Chancellor Zimpher Announces Phase II Launch of SUNY Works

July 10, 2013

Cooperative Education and Internships Expanded at 18 Campuses Across New York

Albany — State University of New York Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher today announced the launch of Phase II of SUNY Works, the system’s full-scale cooperative education and internship initiative. With the launch, 18 campuses across the state are now expanding and enhancing cooperative education and internship opportunities for students, and partnering with employers to provide hands-on “real world” experiences.

“SUNY has created an open dialogue with employers state-wide to be sure our students have a competitive edge in today's job market, and that our campuses are valuable economic resources for the business community in every region,” said Chancellor Zimpher. “SUNY Works is about opportunity – for students to graduate truly job-ready, for faculty to extend their lessons outside the classroom, and for employers to directly influence the workforce of the future.”

As part of SUNY Works, campus faculty work with local employers to jointly develop college courses that integrate classroom instruction and on-the-job work experience in many disciplines. These programs provide students with career building opportunities, expand faculty portfolios, generate job-ready college graduates for local employers, and meet state workforce needs.

Campuses launching SUNY Works as part of Phase II are: UAlbany, SUNY Buffalo State, SUNY Oneonta, SUNY Oswego, and community colleges at Adirondack, Broome, Orange, Rockland, and Niagara.

Bruce Boyea, president and CEO of Security Mutual in the Southern Tier, said, "In addition to creating a dynamic, win-win program for both Security Mutual and the community, SUNY Works will provide students with valuable hands-on experience through the cooperative education positions at Security Mutual. We are pleased to collaborate with SUNY Works in developing relationships with Broome Community College and Binghamton University.

“We have found our co-op program to be a win for our students, businesses and our region,” said SUNY Oswego President Deborah F. Stanley. “Our co-op students are integrated into a work environment, earning a salary that makes college more affordable and improving their employment opportunities after graduation. For businesses, it's a pipeline of employees prepared specifically for their needs. And our region's economic vitality is enriched when we can keep these young professionals in our state.”

“It is certainly to our students' advantage any time we can unite them with businesses and organizations within our community,” says Dr. William Richards, president of SUNY Orange. “They build relationships, gain valuable experiences and come to understand the expectations of employers. SUNY Works will allow SUNY Orange to strengthen relationships with our alumni, work even more closely with our local Chamber of Commerce, and expand our internship offerings, both paid and unpaid, in order to further prepare our students for life after the classroom.”

Today, the majority of college students—as many as 70 to 80 percent—work while enrolled in classes. SUNY Works provides those students an opportunity to marry their need to generate income while enrolled in college with work experience that makes them employable following graduation and often earns them a higher starting salary.

Ninety-five percent of students who participate in co-op nationally find jobs immediately upon graduation; and seven out of every 10 co-op students are offered positions by the employers for which they worked while enrolled in the program.

Phase I of SUNY Works was launched in 2012 and included Stony Brook University as well as eight community colleges – Cayuga, Fulton-Montgomery, Fashion Institute of Technology, Hudson Valley, Monroe, Onondaga, Schenectady, and Suffolk. Together, these nine campuses offer more than 300 co-op programs and more than 3,600 internships.

SUNY Works is supported by grants from the Lumina Foundation for Education and Carnegie Corporation.

As announced in Chancellor Zimpher's 2013 State of the University Address, SUNY is working to ensure that every student will have access to experiential learning opportunities, even those attending online.
These opportunities include SUNY Works; SUNY Serves, which includes service-learning, volunteerism, and clinical placements; and SUNY Discovers, which encompasses student research opportunities, entrepreneurial ventures, and field study placements.

A SUNY Plus diploma designation is being developed that will annotate a student’s participation in these programs, ensuring that out-of-the-classroom experiences are recorded on an extracurricular transcript and designated on the diploma as an added value.

For more information about SUNY Works, contact at

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, and more than 95 percent of all New Yorkers live within 30 miles of any one of SUNY’s 64 colleges and universities. As of Fall 2019, more than 415,500 students were enrolled in a degree program at a SUNY campus. In total, SUNY serves throughout the year about 1.4 million students in credit-bearing courses and programs, continuing education, and community outreach programs. SUNY oversees nearly a quarter of academic research in New York. Research expenditures system-wide exceeded $1.7 billion in fiscal year 2019, including significant contributions from students and faculty. There are three 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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