Amazon has launched an “Educator Assistance” program to help instructors at community colleges, HBCUs, and other institutions serving minorities learn and teach AI.
A recent report from the Burning Glass Institute, Wiley, and the Business-Higher Education Forum is the latest research confirming the value of AI skill sets in the job market. However, quality AI education is still out of reach for many students who do not attend selective research universities, including many black and Latino students.
In addition, colleges enrolling the majority of these students (HBCUs and community colleges) are twice as likely as the most selective public and private research universities with concentrations of white and Asian students receive one-fifth of public and private funding from
Employers are increasingly removing degree requirements for new hires and are looking at skills-based hiring, but the reality is that most employers offer formal degrees from traditional universities or no qualifications other than degrees. I am still reluctant to be hired or promoted at
Despite the gradual improvement and expansion of alternative pathways to tech jobs, such as technical apprenticeships, coding bootcamps, massively open online courses (MOOCs), and industry-recognized certifications, most professionals believes it is the best way to equitably meet the labor market need for AI skills. To increase the availability and quality of affordable his AI education at public higher education institutions serving underserved students.
To that end, Georgetown University’s Center on Security and Emerging Technologies and New America have independently tracked the evolution of AI degree and non-degree qualifications at community colleges, and have been working to develop an approach to AI education at community colleges. Call for more investment. A similar call has been made for more investment in AI education HBCUs.
In response to this need, Amazon and its machine learning college hope this new upskilling program will help professors and faculty at community colleges and HBCUs learn and teach AI.
AI-related degree completion rates at community colleges lag behind other programs
Amazon’s Train-The-Trainer Approach to AI Education
Amazon’s new professional development program helps college instructors acquire generalist AI skill sets. It is not necessarily limited to what is covered by AWS’ own set of industry-certified products. Many of them are also incorporated into university programs.
Instead, Amazon will help college instructors hone their AI expertise and teach AI through a four-semester course that can be structured as the college sees fit.
Amazon will offer $1,200 and continuing education credits to 330 participants who complete one of six bootcamps offered during 2023, according to Mike Miller, general manager of AWS AI Devices .
“AI careers take many forms and where you go to school shouldn’t really affect your career opportunities. I would like to see it,” Miller said in an interview.
For universities not selected for the Educator Assistance Cohort, Amazon will create free curriculum materials for interested universities through Github, YouTube, and AWS Academy.
The new program was inspired by a letter from Professor Raymond Brown of Houston Community College, one of the first community colleges to offer an associate’s degree in AI, and was recently approved by an accrediting body to offer a bachelor’s degree in AI. We plan to provide it. , Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
Brown used the curriculum content from Amazon’s Machine Learning College to earn a college degree in AI, sending graduates to big companies like Tesla and McKinsey & Company.
Madeline Burillo-Hopkins, vice president of workforce instruction at Houston Community College, said Amazon’s services help community colleges overcome major barriers to teaching AI and building instructor capacity.
“We can’t compete with the salaries that the private sector provides AI skills to its employees, so support from tech companies is essential to upskilling our faculty. Employee training is a collaborative effort.” shared Burillo-Hopkins in an interview.
Norge Pena Perez is a Computer Science Instructor at Miami-Dade College in Florida, has contributed to the community college’s own associate and non-degree programs in AI, and previously participated in Amazon Learning Opportunities for Colleges. was doing. According to Perez, Amazon differentiated its university support by emphasizing addressing instructors’ expressed needs.
Amazon isn’t the only tech company looking to increase AI education in community colleges. Intel has been working to expand community-college-level AI education in all 50 states by the end of 2023. A partnership with the American Association of Community Colleges has facilitated the creation of AI associate degree programs, non-credited and credited certificates. , boot camps, and even his K-12 exploration opportunities around the country, including Houston Community College and Miami-Dade.
Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger is a community college graduate and openly advocates for more paths to AI careers at community colleges. A partnership with a tech giant has created a new AI program for K-12 students, first-time college-goers and professionals looking to upskill.
The technology company has made similar investments in HBCUs such as Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, Morgan State University, Howard University, Prairie View A&M University, North Carolina A&T University, and Tuskegee University.
As educators and employers look to equip more people with AI skills, industry players say more investment is needed to help community colleges and HBCUs expand their AI education capabilities. We believe that there is a high possibility of expansion in the future.