Google boosts ties with Howard University

Google boosts ties with Howard University

by Shauli Bar-On

Aspiring computer science students from Howard University, a historically black college, will have the opportunity to work and study at one of the most prominent tech companies in the world. A select group of students will spend the summer at Google’s

Mountain View headquarters thanks to the newly launched partnership with the university.

“Rising juniors and seniors in Howard’s computer science (CS) program can attend Howard West, for three months at a time. Senior Google engineers and Howard faculty will serve as instructors. The program kicks off this summer and we plan to scale it to accommodate students from other (historically black colleges) in the near future,” according to information posted on Google’s blog.

The first class of 25 to 30 Howard students will arrive this summer, said a Google employee who was authorized to speak to the press only on background, and Howard is currently in the process of selecting which students will participate.

“Howard West will produce hundreds of industry-ready black computer science graduates, future leaders with the power to transform the global technology space into a stronger, more accurate reflection of the world around us,” said Howard University President Wayne Frederick in a statement.

The summer residency is not a guarantee of employment, a Google employee said. It is a merely a chance for students to implement computer science theory into actual work and gain experience from doing so. Students will learn the cultural aspect of working in the Silicon Valley, said the Google employee.

“It’s not just them learning from Google, it’s Google learning from them, too,” said the Google employee.

Google has an already existing partnership with Howard, “Google Residency,” which began in 2013. Google sends its employees to teach at the university each semester. Since then, the program has expanded to 10 other universities.

Google employees said the details of the Howard West project will be worked out in the coming six weeks.

“We’re so excited about it here. The internal support has been incredible, the external support has been incredible. We’re excited to see what happens and to learn on both sides,” said the Google employee.

Email Shauli Bar-On at sbar-on@mv-voice.com

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