Cornell is revolutionizing education in more ways than one at the new Roosevelt Island tech campus. Grad students will pioneer a new method of “learning by doing” as they’re paired with what Cornell is calling “industry mentors.”
In an effort to make the transition from classroom to workforce as seamless as possible, Cornell’s yet-to-be-built NYCTech will match graduate students with Silicon Alley entrepreneurs. While no formal curriculum has been created, the mentor program is designed to help students integrate into the tech and business communities and build relationships before graduation.
Prof. Lance Collins, dean of Cornell’s College of Engineering told The Cornell Daily Sun how vital experience outside of the classroom is. “We feel that connectivity to the business community is really an important part of this whole commercialization focus in New York City. There’s a certain ‘learning by doing’ aspect to commercialization,” he said. “It plugs people into others who are really knowledgeable about how to succeed as an entrepreneur.”
The Roosevelt Island program will also require grad students to take entrepreneurial and business classes while applying that knowledge to real-world business challenges through their mentorships. “Professors are great at coming up with projects and problems that help test your understanding of the fundamentals,” Prof. Daniel Huttenlocher, the new dean and vice provost of Cornell NYCTech, told The Sun. “Problems in the real world often have very different aspects to them than the kinds of problem sets or projects or assignments that a professor would come up with.”
This campus is getting more new-fangled by the minute!