraduate has access to an internship or research opportunity before walking across the graduation stage. By utilizing the SUNY operating aid increase championed by Gov. Hochul and the Legislature, I’m proud that we are providing $10 million in annual, sustainable support for internship programs across the system at our state-operated campuses.”

Assembly member Patricia Fahy said, “We know that, on average, 60% of employers prefer to hire graduates and workers with internship experience. We know that students who participate in an internship get an average of 1.61 job offers after graduation, while non-interns get an average of 0.77. Internship experience translates into real-world career experience and readiness that helps to leverage better pay, benefits and economic empowerment post-college. Furthermore, paid internships are more likely to translate into job offers, attract applicants from a wider swathe of socioeconomic backgrounds, and connect employers with new generations of skilled workers is a win-win for our not just our students and universities, but economy more broadly. I commend SUNY Chancellor John King for continuing to invest the record state aid we secured last year in the success of New York’s students, including ensuring they’re equipped with the experience and skills necessary to succeed in our workforce through this initiative.”

A 2021 National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) Career and Workforce Preparation Module found that only 35% of first-generation seniors reported participating in an internship – far lower than their peers. Forty percent of applicants had to decline internships because of external barriers, such as being unable to afford it or being unable to move.

In April, SUNY launched the Chancellor's Summer Research Excellence Fund to support 150 paid internships across five research-intensive campuses. SUNY has also announced the SUNY Climate Corps and the Veterans Enrollment and Support Internship Program.

The State University of New York, which celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2023, is the largest comprehensive system of higher education in the U.S., and more than 95% of all New Yorkers live within 30 miles of any one of SUNY’s 64 colleges and universities. To learn more about SUNY, visit www.suny.edu.

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