Some students from Howard University are set to benefit from the collaboration between the institution and Google. The move will see some of the students leave the chocolate city to join the new satellite Campus in the Silicon Valley.
The Technological giant announced the creation of ‘Howard West’ on Thursday. This is a satellite Campus for the historically black Washington, D.C college that will be located at the Google Plex in Mountain View, California.
This new Campus will provide three-month residency for the seniors and juniors who are enrolled in the Computer Science Program of Howard. The Satellite Campus has the intention of bringing back software engineers from the historical black colleges and universities (HBCUs) that are involved in tech.
According to Dr. Wayne Fredrick who is the president of Howard University, the satellite Campus will produce several black computer science graduates who are ready for the industry. These are future leaders who will have the power to transform the global technological space into a more accurate and stronger reflection of the world around us.
In his statement, he continued to say that they envisioned the program with very bold outcomes in their minds. They wish to advance a strategy that leverages the expertise of Google and the high-quality Faculty of Howard. They also rely on other thought leaders in the tech industry on the importance of business diversity in the communities they serve.
Only 2 percent of Google’s workforce are black making it one of the fields that lack diversity. Asians account for 32 percent of the employees while the White account for 59 percent of the total workforce. Additionally, Google’s technology force has 57 percent whites and 32 percent Asians. The composition of Blacks in Google’s technological force is only 1 percent.
The Global Vice President for Google Partnerships and an Alumni of Howard Bonita Stewart stated that this partnership will open great doors for all the black students from the historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) by assisting them to advance in technology.
According to him, some of the critical gaps that Howard West will solve include lack of role models, poor access to mentors, and lack of exposure just to name a few. He goes ahead to explain that most of their computer science students don’t have sufficient time to practice coding as juggle between part time jobs and other courses.
Steward said that systematic barriers lead to a low level of enrollment and engagement in computer science if it is left unchecked. He said that the strong relationship between the Silicon Valley and lack of proximity leads to a low retention in Howard’s computer science program. He said that the same trend is evident in other historically black colleges and universities and the broader African American community. In his opinion, Howard West will reverse the trend and the black students will begin to appreciate tech. Relocating and provision of accommodation will give the students enough time to practice coding and other technical aspects on the industry.