Advancing education in artificial intelligence


The American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) has announced a joint commitment with Intel and Dell Technologies to enhance artificial intelligence (AI) education across community and technical colleges in all 50 states by 2023 as part of Intel’s AI for Workforce program.

The new effort aims to enable community colleges to be the first line for instruction, reskilling and upskilling of the AI workforce. The AI for Workforce program launched last year at Maricopa Community College (MCC) in Arizona, with Intel introducing an AI-based curriculum that allows students to earn a certificate or an associate degree in AI. Over the last year, the program has expanded to 31 schools across 18 states.

To support the program’s expansion, AACC and Intel are collaborating with Dell Technologies as the exclusive technology partner to provide resources for community colleges that provide AI training and certificate programs.

“Community colleges provide skill training and credential programs to 11 million students each year,” AACC President and CEO Walter Bumphus said in a release. “These programs are intended to provide the needed skills training for students to enter the job market and thrive in a job that earns them family-sustaining wages. This partnership with Intel and Dell will help us to ensure that these programs lead to meaningful employment and can also serve as the first step toward degree attainment.”

Program expertise

Resources from both Intel and Dell include technical and infrastructure expertise for the development of virtual and on-campus AI in education labs, as well as a curriculum designed to ensure that community college AI programs are relevant, cost-effective and provide skills training that leads to real-world jobs.

“This is an exciting partnership that will build a robust and diverse talent pipeline to help support future jobs in AI and technology,” said Carlos Contreras, senior director of AI and digital readiness at Intel. “The next-generation workforce will need this kind of specialized training to develop solutions to the world’s greatest challenges, and community colleges have a huge role to play in unleashing innovative thinking.”

The new partnership will focus on minority-serving institutions (MSIs) and tribal colleges to support under-resourced communities and are committed to continual growth of this program. Seventeen of the schools currently participating in the AI for Workforce program are MSIs.

“Access to technology and skills has never been more important, allowing more communities to participate in today’s digital ecosystem. By collaborating with Intel on its AI for Workforce program, Dell is able to complement Intel’s innovative AI course content with Dell’s technology expertise to deliver AI learning experiences to a wide swath of diverse college students helping them prepare for the workforce of the future,” said Adam Garry, senior director of education strategy at Dell Technologies.

Recruitment of community colleges to the program will begin next month at the AACC Workforce Development Institute.

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