Three City University of New York (CUNY) campuses—Macaulay Honors College, Hostos Community College and Lehman College—have joined forces to create a New Media Jobs Incubator and Innovation Lab. The inter-campus project will lead to the creation of new businesses and a diverse employee candidate pool, ready to work in New York City media companies.
The three campuses were awarded a total of $4.6 million to launch the Jobs Incubator and Innovation Lab as part of Governor Cuomo’s CUNY 2020 initiative. The Governor’s initiative awarded eight highly competitive grants totaling $55 million to CUNY campuses that demonstrated how their programs would successfully connect academic excellence to economic development to create more jobs by the year 2020.
The Jobs Incubator will offer professionally focused, project-oriented workshops and business development training to promising student entrepreneurs, helping them build projects and start businesses that serve local and regional communities. The Innovation Lab will provide access to expertise and opportunities required to launch the best ideas on a much larger scale. The rigorous academic program, which will offer an honors track and will specifically recruit a more diverse student body, is expected to graduate 200 candidates per year by the fifth year of the program.
“The CUNY 2020 program is designed to connect the innovative, academic programs offered by New York City’s public universities to local economic development,” Governor Cuomo said. “In today’s economy, universities are not just classrooms and research facilities; they support thousands of local jobs and are often the top economic driver in local communities. With these awards, the State is pleased to provide funding that will help CUNY continue to offer a world-class education to hundreds of thousands of students, while also supporting new jobs and investment in the surrounding communities.”
“We are proud to collaborate with Macaulay and Hostos Community College on this robust New Media Program and Incubator,” says Dr. Ricardo R. Fernández, President of Lehman College. “This collaborative project will enable students to learn and enhance their skills by which they can truly develop and nurture their ideas and their dreams, lifting up our community in the process.”
The intercampus, integrated educational experience also provides students from all three campuses the ability to co-create and learn from one another’s diverse backgrounds and perspectives. The opportunity for increased interaction and collaboration among students will help develop useful skills that further success in the workplace. The partner colleges plan to create a new joint undergraduate major in user interface/user experience, with coursework in a variety of digital media. Together, the three institutions will create a pathway from associates to master’s degrees.
The New Media Jobs Incubator and Innovation Lab are strengthened by the resources of the three colleges and the sharing of resources creates more efficiencies and opportunities for students and industries. The program will capitalize on the strengths of the campuses’ existing digital media programs to offer coordinated coursework in transmedia creative development, game design, music production, animation, digital design and graphics, and studies surrounding the cultural context of media production. Students will have opportunities to develop skills in digital studio technologies, production and postproduction, entrepreneurship, marketplace analysis, social media marketing and distribution.
“We are equipping the technology workforce and tech entrepreneurs of the future with the skills they need and access to experiential learning that will benefit both individuals and the NYC economy,” said Dean Ann Kirschner, Macaulay Honors College.
“We are thrilled to receive this grant to support the talented Hostos media design students. This program will allow them to get the experience and skills needed to distinguish themselves and succeed in a field with great demand for jobs. This is a win-win program for everyone, for the colleges, the students and New York City,” said Hostos President Félix V. Matos Rodríguez. The job incubator at Hostos will be housed at 610 Exterior Street in the Bronx, annexed to the historical Bronx Terminal Market.