Miles College said its $2 million collaboration with IBM to help students and faculty develop technology skills will include training in quantum computing, the Birmingham Times is reporting. Alabama-based Miles College is one of the Historically Black Colleges and Universities — HBCU — that will join a partnership with IBM to help train students and instructors in artificial intelligence, blockchain, data science, cybersecurity, cloud and quantum computing.
“Miles College celebrates IBM’s leadership in recognizing the value of investing in HBCU (historically Black colleges and universities) students as current and future leaders and innovators in the technology workforce,” said Miles College President Bobbie Knight. “While the digital divide has historically placed many students at a technological disadvantage, this initiative will absolutely help narrow that gap.”
IBM’s Valinda Scarbro Kennedy told the paper that the company believes that equal access to skills and jobs is the key to unlocking economic opportunity and prosperity for diverse populations.
“As we announced earlier this fall, IBM is deeply committed to helping HBCU students build their skills to better prepare for the future of work. Through this collaboration, Miles College students will have an opportunity to gain modern skills in emerging technologies so they can be better prepared for the future of work in the digital economy,” Kennedy told the paper.
As part of its multiyear Global University Programs, which include the IBM Academic Initiative and the IBM Skills Academy, IBM is providing more than $100 million in assets, faculty training, prebuilt and maintained curriculum content, hands-on labs, use cases, digital badges and software for HBCUs.
The IBM Academic Initiative includes access to resources at no charge for teaching, learning and noncommercial research and guest lectures, according to Kennedy. The IBM Skills Academy offers programs through an education portal designed to create a foundation of diverse and high-demand skill sets that students will most likely need in the workplace, Kennedy said.
IBM’s investment in Miles College is part of the company’s dedicated work to promote social justice and racial equality by creating equitable, innovative experiences for HBCU students to acquire the necessary skills to help unlock economic opportunity and prosperity, Kennedy told the Birmingham Times.
About Miles College
Miles College, founded in 1898, is a premier liberal arts institution located in metropolitan Birmingham within the corporate limits of the City of Fairfield. The noble founders of the institution saw educated leadership as the paramount need in the black community. Miles, which is fully accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and accredited by Commission on Colleges for the awarding of Baccalaureate Degrees, is the only four-year institution in historic Birmingham, Alabama designated as a member of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU). Miles College is a science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) higher learning institution. The College is one of only 39 HBCUs to have the designation of a United Negro College Fund (UNCF) institution.