Evan Sprague/ Intel Corporation
With Intel’s Help Community College Students Can Earn Degree in AI

With Intel’s Help, Community College Students Can Earn Degree in AI

Sept. 13, 2021
“The need for AI technology in the workforce, across several industries, is critical for U.S. economic growth,” Pat Gelsinger, Intel CEO, said announcing a program expansion.

Wanting to be a part of the solution on a large scale, Intel recently announced a major expansion of a program that provides community college students the ability to learn artificial intelligence skills (AI). Originally started in 2020 as a collaboration with Maricopa Community College District in Arizona, The Intel AI for Workforce is being expanded by adding 18 institutions that serve a total of 800,000 students.  Even further expansion is underway for 2022 to include 50 more community and vocational colleges. 

“AI is one of the superpowers fueling innovation, economic growth, job creation and advancements across every aspect of society,” said Pat Gelsinger, Intel CEO, in a statement. “The next-generation workforce will need skills and training in AI to develop solutions to the world’s greatest challenges, and community colleges play a huge role in unleashing innovative thinking. Community college is where I developed my passion for technology and kicked off the career journey that eventually led to my dream job as the CEO of Intel.”

The program, which receives technical support from Dell Technologies, offers courses on data collection, computer vision, AI model training, coding, the societal impacts and ethics of AI technology, and more. Intel collaborates with the community colleges on these programs by providing over 200 hours of content via train the trainer model.  More than 80 community college professors have been certified as Intel AI trainers.

The program is hoping to fill the demand for careers that involve AI.  A recent EdScoop survey of 246 educators, administrators and IT decision-makers in higher education shows that:

  • 73% of educators report an increasing demand by employers for graduates with AI-related skills.
  • 42% of community colleges do not currently offer specific courses or programs in AI.
  • 52% of community college educators say the biggest obstacle to providing AI instruction is a lack of faculty with the right expertise.

The 18 participating schools are Antelope Valley College in Lancaster, California; Central New Mexico Community College in Albuquerque; College of Southern Nevada in North Las Vegas; County College of Morris in Randolph, New Jersey; Maricopa Community College in Maricopa County, Arizona; Folsom Lake College in Folsom, California; Foothills-DeAnza in Los Altos, California; Gateway Technical College in Kenosha, Wisconsin; Houston Community College; Ivy Tech Community College in Lake County, Indiana; Lonestar Community College in The Woodlands, Texas; Middlesex College in Edison, New Jersey; Montgomery County Community College in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania; Morris County Vocational School in Denville, New Jersey; Ocean County College in Toms River, New Jersey; Santa Ana College in Santa Ana, California; Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon; and Lansing Community College in Lansing, Michigan.

Eight of the schools are classified by the U.S. Department of Education as Minority Serving Institutions. Supporting underserved communities.

“The need for AI technology in the workforce, across several industries, is critical for U.S. economic growth,” Gelsinger said in a statement. Gelsinger said: “I can’t wait to see the amazing things these students will do with AI technology to improve the life of every person on the planet. We hope other companies will join us in this important mission.”

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