SUNY Cortland’s new professional science master’s (PSM) program will be recognized in the nation’s capital this month as a symbol of success for a new approach to preparing scientific minds for the professional workforce.
Cortland’s PSM in sustainable energy systems, which accepted its first students this semester, was the 300th professional science master’s program ever created, marking an important milestone in the national effort to combine scientific learning with critical business skills.
The College’s program will be highlighted during a 300th PSM Milestone Event on Nov. 12 in the Library of Congress in Washington, DC. Bruce Mattingly, dean of SUNY Cortland’s School of Arts & Sciences, SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher and U.S. Rep. William Hanna, are among the scheduled speakers.
“As an innovative institution that prides itself on its ability to prepare students to play critically important roles in the world, this recognition means a lot to us,” President Erik J. Bitterbaum said. “Environmental and economic sustainability are among our top priorities, and we believe the PSM concept will produce the kind of business-savvy scientists, engineers and technicians needed in the modern economy.”
PSM programs offer a graduate education that weaves study in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) with business courses to create professionals who are immediately able to apply STEM know-how in practical ways. The idea, promoted by the non-profit Alfred P. Sloan Foundation since 1997, has gained momentum in recent years. Since 2007, the number of programs has jumped from 80 to 300.
SUNY Cortland became the most recent institution to offer a PSM program this fall. It will offer advanced training in the physics of renewable energy, courses geared to build professional skills in areas such as economics and communication, and a culminating internship.
Put simply, the program will support the development of high-paying “green collar” jobs in Central New York while helping to build the sustainable energy infrastructure needed for the 21st century.
“These are jobs that, by their nature, can’t be outsourced,” said Brice Smith, chair of the College’s Physics Department and the key shaper of SUNY Cortland’s PSM curriculum. “You have to be here to install the systems. It’s an area that has a lot of upside for graduates.”
Smith will accompany Dean Mattingly to the 300th Milestone Event to represent the College. In addition to public recognition at the event, the SUNY PSM Consortium created a video about SUNY Cortland’s program: http://bit.ly/18WQgaM