PBN: Dorms next step in NEIT growth

Fantastic story published recently in the Providence Business news about New England Tech’s history and more importantly its future plans.

GROWTH PLAN: New England Institute of Technology President Richard I. Gouse has four decades at the helm of the school. He’s currently overseeing the school’s expansion, which includes both degrees and its physical assets.

GROWTH PLAN: New England Institute of Technology President Richard I. Gouse has four decades at the helm of the school. He’s currently overseeing the school’s expansion, which includes both degrees and its physical assets. PBN PHOTO/MICHAEL SALERNO

By Patricia Daddona
PBN Staff Writer

12/1/14

Richard I. Gouse, president of the New England Institute of Technology for the past 43 years, is leading a new phase of growth at the commuter-based school to accommodate residential students.

NEIT has two Warwick campuses, and a third on 226 acres in East Greenwich. It is at the larger campus that plans for a $120 million expansion announced in early October are beginning to unfold.

It’s all a long way from where the school was in 1971, when Gouse and his late father, Julian, revived the failing New England Technical Institute founded by Ernest Earle in 1940.

“When I started in 1971, we were located in an old mill in South Providence,” he said. “It was pretty grim.”

By 1976, Gouse had broadened the mission of the school, turning it into the nonprofit, degree-granting college it is today.

Now, as the school continues to develop programming for more than 3,000 students, plans spanning the next three years will provide more than 300,000 square feet of new facilities, including a first-ever, 400-plus-room, on-campus dormitory, more classroom space, and a greater focus on information technology.

PBN: You’ve been president since 1971, when there were just four programs of study and 70 students. What potential did you see for this school then?

GOUSE: It was obvious that the hands-on technologies were becoming more sophisticated even in 1971, and if we wanted to grow in that direction of training people who were going to be able to perform in the job market, I thought we needed something more. That’s when I thought of making this into a college where the students could get a liberal arts background and get a chance to become a little more sophisticated.

PBN: What do you think a liberal arts or undergraduate degree adds to the technical skills?

GOUSE: As we all can see, technology is moving at the speed of light; things are changing very quickly. In order to be successful, you have to be able to grow and develop in your profession. And a liberal arts degree, which teaches a student to research, to grow, has become essential.

PBN: Where are you attracting students from?

GOUSE: Well, it’s a commuting school. That’s good and it also has its limitations. What we’re doing is addressing the limitations.

Right now, we’re [attracting] Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island [students]. We’re getting a lot more interest than we ever did before from outside of the state, even foreign countries, because of the uniqueness of some of the programs that we offer. And that really has moved us into that expansion mode.

The only way this school can expand, given the demographics of the immediate area, is to attract people from outside the immediate area.

We have a growing, older demographic in Rhode Island, we have declining [numbers of] high school graduates in Rhode Island and we have no growth in population. So if you want to stay at 2,900 or 3,000 students, we probably could, but if we want to expand and grow, it’s going to have to be from outside the immediate area. And that’s why we’re [adding] housing.

PBN: How will the relationship between the East Greenwich and two Warwick campuses evolve as you undergo this $120 million expansion?

GOUSE: This all began in 2007. We started planning for this development, and our initial thoughts were that we would bring everything to this campus.

PBN: Obviously, you didn’t build this building [on the East Greenwich campus], Brooks Pharmacy did, but did you have plans before that?

GOUSE: We were planning on locating a campus. We were in Warwick; that was fine for what we thought we were doing at that point, but when it came to a thought of expanding, we were landlocked.

One of the main parts of our planning back then was the ability to sell the Post Road campus. What happened in 2008 is, the real estate market fell apart, and our ability to sell became limited.

So, we kind of crept back into that Post Road facility. Eventually, we’d like to be all on one campus, but economically, the right thing to do is to still use that facility. And the square footage we have there now we need; we’re using it.

PBN: You’ve talked about expansion as an idea; how does it fit into your long-range plan?

GOUSE: The whole expansion plan is really a move toward allowing the students to have the more traditional college experience, as well as still concentrating on the commuting student. This changes the student’s experience entirely. It will allow for extracurricular athletics on campus, the living experience. Hopefully, it will appeal to a whole new group of people – although our students that are presently commuting are also very enthusiastic about this kind of development. I think they would really appreciate the identification of this school in the general public as being a true university.

PBN: How much housing are you building?

GOUSE: There are two stages, the first with 400 beds. And we’re presently housing through a cooperative effort with our housing coordinator off campus.

PBN: Besides attracting out-of-state and foreign students, are there other rationales for expanding now?

GOUSE: Just the addition of other programs that we think would be really valuable. We’re constantly in touch with the employers in this area. We have an extensive technical advisory committee [of] 300 people. We want to hear from them about new programs and what changes we need in existing programs.

PBN: What’s the time frame for the expansion?

GOUSE: [For] the first part of it, there’s going to be an expansion in this building that’s going to occur in the spring. [But] because the 220 acres needs roadways, we have wetlands that we’ve got provision to cross, so we have to bridge the wetlands, we have to bring in sewer, water and electricity. That’s a $4 million job that’s being done right now. That will enable future expansion. And there’s a $15 million addition to this building that is going to begin in the spring. Sometime in the fall of 2015, there’ll be [construction of] the dormitories, which are supposed to be ready in the fall of 2017.

PBN: How important is it to try and stylistically match what you have here?

GOUSE: Very important. You do want a lasting, appealing campus and that’s where we’re headed. The architecture is critical to tie it all together – not necessarily have it look all the same, but have a feel that it all belongs together. While you were right in remembering this building being Brooks, what happened was Rite-Aid bought Brooks in 2007. This building had been built with a shell inside that really wasn’t a finished interior.

PBN: You’re expanding offerings in information technology, advanced manufacturing, sciences, architecture, engineering, video and audio production. What is demand like?

GOUSE: Rhode Island’s an interesting place, OK? We talk about a skills gap, but what we really do need is more high-tech jobs.

During the recession it was actually challenging for our kids even in IT to find the jobs they were looking for in Rhode Island. We would like to see more good jobs coming into Rhode Island, and hopefully there will be.

Right now, [more than] 90 percent of our students seeking jobs are getting jobs within a short time after they graduate – in fact most of them before they graduate – but I would like to see more good companies coming into Rhode Island, more employment possibilities. I think that’s really very important.

But if we expand into housing, we will be getting students from outside this area. And then it becomes more of a function of what the employability is for where they’re going to be going. The biggest problem here isn’t that the colleges aren’t providing enough talent for the local business community. The biggest challenge here is to have more opportunities for these students.

PBN: You have a new online RN-to-BSN program: Do you plan more online programming? Or is this designed to fill an unmet need?

GOUSE: Let’s talk about the RN-to-BSN program first. The field of nursing is moving away from associate degree-level nurses. They’re really looking to have a more sophisticated, better-trained level of nursing, and that’s where the BSN comes in. The hospitals are asking nurses to get to this level. [The program] received accreditation less than a year ago. The tuition rate is far lower than an on-campus program; it offers a lot for those people looking to make that move.

In general, it really benefits the students to come here and have an on-the-job-type environment, working with the actual equipment. For audio-video production, we have two HD television studios; it’s very hard to teach that on the Internet.

But we [also] offer a hybrid program where the students can come here on a more flexible schedule and actually get the lab experience, that hands-on job environment training, but then take a lot of their courses on a distance-learning basis.

PBN: How are you financing the expansion?

GOUSE: The school has not to this point done a real lot of borrowing. I think we have outstanding about $49 million for this building and the other campuses. And by the time this expansion happens, we hope our endowment will be in the neighborhood of $200 million. Between bonding and our endowment, we will at least be able to fund this portion of our expansion.

PBN: Will there be an impact on tuition?

GOUSE: No.

PBN: Any plans to expand master’s degrees?

GOUSE: We’ve just received approval for our third master’s degree. It’s in construction management. And … the New England Association [of Schools and Colleges], our accrediting body, they require you to apply for the first, second and third master’s degree. After that, you can apply to be exempted from making further applications. So, that’s what we plan on doing a year from now. The construction-management degree will be offered in the spring.

PBN: So how long did it take you to design this program?

GOUSE: It probably took a year.

STEVE KITCHIN: [NEIT’s vice president of corporate education and training]: About 22 years ago the hospital association said, ‘Look, things are changing in the operating room; we don’t need two nurses; we only need one.’ Within the time that we had that conversation with the hospitals [to create surgical technology programming]: we had labs built, curriculum developed, we had staff hired – within six months.

If we’re not keeping our ears to the ground about the demand side of the labor market, we’re not doing our job here. Everything we’re doing here is based on demand-side economics and preparing our kids to meet that demand. Richard has built an environment here where we all feel very entrepreneurial.

PBN: So you’ve been here 43 years. What more do you envision for the school … and the expansion?

GOUSE: It probably will take me the next 43 years! There’s a lot of things to be done. And that [rendering of the campus layout] is a 50-year plan. If you’re going to have a true college experience, you’re going to have to have all of the things that the kids want and dormitories alone won’t do that. You’re going to have to have an athletic program; a more aggressive extracurricular program.

PBN: Now, you don’t have another 43 years to complete the vision, but have you thought about succession planning?

GOUSE: I do believe the best kind of succession program is when you develop talent within the organization. I’m not a tremendous fan of doing a nationwide search for people who look like they’d be the right fit – especially when you have a unique culture, which we do have here.

So, we have a number of people here who are hopefully moving up and I think they all buy into the kind of culture that we have here, which is important. That’s where I hope we’ll find the talent for the future. •

Visit the Providence Business for more info

Tech First at FIRST Tech

Great blog story about FIRST and the importance of STEM fields from Congressman Jim Langevin.

From Fall 2014 Congressman Jim Langevin:

Tech First at FIRST Tech

It is a joy to attend FIRST robotics competitions each year, to watch the program grow into the towering success that it is today, and to see the interest and participation increase year to year. These programs are vital to spurring interest in the fields of science, math, engineering and technology.

As co-chair of the Congressional Career and Technical Education Caucus, I continually advocate for programs that increase enrollment in STEM fields. Closing the skills gap by giving students and workers the tools to succeed in the modern economy is how we will create an economy built to last. FIRST is one of my favorite student outreach programs, and it has already inspired countless students to pursue careers in STEM. For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology, or FIRST as it is known, was founded by my friend Dean Kamen – a brilliant innovator who uses his ideas to push the boundaries of health care, science and technology. Among his many distinguished achievements, he has invented the first portable insulin pump, an advanced robotic arm, the Segway and my personal IBOT wheelchair.

Dean can now add teacher to his resume, as the FIRST competition has done an exceptional job at engaging young people and getting them excited about learning. That enthusiasm is palpable. I couldn’t believe how excited the students were at the FIRS

via Fall 2014 | Congressman Jim Langevin.

Career Services held IT recruiting event

New England Tech’s Career Services held a mini-recruiting event on Wednesday, November 5, 2014 for Information Technology graduates and upcoming graduates.

Five employers were on-campus to recruit and meet students and graduates from all the Information Technology programs.

The event was designed to help these companies fill current positions at their companies. 

It was also a great networking event for students not yet looking for employment and also gives students an opportunity to learn more about companies who hire New England Tech graduates.  As well as determine a company students may wish to apply to as they get closer to graduation.

If you were unable to attend this event and are a NEIT graduate, contact Career Services by phone at 800-736-7744 ext. 3457 , job info and contact info for recruiters will be supplied to you.

 

Vinny Ritoli named NEIT Instructor

Vinny Ritoli

Vinny Ritoli

Vinny Ritoli has worked as an adjunct instructor at NEIT since 2007, teaching courses in Design, GUI Design, Flash, Javascript, HTML 5, XHTML, CSS, Digital Audio, and Digital Editing. He has developed courses for both the Information Technology and Graphic, Multimedia and Web Design programs.

As a freelance designer and developer, Vinny is the founder of Imagery Studio, which specializes in web animation and interactive website design. He has developed projects for a wide range of clients in diverse fields including 20th Century Fox, the Hospital Association of Rhode Island, First Look Pictures, and Biowater Technology. He has also worked on the designs for NEIT’s new Library website and that of the Center for Technology and Industry. In addition to web design, he also designs for print (logos, letterhead, business cards) and marketing (advertisements, brochures). Previous to developing his own company, Vinny worked for SilverLight Productions as a multimedia designer.

Vinny has a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Visual Communications from American Intercontinental University and an Associate in Science Degree in Multimedia Design from NEIT.

Chris Arsenault named Assistant Professor

Chris Arsenault has been an adjunct instructor in Information Technology, teaching programming for game development since 2009, including game persistence and game architecture at beginner, intermediate and advanced levels.

Chris holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Studio Art with a Computer Science minor from Rhode Island College and has put both his artistic and technical talents to use in a variety of occupations. As a self-employed producer/photographer/artist, he has produced high quality bridal, family, and event photography as well as media production, slide shows, presentations, videos and websites. In addition, he has been a software engineer and the architect of an extendable screensaver framework, which served as the primary product foundation of a software development/new media company.

As an independent author/developer, he worked on improving multimedia authoring tools, 2D animation systems, and plug-ins to provide end users with very rapid multimedia design software. Chris has also done instructional design at GTECH, creating and teaching a course for lottery systems operation that was modular and adaptable to customized instruction. At Rhode Island College, he was Development Manager for Project Clio, producing a computer-based introductory Western Civilization course, used at over ten colleges and universities nationwide.

NEIT VP talks Jobs, Jobs, Jobs with Dan Yorke’s State of Mind

New England Institute of Technology’s Vice President of Corporate Education and Training sat down with Dan Yorke recently for a candid conversation about “Jobs, Jobs, Jobs” in Rhode Island.

“There are opportunities in Rhode Island and they are all related to skills.  Twenty to twenty-seven jobs that have the most need in Rhode Island require an Associate degree or better” said Kitchin.

For more information about any of New England Tech’s over 40 Associate, Bachelor’s, Master’s and Online degree programs, call Admissions at 800-736-7744 ext. 3357 or email NEITAdmissions@neit.edu or for additional information about the SAMI program, call 800-736-7744 ext. 3700 or email info@samiri.org.

Annette Niemczyk, A “Woman to Watch”

Annette Niemczyk

Annette Niemczyk

NEIT graduate, Annette Niemczyk, received a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Information Systems Technology, Networking Concentration, in September, 2004, and an Associate in Science degree in Computer Servicing Technology in March, 2003. Since that time, Annette has worked at Envision Technology Advisors in Pawtucket, RI, for 11 years.

Her hard work and dedication to the field of Information Technology was recently recognized by Providence Business News (PBN). Annette was nominated by the CEO of her company, Todd Knapp. She was named a “Woman to Watch” in the Technical Services category of this year’s Business Women Awards program from PBN. Annette joins 11 other award winners and 12 Achievement Honorees for 2014. As she stated, “I am honored to have been selected for this award. Technology has always been one of my passions, and it has been an amazing and rewarding experience climbing the ladder both technically and professionally with Envision.” 

Because of her commitment to excellence, Annette is reaping many rewards. She now shares her story with Tech News readers. 

What made you decide to attend NEIT? 

When I was first deciding on a career path, I was interested in Information Technology (IT) and athletics but knew that IT would be a better long term option. I had completed my freshman year at UMass Dartmouth. I was two weeks away from starting my sophomore year and decided that the IT program at UMass didn’t offer the courses I really wanted. I heard about New England Tech and quickly realized that its IT program was more focused in the areas I wanted to pursue, which is networking and infrastructure.  I was impressed with the hands-on approach to learning as well.  Because of the October start, the timing worked out perfectly for me.   

How did you choose your program? 

I was always interested in computers growing up, especially the physical characteristics. New England Tech’s networking program was very specific for what I wanted to do as a career. 

What did you do to get started with your career? 

One of my professors knew the owner of Envision Technology Advisors. During my last year at New England Tech, Envision was looking for interns, and my name came up. I worked as an intern from August, 2003 to September, 2004, at which time I graduated from NEIT.  I got my business cards and was asked to come on full-time as an engineer!  Internships are so important for students to get their careers going.  Seeing the day-to-day operations of a company are so valuable.

Tell us about your position. 

The company was growing quickly and because of my work ethic, I was promoted from Engineer to Senior Engineer within two years. In my current position as Senior Engineer, I provide IT services in the areas of infrastructure, security, networking, and virtualization. I work with two types of clients. First, I work with clients on their day-to-day operations, which involves consulting and helping them build their business from a technical aspect. These duties may include hands-on work or depending on the size of the company, I may be consulting with the IT Department developing its strategy. For the second type of client, I work as an engineer executing high level projects from start to finish.  

What do you feel ultimately prepared you for your position? 

My internship at Envision was the key to my success. It bridged the gap from book knowledge to real world experience. My classes were good, especially those that were hands-on. The hands-on classes really sparked my interest and made it stick! 

Do you have any advice for graduates who are just beginning their job search? 

My biggest piece of advice is to be hungry to learn. That motivation and drive you need to get through the learning process at the entry level will get you to the next level.  You have to be willing to put in the effort upfront to get what you want in the end.  You have to earn where you want to go. It just doesn’t happen. 

What can current students do to better prepare themselves for jobs in this field?

Get out and look for internships. Look for industry exposure.  That is the biggest thing a student can do. All the certifications are great, but getting practical real world exposure is what counts.

STEM jobs among most promising in next 10 years | Prosperity 2020

This isn’t really news to New England Tech but we know that jobs in STEM related fields continue to be difficult to fill.  Which means it isn’t be said enough.

From Prosperity 2020:

Students entering the workforce in the next decade may want to think hard about math, science and tech degrees. U.S. News and World Report recently compiled a list of The 25 Best Jobs to pursue by 2020, and 8 of the top 10 are STEM-related careers.

Jobs were ranked by projected growth, employment rate, average salary, prospects and overall job satisfaction. It’s no surprise that tech jobs dominate the top ten, with professionals reporting high job satisfaction and solid salaries. The most promising aspect of the report predicts that openings for these positions will match growth and demand, allowing students and workers to find employment in their chosen fields.

U.S. News and World Report also highlights the important roles STEM students will play in the future economy. “A technology revolution reshaping the energy sector through streamlined operations, increased production, and improved distribution will create ample job opportunities for college graduates over the next decade…. College grads with technical and advanced degrees will be needed to fill lucrative positions as engineers, scientists, and technicians.”

In other words, there’s never been a better time to plan for and pursue a career in math, science and tech. The industry will comprise countless jobs in the near future, and young students with STEM inclinations should

via STEM jobs among most promising in next 10 years | Prosperity 2020.

If you would like additional information about any of New England Tech’s over 40 Associate, Bachelor’s and Master’s degree programs.

More Information | Apply Now

Contact the Admissions Office at 800-736-7744 or email NEITAdmissions@neit.edu 

Graduate Feedback

“(I) also wanted to note, every place I interviewed was extremely impressed with not just what I know, but the fact that I went to NEIT. Your school has an excellent reputation out in the professional world. It really allowed me to pick and choose who I wanted to work for (I received many job offers before accepting this one).”  Justin Viera 3/2010 Associate degree in Network Engineering Technology and currently enrolled in the Bachelor degree in Network Engineering Technology 

If you would like additional information about any of New England Tech’s over 40 Associate, Bachelor’s and Master’s degree programs.

More Information | Apply Now

Contact the Admissions Office at 800-736-7744 or email NEITAdmissions@neit.edu 

You’re Getting Innovation All Wrong

If you think Innovation is only for Einstein, you’re wrong.  Innovation is about being finding a better, creative way to do ANYTHING!  Anyone can be innovative.  Let’s get creative.

From LinkedIn.com:

You’re Getting Innovation All Wrong

You hear the word “innovation” all the time these days, especially as it relates to competitive advantage. Most people just see innovation as a rare big bang. It’s a lot more than that.

In reality, innovation is a series of little steps that, cumulatively, lead up to a big deal that changes the game. Yet in so many companies today, everyone defaults to thinking, “Innovation… Einstein. Edison. Jobs.” “That’s for somebody else, some genius.”

The word just scares the bejesus out of everyone.

“I can’t innovate.”

“I can’t come up with a new theory of relativity or a new lightbulb or a new iPad. I’ll leave that for the crowd over there to do.”

That’s all the wrong headset. Organizations should make it their mission to reward every little incremental improvement their people make. There’s a saying we’ve been using for the past 15 years or so with all the companies we work with: “Find a better way every day.”

It’s not just a slogan, it’s an operating principle. You want to engage every single person on your team to find a better way. You want to champion them for doing it and make a celebration out of what they improve, whether it be a more efficient accounting system, launching a new customer program, or making a screw in a factory turn a little faster to make things run a little better. Those are the real innovations. And together, with every mind in the game, they are what makes a company competitive.

So when you think about innovation, don’t let it scare you. Don’t let it be a buzzword that isolates 10 people in your company while the other 90 sit on the sidelines, waiting for the innovators to innovate. You’ve got to make innovation everyone’s job, all the time.

via You’re Getting Innovation All Wrong | LinkedIn.