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New Academic Programs, Faculty, Dining Venues, and Living-Learning Communities Kick-Off the Fall Semester at UAlbany

The east addition of UAlbany's Campus Center is expected to open in a few weeks. (Photo by Hilary Knox)

ALBANY, N.Y. (August 24, 2015) - When the fall semester at the University at Albany commences on Wednesday, August 26, the campus community will return to a number of improvements designed to enhance their UAlbany experience.

  Among the changes:
• Students will benefit from new academic programs, more intramural sports, and innovative living-learning communities.
• Sixty-four new full-time faculty members will join the University, including both tenure-track and full-time lecturers. New deans will lead efforts in the areas of criminal justice, engineering and applied sciences, social welfare, and international education.
• In early September, staff, faculty and students will also have new dining venues available in the recently reconstructed east wing of the Campus Center. 

UAlbany welcomes international students, Fall 2015.

UAlbany welcomes international students from around the globe. (Photo by Mike Nolan)

New Academic Programming

This fall, UAlbany introduces a new Bachelor of Science in Informatics in the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences. There is a new Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies with a faculty-initiated concentration in Bio-instrumentation in the School of Public Health. In addition, there is a new concentration in Data Analytics in the Department of Computer Science, and a new minor in Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security, and Cybersecurity in the new college by the same name.

New graduate programs approved for the 2015-2016 year include: a Master of International Affairs; and Advanced Graduate Certificate programs in Global Health Studies, Health & Human Rights, Teaching Composition, and English Studies.       

Increased International Student Body

Recognized as one of the most diverse SUNY campuses, UAlbany welcomes international students from across the globe. The Class of 2019 alone consists of students from more than 20 countries. The University Libraries will host a reception for international students on August 24 from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. in the main library. The reception showcases the Libraries’ vast array of authoritative information resources and its teaching of critical evaluation skills.

In addition, new study abroad programs include the 2016 Alternate Spring Break courses in Costa Rica, Ecuador, and Ireland, as well as a new program in the History, Politics and Culture of Cuba.

Innovative Living-Learning Communities

UAlbany welcomes 437 new freshmen into its expansive Living-Learning Communities (L-LCs), where they are housed with students with similar interests. This represents a 35 percent increase over last year’s L-LC total of 325 freshmen. These numbers include two new types of communities and several new L-LCs:

A Targeted Learning Community (TLC) in partnership with the Economics Department. This L-LC was developed from a large lecture center economics class. Their instructor will meet with them outside of class and the University will provide additional academic support and peer mentoring.
Residential Living Communities (RLC) in partnership with Student Affairs. REACH for New York is organized around the theme of exploring all that New York has to offer and REACH for Transfer Success will help new transfers acclimate to UAlbany. There are no classes attached to these communities but the group will work to build community connections through experiential learning and mentoring.
• Joining our traditional L-LCs will be the Worlds of Global Health and Human Rights, the World of Theatre, and the World of New York Politics and Policies.

L-LCs offer students a way to form friendships through community service and to contribute to the University’s continued commitment to community engagement. More than 300 new freshmen and transfer students from the L-LCs will volunteer at the Regional Food Bank and its Patroon Farm on Saturday, August 29, and Sunday, Aug. 30. As part of their service, students will help weed, harvest, wash and box produce, while others will sort and package food and non-food products for distribution.

New Intramural Sports

Beginning this semester, Campus Recreation has tripled its intramural sports offerings -- from 12 to 36 programs. It has also added a functional fitness room for the group exercise classes and more than doubled the number of its off-campus outdoors trips.

Campus Center Expansion: New Dining Venues to Open

As part of an overall project to renovate approximately 46,000 square feet of the existing Campus Center and construct approximately 76,000 square feet of new space, construction on a new 21,000-square-foot east addition for the Campus Center will be completed in early September.

Once completed, the new addition will offer students a double-height dining room with associated market-style food service venues and a sub-basement catering kitchen served by a new service tunnel and loading dock. The east addition will offer Cusato’s pizza shop, a deli, a salad option and a grill.

Construction on a 55,000-square-foot west addition continues, and is expected to open in the spring of 2017.

A wide range of other renovations and upgrades have been completed this summer, most notably two new classrooms in the Humanities Building and two computer engineering class labs in the Earth Sciences Building.

Information Technology Upgrades

Information Technology Services (ITS) is offering the following upgrades for students:

• Students will be able to book group study rooms in the School of Business building and Library using Virtual EMS, the new campus room reservation system.
• A Blackboard update provides the course management system with improved performance and additional security enhancements.
• Photos are being added to class rosters in PeopleSoft, making the Student Information System (SIS) of record more personalized.
• ITS worked with Career Services to introduce Handshake, an online tool designed to help students, alumni and employers collaborate more effectively.
• UAlbany’s mobile app is being upgraded to include class schedules, holds, and more personal features.

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About the University at Albany
A comprehensive public research university, the University at Albany offers more than 120 undergraduate majors and minors and 125 master's, doctoral, and graduate certificate programs. UAlbany is a leader among all New York State colleges and universities in such diverse fields as atmospheric and environmental sciences, business, criminal justice, emergency preparedness, engineering and applied sciences, informatics, public administration, social welfare, and sociology taught by an extensive roster of faculty experts. It also offers expanded academic and research opportunities for students through an affiliation with Albany Law School. With a curriculum enhanced by 600 study-abroad opportunities, UAlbany launches great careers.