By Staff Report
Alabama Political Reporter
Alabama’s Community College system is one of six across the country selected for a new app-development curriculum launched today by Apple.
The new curriculum will be offered starting next fall as part of computer science programs in three Alabama community colleges: Drake State Community and Technical College in Huntsville, Bishop State Community College in Mobile and Wallace State Community College in Selma.
In launching the program, Apple noted that there are more than 4,400 open computing jobs in Alabama. However, the company also stressed that the college curriculum will allow students to develop coding skills that are valuable in a wide variety of careers.
“This will allow our students to develop cutting-edge skills that will prepare them for success in today’s workplace,” said Jimmy H. Baker, chancellor of the Alabama Community College System. “It’s exactly the kind of opportunity that we want to make sure we are offering our students. We are thrilled to be partnering with Apple on this program.”
The program will allow students to learn to code and develop apps, using Apple’s Swift language. The Swift Programming Labs are an extension of Everyone Can Code, an existing Apple program used to introduce coding in K-12 schools.
The move into community colleges is designed to address workforce development needs in a technology-driven economy. The curriculum ensures students will enter the work world with knowledge of app development, the company said. In addition to the curriculum, participating schools receive relevant electronic devices, including iMacs, iPods, iPads, and Apple TVs.
“In a world powered by code, understanding key software concepts has become a new literacy,” said Lisa Jackson, Apple vice president for environment, policy and social initiatives. “Computer coding is an essential skill that students need to succeed, no matter what career they pursue.”
The Alabama Community College System (ACCS) consists of 24 comprehensive community and technical colleges, Marion Military Institute and the Alabama Technology Network (ATN). ACCS is committed to providing a unified system of institutions delivering excellence in academic education, adult education, and workforce development. ACCS serves approximately 185,000 people annually through all of its entities, with over 83,000 of those served enrolled in credit courses.