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Artificial Intelligence

AWS Machine Learning University Launches Free AI Educator Program

Starting in January 2023, Amazon Web Services (AWS) Machine Learning University (MLU) will offer a free AI educator enablement program prioritizing community colleges, minority-serving institutions (MSIs), and historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) in the United States, to help these institutions prioritize teaching database, artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning (ML) concepts to historically underserved students. The program will feature six educator bootcamps in 2023, based on the same content Amazon uses to train its own developers and data scientists.

The bootcamps will introduce educators to the program and will include lecture slides, hands-on coding exercises, exams, and instructor handbooks, based on feedback from school systems that piloted the early program. Educators who complete the program can get continuing education credits and an AWS stipend, along with year-round professional development, tech talks, Slack study groups, virtual study sessions moderated by AWS instructors, and regional events.

The idea was generated by Houston Community College professor Raymond Brown, who had adapted early MLU materials for his classes. He wrote to AWS, asking if they would consider helping to build an AI associate degree program. Other tech industry leaders also contributed, and the degree program was launched in fall 2020. Now HCC will be the first community college in the U.S. to offer a bachelor's degree in AI in fall 2023, pending final approval from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. AWS will provide free hands-on experience in a cloud-based sandbox for students to apply AI and ML concepts and experiment with a range of AWS services, data analytics, and ML cloud computing tools.

"Our goal in launching this program is to make database, AI, and ML education widely accessible to all community colleges and universities across the U.S. — not just elite institutions," said Swami Sivasubramanian, vice president of Databases, Analytics, and Machine Learning at AWS. "We need the best minds from all backgrounds entering these fields. The educator enablement program is designed to make it easier for any educational institution to start teaching advanced technologies by removing the barriers of cost and educator training." In 2021, AWS also launched the AI & ML Scholarship program which has helped more than 20,000 learners get hands-on with AI and ML technology.

Visit this page to learn more about the educator enablement program, register, and get notified about course content availability.

About the Author

Kate Lucariello is a former newspaper editor, EAST Lab high school teacher and college English teacher.

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