Intel is expanding an artificial intelligence program to more than a dozen community colleges across the U.S., the company announced Tuesday.
The technology giant is supplying curriculum and faculty development for participating schools, and is partnering with Dell to provide technical and infrastructure expertise for the program, which can lead to a certificate or associate degree.
The offering grew out of a partnership with the Maricopa County Community College District in Arizona, which has enrolled dozens of students in an AI associate degree program since its inception in 2019.
The initiative is part of Intel's AI for Workforce program, which aims to train workers in artificial intelligence by partnering with community colleges to create programs and train faculty.
Intel partnered with Maricopa County Community College District to launch the associate degree program. The college is still building out the courses that make up the degree program, but around 80 students will be enrolled in them each semester, said Carlos Contreras, senior director of AI and digital readiness at Intel.
The company provides more than 200 hours of content to teach technical skills as well as ethical issues arising with AI that colleges can use to fit their needs. It counts 18 community colleges as partners, including large institutions such as Houston Community College and Ivy Tech Community College in Indiana.
Intel is working with community colleges as a way to train large swathes of workers and bring the programs to underserved communities. Eight of the 18 participating schools are classified as minority-serving institutions, according to the company's announcement.
"We want to make this technology accessible to anyone," Contreras said, adding that having a diverse workforce will improve AI.
Intel plans to expand the program to 50 community and vocational colleges next year. Contreras said graduates can go into a variety of fields, including healthcare, business consulting and manufacturing.
The program is the latest example of a technology company working with community colleges and other higher education institutions to craft curricula. Amazon Web Services, for instance, has worked with some 200 colleges in the U.S. alone to deliver at least one cloud computing course.
AWS most recently partnered with the National Education Equity Lab to offer cloud computing classes to high school students in low-income districts. Google, one of AWS' top competitors, likewise created a platform for college faculty members to access cloud education resources.