The new academic year is underway, and I want to welcome the class of 2022 to the DeMatteis School. When the official numbers are finally tallied, it will likely be among our largest incoming classes yet, with over 130 engineering and over 70 computer science first-year students joining the ranks of our already unprecedented number of continuing students. Even though we have been expanding our program offerings at the graduate level, undergraduate education remains our primary mission, and we continue to hire faculty who can inspire students to learn and to be ready to take their places in rewarding careers in technology, whether it be in bridge design or cybersecurity or mechatronics.
A large group of students will be returning from our highly successful co-op program after a six- to eight-month hiatus in their collegiate studies, many of them already with offers of full-time employment when they graduate in one or two more semesters. Meanwhile, another cadre will be preparing to work for one of our 150 industry partners in January. To raise the consciousness of prospective co-op participants, we are offering for the first time a non-credit bearing required course SEAS 100: Professional Development comprised of workshops, lectures and personalized training in skills necessary to prepare for the corporate work environment. Soon we hope to broaden its audience to all our second and third-year students, regardless of their intent to take advantage of co-op and internship opportunities, so that all our graduates will have attained the kind of knowledge about careers that is not conveyed through standard curricular preparation.
This past August 20th, we hosted our annual summer research colloquium in which 25 participants in ASPiRe (Advanced Summer Program in Research) presented the results of their investigations to a live audience and to viewers who could live stream the event. The students had dedicated their summers to working alongside faculty in research investigations that in many cases lead to scholarly publications, as well as giving them a good foretaste of graduate-level research. We have had a solid record of sending our top students to the premier graduate programs in the country, and this venture is the most viable conduit in directing students’ attention to that post-graduation choice.
We are seeking two first-time accreditations this Fall, as both the B.S. Computer Science and the B.S. Computer Engineering are being visited by their respective accreditation teams in early November. A lot of work has gone into the preparations within the Department of Computer Science in preparation for this visit, and of course we are hoping that we can soon boast two more accredited programs within our school. Three more degree programs will be seeking first-time accreditation in the year or two subsequent to this, so there is a lot of activity on that front.
One more project which is rapidly coming to fruition is Hofstra in Silicon Valley, slated to take place during the winter break in early 2019. We have established relationships with a number of companies doing work in cybersecurity, gaming, social media and other computer technologies who will host fifteen of our students for a week of immersive introduction to career opportunities awaiting them on graduation. These tech companies have traditionally hired very largely from West Coast universities, but we are raising our school’s visibility among them through this program, which we have subtitled (NT)2: New Talent for New Technologies.
I look forward to reporting on more DeMatteis initiatives in the coming months.