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Howard University West to Open Computer Science Residency at Google

Image: Howard University West to Open Computer Science Residency at Google
(Screengrab via howard.edu)

By    |   Friday, 24 Mar 2017 08:21 AM

Howard University is opening a west campus at Google to help recruit and retain future African-American coders in a field that has been stubbornly difficult to diversify.

Howard, the historically black college located in Washington, D.C., will have roughly 25 to 30 rising junior and senior computer science majors travel to Google for a 12-week program that will be taught by Google engineers and Howard faculty, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

"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," Howard University President Dr. Wayne A.I. Frederick said in a statement from the institution.

"We envisioned this program with bold outcomes in mind – to advance a strategy that leverages Howard's high quality faculty and Google's expertise, while also rallying the tech industry and other thought leaders around the importance of diversity in business and the communities they serve," Frederick continued.

Bonita Stewart, Google's vice president of global partnerships, told USA Today that the Internet giant hopes to expand the program to other historically black colleges and universities. Currently, blacks make up 1 percent of Google's workforce, according to the newspaper.

"For us, it is an opportunity to ensure that we are building a pipeline and more importantly, stimulating the right partnerships to drive change," Stewart told USA Today.

The newspaper said that the Howard West program is an extension of the Google in Residence program, where Google engineers teach courses at Howard and other historically black colleges and universities.

"During my time at Howard, I worked side-by-side with future lawyers, doctors, writers, entertainers, architects and business leaders," Stewart said in a Howard statement. "The spirit of total possibility put me on my path to Harvard Business School and ultimately Google.

"Howard West will continue Howard's tradition of providing unprecedented access to opportunity, only now with a presence in the heart of Silicon Valley," Stewart continued.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported that some analysts think tech's diversity problem is in the hiring process, with tech companies often favoring candidates who have extracurricular activities like winning hackathons, which lack poorer black and Latino students.

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Howard University is opening a west campus at Google to help recruit and retain future African-American coders in a field that has been stubbornly difficult to diversify.
howard university, west, computer, science, google
369
2017-21-24
Friday, 24 Mar 2017 08:21 AM
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