It is that time of year again when faculty and administrators are looking closely at the entrance and the exit doors of their schools. How many first year students are we attracting to the DeMatteis School for Fall 2018? And how many seniors are we bestowing degrees on during the graduation ceremonies coming up on May 20th? Of the latter, at least, we have a hard and fast number; on the former there is still some fluidity as late applicants are processed through the system and go through New Student Orientation during the summer months. The solid number we have is that we are graduating the largest number of students since our inception as a school, indeed since the Department of Engineering and Department of Computer Science was part of the Hofstra College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. That number is about 130 for the academic year, well above last year’s total of 116, which was the first time we were in double digits.
Thanks in no small measure to the DeMatteis Co-op Program, more and more of our graduates are entering full-time employment with some knowledge of life beyond the classroom. We like to think that we are preparing them better for that world through innovations in the way we teach – starting with their first-year team-building and immersion in the design process, which enables them to develop the durable skills that employers look for. We want our graduates to remain curious, mentally agile, and ready to solve problems, cognizant of societal impact. It is always gratifying to hear from graduates who reflect that profile as they advance in their chosen fields – whether in technical work, or management of people, or in fields no longer having a direct bearing on technology. Whatever their professional trajectory, we hope that we have contributed to their personal and professional growth as they mature.
We are holding our annual recognition luncheon for our upcoming graduates and their families on Saturday May 19th, the day before they officially earn their degrees. It is an opportunity for us to meet the family members who encouraged them, and are usually as excited for their sons and daughters as the newly minted graduates are themselves. We are still accumulating information from the students that will tell us where this class of graduates have gotten jobs. Of course, there are the students going on to master’s and PhD programs, whose success always reflects on the DeMatteis School’s reputation as a top-flight undergraduate school. But so too does being hired at one of the many great technical companies in the metropolitan area, many of which are already partnering with us in the co-op program.
So this is a somewhat wistful time as we say goodbye to students who have been with us for years, but we strongly encourage them to keep in touch, which is especially easy, since we now have an active alumni group specifically for the DeMatteis School, and all our graduates get our twice-a-year e-newsletter. Additionally, graduates can stay abreast of day to day news by following us on Twitter at DeMatteis School@HofstraSEAS and joining our Linkedin Group, Hofstra University Fred DeMatteis School of Engineering & Applied Science.
And then for us, there is summer orientation . . . .and the cycle of collegiate education starts for another cohort of potential computer science and engineering majors.