TSU’s national coding hub welcomes 23 new HBCUs to be community centers as part of Apple initiative

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University’s national coding hub is welcoming 23 new HBCUs to be community centers as part of Apple’s Community Education Initiative. The announcement comes during Computer Science Education Week, Dec. 7-13.

The tech giant has been working with TSU for the past two years to launch and expand the school’s HBCU C2 initiative, which brings coding and creativity experiences to all 100-plus historically black colleges and universities and their communities.

Students discuss ideas at TSU’s national coding hub. (TSU Media Relations)

To date, there are eight C2 hubs across the nation, and now a total of 25 HBCU C2 centers. Stakeholders say the promotion of digital literacy, computational thinking, coding and creativity will help bring workforce development opportunities to students, faculty, and the broader HBCU communities.

“This partnership with Apple will empower our HBCUs with the knowledge and skill sets now required for the technological workforce,” said TSU President Glenda Glover. “Coding and app development are a growing part of the global workforce, and we want to help make sure people of color, especially our students, are equipped with the knowledge and skills to be competitive, and successful.”

Dr. Robbie Melton, associate vice president of the TSU SMART Innovation Global Center that oversees the initiative, said faculty leaders from the HBCUs will participate in Apple’s ongoing Community Education Initiative Learning Series to learn about coding and app design and development.

“As part of that ongoing professional development, educators will explore innovative ways to engage with learners using Apple’s comprehensive curriculum, which utilizes its easy-to-learn Swift programming language,” said Melton.

As part of its Community Education Initiative and this partnership, Apple is supporting HBCUs with equipment, resources, and professional development to help the new centers become the pre-eminent HBCU C2 Centers in bringing coding and creativity to their communities.

In June, Apple launched a new Racial Equity and Justice Initiative focused on challenging systemic barriers to opportunity for communities of color by advancing education, economic equality, and criminal justice reform efforts.

”Apple is committed to working alongside communities of color to advance educational equity,” said Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives. “We see this expansion of our Community Education Initiative and partnership with HBCUs as another step toward helping Black students realize their dreams and solve the problems of tomorrow.”

Earlier this year, TSU held a virtual HBCU C2 summit, bringing together nearly 300 educators from across the HBCU community. The goal of the program was to share best practices and hear from colleagues about workforce development, connecting with their communities, and to bring coding to students of all ages.

To learn more about TSU’s HBCU Cinitiative, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/hbcuc2/.

Department of Media Relations

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About Tennessee State University

Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a  premier, historically black university and land-grant institution offering 39 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs, and seven doctoral degrees.  TSU is a comprehensive research intensive institution with a R-2 Carnegie designation, and has a graduate school on its downtown Avon Williams Campus, along with the Otis Floyd Nursery Research Center in McMinnville, Tennessee.  With a commitment to excellence, Tennessee State University provides students  with a quality education in a nurturing and innovative environment that prepares them as alumni to be global leaders in every facet of society. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.