SUNY Launches Cooperative Education Programs at 9 Campuses

April 19, 2012

Albany – The State University of New York today launched full-scale cooperative education programs at nine SUNY campuses and explored more opportunities for service learning, as part of its inaugural Experiential Learning Summit, which included training by the World Association of Cooperative Education (WACE). SUNY campus administrators, faculty, and business leaders from throughout New York State participated.

“Cooperative education and service learning provide students with character and career building opportunities, expand faculty portfolios, pair student volunteers with civic groups, and generate job-ready college  graduates for local employers,” said SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher. “The benefits of both programs are numerous and well-documented.

“Today’s summit has been a critical milestone as SUNY aims to bring cooperative education to scale across New York, with the implementation of SUNY Works, and meet the civic and economic needs of every region as part of our strategic plan. Many thanks to Dr. Stonely and his team for providing our campuses with such invaluable guidance and expertise.”

“Proven as one of the most effective and unique academic programs across the globe – 27 countries and counting – cooperative education prepares students in all disciplines for career and professional success,” said WACE Chief Executive Officer Dr. Paul J. Stonely. “Chancellor Zimpher’s leadership and the dedication campuses, community groups, and businesses have shown to expanding cooperative education and service learning is highly commendable. Today’s work will go a long way toward tomorrow’s success.”

Cooperative education is a partnership between institutions of higher education and local employers that formally integrates academic coursework with paid, on-the-job work experience in the students’ field of study. SUNY is bringing cooperative education to scale across its campuses and throughout New York with the implementation of SUNY Works, which is supported by the Lumina Foundation for Education.

Today, the majority of college students—as many as 70 to 80 percent—work while enrolled in classes.  SUNY Works will provide those students the opportunity to marry their need to generate income while enrolled in college with work experience that will make them employable following graduation. Seven out of every 10 co-op students are offered positions by the employers for which they worked while enrolled in the program.

Campuses launching co-op programs today are Cayuga Community College, Fulton-Montgomery Community College, Fashion Institute of Technology, Hudson Valley Community College, Monroe Community, Onondaga Community College, Schenectady County Community College, Suffolk County Community College, and Stony Brook University.

Service learning incorporates the requirements of a college course or program with unpaid participation in community-based projects. Such participation by students locally, nationally, or internationally helps students gain a richer mastery of course content and enhances their sense of civic responsibility, while meeting a specific community need.

Campuses receiving training in the delivery of service learning today are UAlbany, SUNY Cortland, SUNY Delhi, Onondaga Community College, and SUNY Oswego.

About WACE
WACE is the only international professional organization dedicated to developing, expanding, branding and advocating for cooperative and work-integrated education programs within industry and educational institutions.  Cooperative & Work-Integrated Education (CWIE) includes cooperative education, internships, semester in industry, international co-op exchanges, study abroad, research, clinical rotations, service learning, and community service.

About the State University of New York
The State University of New York is the largest comprehensive system of higher education in the United States, with 64 college and university campuses located within 30 miles of every home, school, and business in the state. As of Fall 2017, more than 430,000 students were enrolled in a degree program at a SUNY campus. In total, SUNY served nearly 1.4 million students in credit-bearing courses and programs, continuing education, and community outreach programs in the 2016-17 academic year. SUNY students and faculty across the state make significant contributions to research and discovery, resulting in $1 billion of externally sponsored activity each year. There are 3 million SUNY alumni worldwide, and one in three New Yorkers with a college degree is a SUNY alum. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunity, visit

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