Open Menu Close Menu

Workforce Readiness

New Artificial Intelligence Incubator Network to Support AI Training in Community Colleges

artificial intelligence

The American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), Intel and Dell Technologies are launching an 18-month initiative that will design and build a network of Artificial Intelligence Incubators at community colleges across the United States. The project is an expansion of Intel's AI for Workforce Program, an effort to prepare current and future workers with key job skills in AI.

The AI Incubator Network will be a community of practice wherein member colleges will discuss and share resources on learning pathways, strategic economic development opportunities, student engagement in AI programs, best practices from the field and more. AACC is seeking requests for proposals from community colleges in all 50 states to join the network; applicants must document support from institutional leadership, target population and impact metrics, an industry engagement strategy, a statement of internal capacity and details on the sustainability of their efforts.

In addition, participating colleges will be eligible to apply for one of 10 one-year, $40,000 grants to design and build an AI incubator as a laboratory on campus — physical, virtual or in a hybrid model — configured with technical expertise from Dell Technologies. Each lab will provide students with access to AI computing power, tools and resources, while curriculum from Intel's AI for Workforce program will support AI lab courses on data analytics, computer vision, natural language processing, AI model training, coding, AI ethics and more. The curriculum content includes pre-packaged courses, professional training for school faculty and implementation guidance, which can be used to develop AI certificates, augment existing courses or launch full degree programs.

Funded colleges will be selected based on geographic and demographic diversity as well as their ability to:

  • Participate in discussions on strategic economic development of AI skills and in full community of practice group discussions;
  • Complete "AI for Workforce Train the Trainer" virtual training sessions;
  • Embed AI skills into talent preparation efforts both internally and in conjunction with industry and workforce partners;
  • Directly impact a minimum of 10 students;
  • Submit narrative and fiscal reporting every 6 months; and
  • Showcase promising practices in the community of practice and nationally.

Rockland Community College in New York recently announced that it is the first college in the state to join the AI network. After completing the program's training sessions, faculty members plan to embed the AI curriculum in the college's Cyber Security, Computer Information Systems, Computer Support Specialist and Computer Science programs.

"We recognize how crucial it is to train our students to meet the need for a next-gen workforce that is skilled in artificial intelligence technology," said Eric Magaram, program director for Math, Computer Studies and Cyber Security at the college. "We're thrilled to be able to access Intel's resources and help bring this top-notch material into our curriculum offerings. Joining this partnership means we can help RCC students find competitive workplace opportunities in growing fields where AI plays an important role, such as healthcare, industrial and aerospace."

"AI has become an increasingly important focus for community colleges as providers of workforce education for multiple industries," commented Dr. Walter G. Bumphus, AACC president and CEO, in a statement. "Working together with peers and across sectors will enhance the ability of our colleges to advance and scale this curriculum across the nation to ensure that students earn the skills needed to fill these jobs and begin meaningful careers."

For more information on the AI Incubator Network, visit the AACC site.

About the Author

Rhea Kelly is editor in chief for Campus Technology, THE Journal, and Spaces4Learning. She can be reached at [email protected].

comments powered by Disqus