Since Monique Earl-Lewis joined the Morehouse College faculty in 2011, her goal has been to get more technology into the hands of instructors and students. As the founding director of the faculty development center, she launched an initiative to increase the use of Apple programs as learning platforms.
“Our initial workshops were sponsored by the science and mathematics divisions, and as we’ve begun integrating more technology, there’s been more comprehensive engagement,” said Earl-Lewis, who is also an associate professor of African studies.
Creating that center opened the doors to various workshops, including a 2017 gathering at California State University that then led to last summer’s invitation to be part of a week-long training led by Apple experts at Tennessee State University, and participants hailed from a dozen Historically Black Colleges and Universities. In January, Morehouse hosted its first Apple Academy, with Tennessee State providing the equipment and Apple the staffers to help students develop creative or code apps.
In July, Morehouse was invited to participate in HBCU C2, a pilot program through Apple’s Community Initiative that shares the company’s technology and training resources. The college was one of 10 Apple named as a regional hub with the goal of positioning it as a primary coding and creativity center.
“As a result of what we’ve done together with Apple over the years, we were primed to do this,” said Earl-Lewis. “Apple is providing resources – MacBooks, iPads, Apple pencils and all the support that comes with that – for us to train students and faculty, as well as members of the community once this pandemic is over.”
Last fall, Morehouse debuted an undergraduate software engineering degree program that now has 16 majors who are expected to graduate next spring. But the HBCU C2 program is open to all 2,000 students across disciplines.
“This program has expanded our STEM initiative into something bigger; we’re able to make coding and creativity an opportunity for any student or faculty member. It’s designed to provide everyone with chances to enhance professional development and skill sets.”
Morehouse President David Thomas expects the Apple partnership will position the college as a leader in tech training and create opportunities for minorities to develop new coding skills that could bring them lucrative jobs.
“Blacks make up only about 8% of computer and math workers,” he said. “Programs like HBCU C2 are needed to create a pipeline of skilled workers of color in tech to address workplace disparities.”
Information about Morehouse College is online at morehouse.edu.
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