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SUNY Potsdam’s New Long-Term Internship Covers the Cost of Tuition

February 11, 2021

Lougheed Center for Applied Learning Introduces Three-Year Co-op Internship Program with The Arc Jefferson-St. Lawrence  


The SUNY Potsdam Lougheed Center for Applied Learning (pictured) has engaged The Arc of Jefferson-St. Lawrence in a new long-term internship program that pays students enough to cover in-state tuition.

A new long-term co-op internship program being piloted at SUNY Potsdam is covering the cost of in-state tuition. It’s also giving focused students a suite of skills, college credits and job experiences in human services work that go well beyond what they would take away from an average internship.  

The Arc Co-Op Internship Program places students for three years with The Arc Jefferson-St. Lawrence, where they work with people with disabilities for a minimum of eight hours and up to 29 hours a week in residential, day habilitation and vocational services. A partnership of the SUNY Potsdam Lougheed Center for Applied Learning and The Arc, the initiative advances the College’s already significant commitment to applied learning and educational experiences tailored to the individual. 

“Students can pay for their six semesters of tuition in this program,” said Toby White, SUNY Potsdam’s director of experiential education. “We really felt that the time was right to introduce this more involved partnership with The Arc, creating a win-win for their important work and for our students, who will now gain a toolchest that will serve them well in the years ahead of them.”

In this photo from 2017, Toby White, the director of experiential education at SUNY Potsdam, works with students in his Career and Major Exploration class. The course is designed to help first-year students figure out their academic path at the College, as well as their career aspirations.

SUNY Potsdam students engage and develop skills as interns in direct support, residential management, habilitation program coordination, occupational training, vocational counseling and other areas of human services work. Those who successfully complete the program can earn a total of $24,786 during the three-year commitment. Eligible students will be placed in programs in Jefferson or St. Lawrence counties during the required summer sessions in their first two years. The program is open to sophomores of any major and continues to their senior year.  

“This internship program with SUNY Potsdam gives the people supported by The Arc Jefferson – St. Lawrence a critical connection with the community and helps students learn that the disability field is a great career choice,” said Lynn M. Pietroski, chief operating officer for The Arc Jefferson – St. Lawrence. “We are excited to build the future leadership of the organization with a hands-on, paid training program that gives individuals with disabilities continued quality and compassionate support to help them achieve their goals.” 

The Lougheed Center for Applied Learning is the first integrated academic opportunity center of its kind in SUNY. The center’s mission is to provide coordinated experiential learning opportunities that broaden and integrate student knowledge and skills, fostering engaged and life-long academic, personal and career success. 

About SUNY Potsdam: 
Founded in 1816, The State University of New York at Potsdam is one of America’s first 50 colleges—and the oldest institution within SUNY. Now in its third century, SUNY Potsdam is distinguished by a legacy of pioneering programs and educational excellence. The College currently enrolls approximately 3,600 undergraduate and graduate students. Home to the world-renowned Crane School of Music, SUNY Potsdam is known for its challenging liberal arts and sciences core, distinction in teacher training and culture of creativity. To learn more, visit

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