Stony Brook University Logo and Title
Photo: Stony Brook banners in front of trees
News Page Title Bar
 Top News
 General University News
 SB Medicine News
 Children's Hospital
 Faculty/Student Awards
 Conferences & Events
 Media Advisories
 Press Clips
 Student Media Briefings

General University News
Press Release

Governor Cuomo Announces $12 Million For 36 SUNY Campuses to Train Students in High Needs Fields

Jun 7, 2013 - 2:38:22 PM

Email this article
 Printer friendly page
STONY BROOK, NY, June 7, 2013 – Stony Brook University received $2.45M in funding for eight areas of study from the SUNY High Needs Program, announced yesterday by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo. In a June 6 press release, Governor Cuomo announced that 63 programs from 36 SUNY campuses will receive more than $12 million in funding over the next three years to support workforce development in high-need career fields throughout New York State. Stony Brook will receive a total of $2.45M in funding for its programs including Advanced Manufacturing Design ($118,500); Civil Engineering ($309,984), Electrical Engineering with Binghamton University and University at Buffalo ($615,000), Computer Systems ($331,000), Clinical Laboratory Science ($555,453), Physical Therapy ($168,000), Nursing ($255,000), and Quantitative Biology to meet workforce needs in Biomedicine, Biotechnology and Healthcare ($94,000).

A complete listing and descriptions of Stony Brook University programs to receive funding this year is available below.

The SUNY High Needs Program was established to meet state demand for nurses and engineers. SUNY recently worked with the NYS Department of Labor (DOL) and Empire State Development (ESD) to determine which career fields should be added to the program to answer today’s state-wide workforce demands as well as current needs by region. Occupations are considered high need if they are projected to have a large number of total openings, a high growth rate, or a combination of both in the coming years, based on DOL data.

“The High Needs Program and others like it are helping fulfill SUNY’s original purpose: to be world class institutions that foster cutting edge innovation and train the next generation of high tech workers,” said Governor Cuomo in the press release. “SUNY is leading the way in the workforce training that is tailored to the jobs of tomorrow. Coupled with the Tax-Free NY initiative, this program will encourage new entrepreneurs to start their businesses in New York, keep their business in New York, grow their businesses in New York and, most importantly, hire New Yorkers.”
“The impact that SUNY’s High Need Program has already had on New York State has been substantial, with more than 1,000 students per year added or retrained in nursing and engineering, alone, since 2006,” said Chancellor Zimpher. “By expanding our target fields to include emerging 21st-century demands, we are ensuring that SUNY students are graduating with the skills and expertise that New York employers are looking for.”

“This funding will help establish new programs and augment existing programs at Stony Brook University to educate and train students so they are prepared to launch into a viable, prosperous career right here in New York,” said Stony Brook President Samuel L. Stanley Jr., M.D. “The SUNY High Needs Program is an excellent concept that complements the many economic development and workforce training initiatives established under Governor Cuomo’s leadership, and we are excited to begin enrolling new students into our eight newly-funded High Needs programs at Stony Brook.”

Within the area of renewable-clean energy, the top five occupations that DOL has identified as a high need for New York are civil engineers, environmental engineers, electrical and electronics engineering technicians, heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration mechanics and installers, and mechanical engineers.
Occupations within the area of biomedical-biotechnical including biological technicians, chemical technicians, and medical/clinical laboratory technicians are considered high need; and the state needs to keep pace with a national trend seeking experts in information technology such as Cloud computing, smartphones, tablets, and easily accessible software applications.
“Without the SUNY High Needs Program, these campuses could not provide the instructional and support staff and specialized equipment needed to enroll more students in these fields,” said SUNY Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost David K. Lavallee.
Program funding is competitive and limited to one to three years of support for new program development or program expansion, so that the program can continue to be flexible and adjust to changing state needs. To receive funding, campuses must demonstrate how their program will become self-sustaining after the three-year period.  
“We commend SUNY’s commitment to serve as a key engine of revitalization for New York State’s economy, and we were extremely pleased to learn that SUNY will fund eight of Stony Brook’s proposals for three years,” said Dennis N. Assanis, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs at Stony Brook University. “The SUNY High Needs Program is an intentional effort to link SUNY’s academic programs, where possible, to specific workforce needs of the state – programs that connect directly to occupations crucial to the economic vitality of New York, such as engineering, technology and healthcare, and which enables Stony Brook to collaborate with other SUNY campuses, and further contribute to the economic growth in the Long Island region and in New York State.”



Undergraduate Minor in Advanced Manufacturing and Design with a focus on the energy industry.

The Department of Materials Science and Engineering in the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences received $118,500 in funding to be used for development of a multidisciplinary Undergraduate Minor in Advanced Manufacturing and Design with a focus on the energy industry which will be linked to corresponding enhancements in graduate-level course at Stony Brook. Dr. Gary Halada is the department contact.


The economic future of New York State and the world relies on the development of sustainable energy technologies. An obstacle to the commercialization of any new technology is developing a low-cost and reliable method of mass production. A new technology yields limited job creation and limited economic growth until the mass production hurdle is overcome. It is therefore essential that New York State prepare a workforce that is skilled in advanced manufacturing and design techniques to support these new technologies and complete the process from idea to commercialization to economic growth.

About the Program
Courses, including hands-on laboratories, will be developed in collaboration with an industrial advisory board, with input from the Advanced Energy Research Center and the Long Island Forum for Technology’s Advanced Materials and Manufacturing Technology Innovation Center. Outreach and recruitment will be enhanced through collaboration with Suffolk County Community College and other members of the LIAEC. Special attention will be paid to building recruitment efforts for underrepresented and underserved populations, building on current programs and Stony Brook’s Center for Inclusive Education. Pedagogically, we will take advantage of proven methodologies (problem-based, inquiry-based and project-based learning) and opportunities presented by new learning technologies (electronic portfolios and on-line and hybrid courses). The potential for degree and certificate programs in advanced manufacturing will also be explored, and partnerships will be developed with industrial associations and companies to make courses available to current employees in an effort to enhance competitiveness.

Double the current enrollment in the Civil Engineering program.

The Department of Civil Engineering in the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences received $309,984 in funding to be used to double the current enrollment in the Civil Engineering program at Stony Brook University from roughly 25 students to 50 students per year, resulting in an estimated increase of about 125 students in total after four years. It will also be used to improve the quality of the curriculum by improving the laboratory experience. Funding through the High Needs Program will provide much needed testing equipment currently not available in the laboratories. Harold W. Walker, Director of Civil Engineering, is the department contact.

The current demand for Civil Engineers in New York and Long Island, as well as the rest of the United States, is strong and is projected to remain so over the next decade. As the only Civil Engineering program on Long Island, Stony Brook University must play an important role in meeting the demand for a well-trained civil engineering workforce. To do this, these funds will be used to improve and expand our undergraduate Civil Engineering Laboratories. Currently, the major bottleneck to serving more students and providing a more enriching learning experience in the Civil Engineering program at Stony Brook University is the availability of laboratory equipment. The purchase of additional laboratory equipment, to supplement currently planned purchases, will provide the opportunity to run laboratories with smaller group sizes.


Support a joint proposal among three SUNY campuses – Stony Brook, Binghamton and Buffalo – to offer an online Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering.

The Department of Electrical Engineering in the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences received $615,000 in funding to support a joint proposal among three SUNY campuses – Stony Brook, Binghamton and Buffalo – to offer an online bachelor of science degree in Electrical Engineering. Wendy Tang is the Department Contact.


CEAS will use this funding to expand the online program in Electrical Engineering on all three campuses initiated six years ago through a Sloan Foundation grant to SUNY. The broad objective of the expanded program, embracing the Open SUNY concept articulated by Chancellor Zimpher, is to significantly increase opportunities for professional engineering education, thereby enhancing the technical work force in New York and the nation.

About the Program
To accomplish the overall goal of originating the online BSEE degree program at all three participating institutions, specific project objectives include (1) providing a unique, robust, personalized learning experience for students,  (2) expanding offerings of high-quality online laboratory courses, (3) supporting faculty in online teaching, instructional design and course development (4) developing an effective strategy for learning outcome assessment that is specific to online education, and 5) obtaining ABET accreditation.

Develop two undergraduate specializations in Computer Systems.

The Department of Computer Science in the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences received $331,000 in funding to develop two undergraduate specializations in Computer Systems – one in Systems Software Development for Computer Science (CSE) majors and the second in Systems Administration for Information Systems (ISE) majors. Yacov Shamash, Dean, is the department contact.

These undergraduate specializations in Computer Science will produce graduates who not only possess the education required for careers in Information Technology and Computer Science, but also have specific skills in areas required by an expanding New York State workforce.

About the Program
Besides developing the curricula and new courses, we will also build a Computer Systems and Networking Laboratory to provide students with hands‐on experience. Lastly, we will hire a new faculty member with expertise in Computer Systems, specifically for delivering the curricula associated with these two specializations. Other faculty will also teach courses in these two specializations. The CSE specialization in Systems Software Development will train CSE majors to become systems software developers/programmers, while the new ISE specialization in Systems Administration will prepare ISE majors for jobs as computer systems and network administrators.

Develop a distance learning part-time Bachelor of Science program in Clinical Laboratory Science.

The Clinical Laboratory Science Department in the School of Health Technology and Management received $555,453 in funding to develop a distance learning part-time Bachelor of Science program in Clinical Laboratory Science, providing for an estimated 75 new enrolled students over a three year period, and 25 annually thereafter. The goal of this three-year project is to expand Stony Brook’s educational capacity in order to increase the number of individuals eligible for full NYS licensure, which provides for the greatest range of employment opportunities of the three license options. Kathleen Finnegan is the department contact.

Laboratory professionals include clinical laboratory scientists (CLS) and certified clinical laboratory technicians (CLT). The educational requirement for CLT is an Associate’s Degree, whereas CLS requires a Bachelor’s Degree. Since August 2008, a NYS license is required to practice as a CLS or as a CLT. The law allows three options: full license, limited license or restricted license. Limited licenses are issued to allow working professionals time to complete the educational requirements for CLT or CLS and pass the NYS licensure examination. Restricted licenses are issued to work exclusively in a specific area of the Clinical Laboratory Sciences, such as cytogenetics or molecular diagnosis. Many laboratory professionals are fully licensed, but a great number are working with a limited license that will expire in September 2013.

Expand the Physical Therapy Program by 20 students each year on the Southampton Campus.

The Physical Therapy Program in the School of Health Technology and Management received $168,000 in funding to expand its current program by 20 students each year, starting in summer 2013. This expansion will occur at the Stony Brook Southampton location. Richard W. Johnson is the department contact.

This program expansion will help alleviate the current and future shortage of physical therapists in New York State.

About the Program
The High Needs funding will support the following start-up efforts at the Southampton location using facility space that is currently allocated to the Physical Therapy program: personnel costs for a post-doctoral anatomical science instructor to accommodate the 20 additional PT students in the program’s cadaver-based Gross Anatomy class; personnel costs for faculty; the purchase of examining/treatment tables, chairs, teaching technology, and office equipment; the purchase of therapeutic equipment for lab instruction; the purchase of electrical and physical modalities; support for an Administrative Assistant for the PT program at the Southampton location; and support for an Administrative Assistant to the Assistant Dean for Academic and Student Affairs.

Advance a significant increase in enrollment of highly-qualified students in the Accelerated Baccalaureate Nursing Program.

The Accelerated Baccalaureate Nursing Program (ABP) at Stony Brook University’s School of Nursing (SBU SON) received $255,000 in funding to advance a significant increase in enrollment of highly-qualified students. Brenda L. Janotha and Lori A. Escallier are the department contacts.

High Needs funding will help the School of Nursing achieve the following objectives:

  • Expand the Accelerated Baccalaureate Nursing Program by 20 percent to meet the current needs of the healthcare workforce for Registered Nurses.
  • Provide additional opportunities for qualified students with diverse backgrounds who are underrepresented, disadvantaged and/or minority applicants.
  • Develop a self-sustaining expansion through creative use of current resources, such as physical capacity, partnerships, equipment, and supplies.
  • Enhance resources, including 1 FTE clinical faculty, faculty development, student mentorship and leadership development.
  • Meet the needs predicted by the New York State Department of Labor by graduating increased numbers of highly qualified and culturally competent Registered Nurses to enter the healthcare workforce. This grant will have significant and sustained impact on the health and well-being of patients and families on Long Island and the surrounding metropolitan area.

Raise the standards, and increase the availability of practical training in quantitative biology, to meet current and future workforce needs in Biomedicine, Biotechnology and Healthcare.

The Department of Quantitative Biology and Biomedicine in the College of Arts and Sciences received $94,000 in funding to raise the standards, and increase the availability of practical training in quantitative biology, to meet current and future workforce needs in Biomedicine, Biotechnology and Healthcare. Dr. Peter Gergen in Undergraduate Biology and Dr. Maurice Kernan in Neurobiology and Behavior are the department contacts.

Building on an established, high-capacity B.S. program in Biology with a record of pedagogic innovation, CAS will develop, or upgrade and expand, lab courses in Physiology, Neurobiology and Microbiology, and support practical training for a new Specialization in Quantitative Biology and Bioinformatics.

About the Program

With this funding, the Department of Quantitative Biology and Biomedicine will equip and staff teaching laboratories for training in methods and instrumentation in neurobiology, physiology, and microbiology at the advanced B.S. level. It will support practical instruction in quantitative and computational biology, including a course in biostatistics and a new Specialization in Quantitative Biology and Bioinformatics and it will enable the department to engage regional employers, to advertise the abilities of SBU Biology graduates, elicit advice on skills in demand, and explore new areas to develop post-graduate employment.

© Stony Brook University 2013

Top of Page