Rochester Institute of Technology is a university that is located in Henrietta, New York. The college is unique in a way that it offers art programs on one side and technology program on the other. The institute is known for its information technology, engineering, art, and photography programs (1). The school also has the oldest co-op education program in the United States (2). They offer more than 92 undergraduate degrees, 70 graduate degrees, and four doctorate programs. Students are able to work along side faculty on projects provided by the industry (3). The projects help provide experience to the students (4). RIT is a bright community of students from over 95 countries (5).
RIT was founded by Colonel Nathaniel Rochester in 1829. The institute was originally named the Rochester Athenaeum. IT was established in order to promote literature, science, and the arts (6). It later grew into a popular center for the people of Rochester. In 1836, William A. Reynolds founded the Mechanics Literary Association which in 1847, would merge with the Athenaeum to form the Rochester Athenaeum and Mechanics Association. The two groups were able to merge their libraries to create one with over 8000 volumes of literature (7).
Another institute formed known as the Mechanics Institute. It provided training for workers in industry (8). The institute gained support and had over 400 enrolled students (9). Art classes were added in 1886 to provide for architects and designers (10). In 1891, this institute would merge with Rochester Athenaeum. At this time the school had over 1000 students (11). Within a few years another course was added. That was a 26 lesson cooking class (12).
The institute constructed the first official building in 1894. The building was called the Manual Training Building. It later became known as the Eastman Annex. The building housed machine shops and classrooms (13). With the building came classes in joinery, bench, pattern making, and forging (14). An addition to the Annex created the Eastman Building in 1901. The building was funded by George Eastman, founder of Eastman Kodak Co. (15).
Finally in 1903, the institute begins to take shape and look like the modern RIT. The Mechanics Institute forms five academic areas including Industrial Arts, Mechanic Arts and Sciences, Manual Training, Domestic Science and Art, and the Department of Fine Arts (16). The Fine Arts Department created a school newspaper called the The Institute Breeze in 1909.
The first president of RIT was elected in 1910. His name was Carleton B. Gibson. Gibson became known for the start of his co-op program. Students were able to find work in various industries that would extend their experience so that they learn more (17). Students were able to learn and earn money at the same time. At this time, the Fine Arts Department published the first student year book called Ramikin (18).
A trend can be seen between the years of 1900 and 1940. During the late 10s early 20s, activity at the school lingered. There wasn’t much development of the school. This can be related to the Great Depression. Since money was hard to come by, the institute could have lost students and lost incoming capital. Without this money, it couldn’t continue advancing the departments of the school. As the mid to late 30s arrived, activity began to start up again. Two new departments were formed. They were the Department of Photography and School of Print Media.
World War II also played a role in the way the school behaved. In 1940, the school offered all day and all night classes to train workers for the defense industry (19). A few years later, they began to offer evening school for women wanting to help with the war (20). A Counseling Center was established to help aid student with personal or career related matters (21). Finally in 1944, they name of the school was changed to Rochester Institute of Technology.
In the 1950s, three new departments were founded. The first was the Graphic Arts Research Center. This center looked at printing and publishing using scientific and engineering principles (22). It became focused on teaching graphic arts. The other two departments it created was the School for American Crafts and McKechnie-Lunger School of Commerce, which became known as the College of Business (23). Edwina Hogadone is appointed to dean of the College of Business in 1960. She was the first female dean of RIT and the first female named as head of a business college (24). In the same year RIT was reorganized into six colleges: the College of Applied Science, the College of Business, the College of Fine and Applied Arts, the College of Graphic Arts and Photography, the College of General Studies, and Evening Studies (25).
During the 60s, the college undergoes a transformation. It was scheduled to move from Rochester to Henrietta, New York. Construction of the new campus began in 1964 (26). During this time, the College of Science is also formed. This college offered classes in biology and chemistry.
RIT began to be recognized as a great institute in the 60s. In 1965, RIT was awarded the Outstanding Teacher Award to show how excellent their teachings were (27). President Johnson had instigated Public Law 89-36 which described the devolvement of a school for the deaf. In 1966, RIT was selected to be home to the National Technical Institute for the Deaf (28). RIT was picked because of its long history of technological education and its emphasis on future career preparation (29). Another achievement was the formation of the Nathaniel Rochester Society. This created a strong relationship between RIT members and the community (30).
The transformation is finally complete in 1968 when RIT officially moves to its new campus in Henrietta. During this time, enrollment reached over 10000 students (31). Part the new campus was the development of graduate engineering program that was available to people through a closed-circuit TV at local factories (32). This sparked the beginning of the College of Engineering. Following the creation of a Criminal Justice program, RIT created the School of Computer Science and Technology (33). At the end of the 70s, RIT has its 150th anniversary. With the anniversary come the development of many more programs and courses under the Science, Arts, and Computer and Information Technology Departments (34).
The new technology invented in the 80s provides much needed support for the campus. A computer network with 300 computers was installed in 1982 (35). New programs were formed tying together biology and engineering with the newly found technology (36). Annual fees during the 80s were just over $12000, including room and board (37). An adult educational program called the Rochester Athenaeum was founded in 1987 to provide education for those over 50 years old (38).
By 2001, a new college was added. The B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences was created for the advancement of computer sciences (47). Another achievement of RIT was that is became a New York State Strategically Targeted Academic Research Center. This meant that it was part of a state initiative to promote high technology businesses in New York (48). The IT Collaboratory was formed between RIT, University of Buffalo, and Alfred University. It focused on four areas of research: microsystems, photonic systems, remote systems, and high-bandwidth telecom networks (49). RIT held its 175th anniversary in 2004. To celebrate this event, RIT’s cross country team completed a Coast-to-Coast Run, covering 30 states in 12 days, 3 hours, and 48 minutes (50). The nation’s first lab for social computing was established. The Center for Advancing the Study of Cyberinfrastructure was the new addition to the College of Computing and Information Sciences (51). A Ph.D. program in computing and information sciences was created by the College of Computing and Information Sciences (52). This was RIT’s third Ph.D. program.
RIT is broken down into several different schools. The first is the College of Applied Science and Technology. This college focuses on three things. These are the adaptation of technology in many different fields, the improvement of customer satisfaction, and to improve the career opportunities of its students (53). The college offers a wide variety of programs ranging from engineering to public relations. Professors and other faculty members are specialists in their field. Not only do faculty members act as teachers, but they are also consultants and researchers for their industry (54). By doing this they are able to maintain their highest level of knowledge in their field. (55). In 2006, they began the construction of a new $8 million dollar facility that will house various laboratories and allow for the further advancement of the students work (56). The college’s main building houses laboratories for many different engineering technologies (57). Other courses take place in the Center for Integrated Manufacturing Studies. This building has state-of-the-art labs that deal with electronics technology (58). This building is shared by other colleges at RIT. There is also an environmental management lab that simulates various environment conditions for those in that field (59). Faculty support is a key factor in the development of the students. A faculty advisor helps the student with career counseling (60). A co-op advisor helps the student prepare for their co-op experience in the workforce (61).
The next college offered is the E. Philip Saunders College of Business. Today, business is a very strong environment and requires a lot of studying to fully succeed. Students will learn to have good leadership and management skills and how to adapt to rapid changes in technology (62). Courses include, but are not limited to, accounting, finance, and marketing. Faculty members are actively involved in real-world applications so they can bring much experience to the classroom (63). The college has more than 40 fulltime faculty members devoted to teaching information that is relevant to the world around them (64). RIT is able to incorporate computer technology into the classroom with the help of software that is used by major companies (65). Students are required to finish two quarters of co-op experience (66). The co-op will help business students find work in their ever-changing field.
One of the greatest colleges offered is the B. Thomas Golisano College of
Computing and Information Sciences. The college focuses on computer and information technology. The college was formed in 2001 and offers courses such as computer science, information technology, and software engineering (67). A unique part of the college is the Center for Advancing the Study of Cyberinfrastructure. In this center, students are able to collectively work on projects provided by industrial companies (68). There are over 90 faculty members, 2,700 students, 46 technical and support staff attending the college (69). Faculty members’ primary focus is student involvement and career preparation (70). They also focus on applied research and professional development (71). Professors are able to meet the needs of the students and provide leadership (72). Computer and technology facilities are essential in this college. It offers over 1,500 computer work stations housed in 56 labs (73). Powerful computers are offered to students at almost any time (74). Each lab is up-to-date when it comes to technology and software (75).
Engineering is a difficult and growing industry worldwide. The College of Engineering helps to prepare students for the engineering field (76). Unlike the other colleges, the College of Engineering is a five year course. In the first four years, students are able to gain a strong foundation that will help when they participate in the five quarter co-op program (77). The primary focus is on math and science. Engineering fundamentals are introduced within the first year to help build a foundation in the career in engineering (78). Like the College of Computing and Information Sciences, the College of Engineering has what they call a Senior Design. This is a way for students to help solve real-world problems for the engineering industry. (79). A major portion of the engineering program is devoted to liberal arts because it is important for an engineer to communicate effectively with others (80). A goal of the engineering program is to educate students so that they will have an immediate effect on the industry (81). Engineering is dependent on technology and because of this, the engineering field is constantly changing. Programs offered are quickly adapted to the constantly changing field (82). The industrial experience of the faculty members is key when it comes to teaching the students (83). Over 90 percent of the faculty members have doctoral degrees (84). The James E. Gleason Building and the Center for Microelectronic and Computer Engineering contain computer and electronic engineering (85). Another building nearby offers 10000 square feet for the development of integrated circuits (86). The labs used for teaching along with research for the students (87). Graduates of the engineering programs are fully prepared to enter into an engineering related career and provide usefulness to their employer (88).
The College of Liberal Arts provides students with courses necessary for graduation (94). The college also focuses on theater and music (95). The goals for the College of Liberal Arts include helping students to understand human and technological studies and develop the ability to reason and think critically (963). All faculty members have advanced degrees in humanities (97). Faculty provide teachings and experience so that students may continue a career in the field of liberal arts (98).
Finally, the College of Science stresses the advancement of math and science skills. It focuses on the practical uses of math and science along with liberal arts (99). Liberal art courses teach skills that are helpful in future careers. The college offers classes such as biology, chemistry, physics, and medical science (100). With over 100 faculty members, students are more likely to find someone with similar interests and can easily learn from this person. (101). Faculty usually practice their skills outside of the classroom in forms of research (102). This helps provide even more experience to the students. Student-faculty projects are common and could result in a major discovery (103). There are three primary building that house the science facilities. The first is the Gosnell Building. This building is home to nine classrooms, 22 teaching labs, and 16 research labs (104). The second is the Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science. This offers labs for digital imaging and optics (105). The last building is the Center for Bioscience Education and Technology. This provides facilities that focus of the biology, chemistry, and physics programs (106).