Google has partnered with Howard University to launch a school branch right on the company’s campus, where undergraduate students will have a chance to learn from Google engineers in addition to the university’s own faculty.
The 25 to 30 undergraduates selected from the D.C.-based Howard University campus will spend 12 weeks at of their summer being taught by senior Google engineers and Howard faculty on Google’s Mountain View campus and will receive a stipend for housing and other expenses in Silicon Valley.
via US Today:
The program is an outgrowth of Google’s effort to recruit more software engineers from historically black colleges and universities, one of the ways Google is addressing the severe shortage of African-Americans on its payroll, particularly in technical roles, where they account for 1% of the workforce.
Eventually Google wants to expand the program to include other historically black colleges and universities, said Bonita Stewart, Google’s vice president of global partnerships, who has been working with Howard University President Dr. Wayne Frederick to develop the framework.
Stewart says when she joined Google a decade ago, there was little talk of diversity or making the tech industry more representative of the populations it serves. Today, this Howard graduate says Google is making a serious investment in building bridges.
“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.
Google is targeting historically black colleges and universities because more than a third of African-Americans receiving computer science degrees come from those schools yet they rarely find jobs in Silicon Valley tech companies.
“I would like to see more Howard students and ultimately historically black colleges and universities students and underrepresented minorities being hired in the tech industry and participating in more start-ups,” Frederick said. “Exposure to that environment early will pay dividends on the back-end.”
Some of the students in the program secure summer internships at Google. Last year Google hosted 50 technical summer interns from seven historically black universities and colleges. This summer, 62 interns from 10 schools have accepted offers.