Google has partnered with Howard University to launch a satellite campus at its Mountainview, Calif., headquarters.
The company on Thursday announced its “Howard West” campus, which will offer a three-month residency for juniors and seniors in Howard’s computer science program. Although the students will not receive an internship salary (which averages about $6,600 a month), they will receive college credit and a housing stipend.
“Howard West will produce hundreds of industry-ready black computer science graduates, future leaders with the power to transform the global technology space into a stronger, more accurate reflection of the world around us,” Howard University President Wayne Frederick said in a statement. “We envisioned this program with bold outcomes in mind—to advance a strategy that leverages Howard’s high-quality faculty and Google’s expertise, while also rallying the tech industry and other thought leaders around the importance of diversity in business and the communities they serve.”
Hopefully, once these students complete the program and graduate from Howard, they’ll have opportunities for full-time positions at Google, especially since its diversity numbers could use it. According to Google’s latest diversity report, black employees account for only 2 percent of its workforce, while 59 percent of it is white and 32 percent Asian.
Howard alumna and Google Global Partnerships Vice President Bonita Stewart says that the partnership will open doors for black students in the field of technology.
“The lack of exposure, access to mentors and role models are critical gaps that Howard West will solve. We’ve also heard that many CS students struggle to find the time to practice coding while juggling a full course load and part-time jobs,” Stewart said. “Left unchecked, systematic barriers lead to low engagement and enrollment in CS, low retention in CS programs and a lack of proximity and strong relationships between the Silicon Valley, HBCUs and the larger African-American community.”