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Howard University to Open Campus at Googleplex

Google Thursday unveiled a new space at its corporate headquarters, Googleplex in Mountain View, CA, that expands its partnership with Howard University, a historically black college in Washington, D.C. The new campus dubbed “Howard West,” opening this summer, will enable juniors and seniors in Howard’s computer science (CS) program to stay three months at a time at Googleplex to learn from Howard and Google CS experts.

Senior Google engineers and Howard faculty will teach classes at Howard West, according to the Google blog post announcement by Bonita Stewart, VP of global partnerships for Google. The dedicated space builds on the Google in Residence (GIR) program, which embeds Google engineers into Howard and other historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs).

“HBCUs are a pillar in the CS education community, producing more than a third of all Black CS graduates in the United States. Google already has a strong partnership with Howard through GIR,” wrote Stewart, who attended Howard. “Through GIR, we’ve learned a lot about the hurdles Black students face in acquiring full-time work in the tech industry.”

Stewart cited a “lack of exposure” and “access to mentors and role models” as barriers facing Black CS students. Howard West seeks to overcome these challenges by connecting students with mentors who can help them gain real-world training.  

“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 Wayne Frederick, president of Howard University, in the blog post. “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.”

To learn more, visit the Google blog site.

About the Author

Sri Ravipati is Web producer for THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at [email protected].

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