Miami, August 9, 2021 – Miami Dade College (MDC) has been awarded a grant for nearly $1 million from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to fund the development of Artificial Intelligence (AI) courses with an interdisciplinary approach and ultimately offer a College Credit Certificate in AI, one of the fastest growing industries right now.
As part of the grant, the College will provide industry-based professional training for MDC faculty to develop and pilot AI courses, and integrate AI curriculum into existing courses. Additionally, MDC’s School of Engineering and Technology (EnTec) will provide support mechanisms that engage and encourage underrepresented minorities students to study AI, while establishing multiple entry points into AI for traditional students and existing professionals. The project seeks to meet students where they are geographically, economically, and academically.
“We are very excited to lead the efforts to create an AI for All model,” said MDC President Madeline Pumariega. “This generous grant will support MDC’s mission to prepare all students and faculty with the necessary skills to succeed in today’s innovative labor market and diversify Miami’s growing tech ecosystem.”
The four-year grant will be implemented at MDC in collaboration with the University of Florida, Texas A&M University-Commerce (TAMUC) and the non-profit organization AI4ALL. The project will also have support from AI experts from companies including IBM, AWS, and Microsoft.
“With this project, we hope to learn more about how students come to see themselves as the kind of individuals who study and work in AI, and how we can create more supportive environments for students, particularly those from racially and ethnically marginalized backgrounds, to study AI” said Sarah Rodriguez, Associate Professor at TAMUC and researcher for the grant.
The collaboration with TAMUC will provide MDC with an opportunity to research how best to serve all college students in AI and how the AI program builds STEM identity and AI self-efficacy, particularly among Hispanic and Black students.
“This grant will support the college’s efforts to create AI interdisciplinary courses for all college students,” added Antonio Delgado, Dean of EnTec. “Collaborations with leading AI institutions and companies puts us at the forefront of AI workforce development.”
EnTec is currently offering the course AI Thinking, which explores different technologies utilizing concepts and skills widely accepted for AI and digital competency. The course will be available during the fall semester starting Sept. 29 at MDC North Campus, where the new AI Center is currently under construction. Apply for the course at https://bit.ly/3lvu8Vm.