SUNY Cobleskill’s focus on hands-on learning, recently formalized in a groundbreaking applied learning requirement, was commended recently during SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher’s testimony at the New York State Assembly Higher Education Committee’s hearing on college affordability.

During the hearing, Chancellor Zimpher discussed the SUNY system’s focus on completion and affordability. “The future of our state’s competitiveness depends on us being laser-focused on investing in what works to drive completion for every student,” she said. “Getting every student ready for a career that creates a return on educational investment not just for them as individuals, but also for the state.”

She cited SUNY Cobleskill’s recent announcement of an applied learning requirement for every student as an example of an evidence-based approach to ensuring more students finish their education prepared to enter the workforce:

As a final example, I’ll point to applied learning, because applied learning opportunities have proven to increase student engagement and success during college and result in a higher rate of job placement following graduation. […] SUNY Cobleskill and Alfred State recently elevated their roles as destinations for hands-on education, with a requirement that all students complete an applied learning opportunity before they graduate. This will ensure students have hands-on learning experiences before they graduate and help them find long-term success in New York’s workforce.

In questioning Chancellor Zimpher, Assemblymember Patricia Fahy also applauded SUNY Cobleskill’s focus on applied learning.

“I’m thrilled to read about Cobleskill and Alfred,” she said. “I know internships are one of the single biggest factors in making sure students are employed at the end [of their education].”

(You can view the full video here)