Computer scientists at Marquette University’s College of Arts and Sciences have received a $1 million grant to teach low-income professionals with undergraduate degrees the necessary skills to switch to a career in computing.
“This significant award is a breakthrough for both computing employers and professionals looking to change into a high-demand profession,” said Richard Holz, dean of the Klingler College of Arts and Sciences. “Just as important, we are looking forward to providing much-needed access to attract and develop more diverse computing professionals.”
The grant was awarded by the National Science Foundation and will allow computer scientists to develop a curriculum for students with non-computing undergraduate degrees that will teach them basics in the field of computing.
The program, called Change Opportunity — Start Masters in Computing, or COSMIC, will start with 24 adults who will be divided into four cohorts. Each person enrolled in the program will have a faculty advisor and peer mentor.
“We are thrilled to have been selected by the NSF to develop, rigorously evaluate and disseminate a novel, graduate-level model for career change (into computing), which could be adopted nationwide by other universities,” said Gary Krenz, professor in mathematics, statistics and computer science. “We view early work experience as critical to these students trying move into a new career path and we are encouraging business with open entry-level positions to consider this as a recruiting opportunity and a service to the community.”