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NACC and Jackson County Schools Partner with Google to Provide Computer Science Programs for Dual Enrollment Students

January 03, 2024

Pictured here: NACC's STEM building (top), and the Kevin Dukes Career and Innovation Academy (bottom).

Northeast Alabama Community College (NACC) and Jackson County Schools, with support from Google, have established a partnership to provide dual enrollment students with opportunities in computer science and cybersecurity courses and programs. This partnership is intended to give students an early start in the booming field of computer science. 

Under this partnership, NACC will provide a full-time instructor at Kevin Dukes Career and Innovation Academy in Hollywood. Qualifying students will have their tuition paid through Northeast by a state workforce grant.

“We are very excited about this program,” stated NACC President Dr. David Campbell.  “Our staff has worked closely with Superintendent Jason Davidson and his staff in working out the details and procedures of this program.”

The team from Google’s Jackson County data center provided both funding and curriculum guidance to help get this program underway. This collaboration with NACC and Jackson County Schools will help remove barriers to entry in the tech industry by providing new career pathways for local students. Google broke ground on its data center in Jackson County in 2018 and has been committed to expanding access to STEM education in the community.

“I appreciate the hard work and effort that has gone into this collaboration,” said Jackson County Schools Superintendent Jason Davidson. “Dr. Campbell's leadership and willingness to partner with Jackson County Schools is the keystone in developing an opportunity for the students of Jackson County. I would also like to thank Google and their support of building a workforce that is enriched in IT, cyber/networking, and computer science data analysis. Throughout the development of the Kevin Dukes Innovation and Career Academy, the idea to bring opportunities such as this was always at the forefront of the team's design.”

Education officials see great opportunities for employment in computer science. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 5% increase in the computer science and cybersecurity market over the next 10 years. Located just one county away, the Huntsville area has already experienced astronomical growth in this field.   

The program will include the opportunity for students to obtain a Google IT Support Professional Certificate, which teaches students the foundations of IT support, and provides job-ready skills for entry-level IT positions. To connect graduates directly to jobs, the program includes an employer consortium of over 150 companies—including Accenture, Dell, Deloitte, Lowe’s, T-Mobile, Verizon, Walmart, Wells Fargo, and Google—that hire in the certificate fields.

NACC Computer Science Instructor and Division Director Bryon Miller knows the importance of preparing students for the workforce. “This initial program will help prepare students for tech support positions with median national salaries around $59,000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Future cybersecurity courses will prepare students for careers with six-figure median salaries!” said Miller.

Other certification programs are planned for the program, as well as academic transfer courses for students that want to obtain an associate, bachelor’s, and then graduate degrees in computer science fields.

For more information about this program, please contact Staci Miller, NACC Dual Enrollment Coordinator, at 256-638-4481 ext. 2225 or Contact Ashley Lee at the Kevin Dukes Career and Innovation Academy at Students looking to explore more options in computer science may contact Mr. Miller at millerb@nacc.edufor more information! NACC offers fully online courses, and registration is open until January 12, 2024.


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