Miami Dade College has just taken an important step towards becoming an international technology hub.
A total of $15 million was injected into MDC by the Johns S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Miami-Dade County, the City of Miami, and the Miami Downtown Development Authority (DDA). MDC is expanding its innovative technology programs in applied artificial intelligence (AI) data analytics and related emerging technologies.
According to the College, the giveaway comes at a time when enrollment in tech programs is at all-time highs. This will allow the school to increase its School of Engineering and Technology (EnTec) faculty by more than 20% – focusing on AI and emerging technology disciplines, as well as developing new professional development courses and programs in these areas.
“With these historic investments and the support of key partners, we are expanding (our) mission, preparing students for top jobs in emerging and growing technology careers, helping residents develop to achieve mobility economy and driving business growth in South Florida. while nurturing local talent for the jobs of tomorrow, today,” said Madeline Pumariega, President of MDC.
The MDC will also implement “AI for All”, an initiative that aims to train all MDC students in applied AI, regardless of their background. MDC will be the first college in the nation to implement an artificial intelligence course in its core curriculum.
The funds will also allow MDC to build an artificial intelligence center to foster experiential learning and collaboration between industry and academia, which will join existing MDC technology centers focused on animation and games, the cloud computing and cybersecurity.
The expansion of the school’s tech programs comes as it launches “MDC Tech”, a gateway to connect students, community members and employers. Through MDC Tech, students will have access to all courses, programs, and professional development opportunities. Tech companies and other Miami employers will also find a direct platform to reach MDC students with the most in-demand tech skills.
Over the past five years, MDC’s EnTec has garnered the attention and support of major global emerging technology industry leaders, including IBM, Amazon Web Services, Microsoft, Google, Cisco and Oracle. As a result, EnTec’s programs in areas such as cloud computing, cybersecurity, and data analytics are among the most market-aligned.
Since 2017, enrollment in technology-related programs at EnTec has increased by 120%. Today, EnTec serves more than 5,000 students each year in more than 30 degrees.
Here is a breakdown of the $15 million investment:
- $7 million from the Knight Foundation
- $5 million from the county
- $2 million from the City of Miami
- $1 million from the Miami DDA.
“Miami Dade College is a foundational institution in Miami, providing accessible, high-quality education and workforce training programs,” said Knight Foundation Miami Senior Program Director Raul Moas. “With this new investment…MDC dramatically increases its ability to meet the community’s growing demand for careers in technology while fueling the industry with needed talent.”
Since 2012, the Knight Foundation has invested more than $55 million in developing Miami’s technology and startup ecosystem by connecting entrepreneurs, attracting investment, and growing the city’s talent base.
This latest investment builds on Knight’s support for Miami Tech, including a $15 million commitment to Florida International University (FIU), University of Miami (UM), and Baptist Health South Florida, announced in February. 2021.
In September 2021, Knight announced investments of $510,000 in four local organizations and entities that help build a sense of community among the city’s tech practitioners. In November 2021, the Knight Foundation announced a $2.25 million investment in CodePath to expand and launch programs at FIU, Florida Memorial University, and MDC to connect students to technology careers.
“We are an extremely talented community with a vibrant entrepreneurial spirit that could take the current tech boom to the next level if given the opportunity,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava. “It is an honor for Miami-Dade County to partner with our local college community to invest in our residents.”
Francis Suarez, Mayor of the City of Miami, said the college deserved the infusion of the grant. MDC is an “invaluable partner” in developing Miami as a “capital of capital, and in an age where human capital is just as valuable, if not more so, than financial capital.”
Miami City Commissioner Manolo Reyes added, “Downtown Miami has become a breeding ground for innovation and a high-tech cluster is taking shape before our eyes.
“Recognizing that artificial intelligence (AI) already plays a vital role in our daily lives and that its impact will grow over time, the Miami DDA is investing $1 million to help put Downtown Miami on the global map as one of the best places to learn and develop the science behind AI,” said Reyes, who is also president of the DDA.
Siemma Lallenmad, Key Biscayne resident and 10th grade student at MAST Academy, will begin her SAS HS in the 2022-2023 school year. This will allow him to attend Miami Dade College and graduate from high school with college credit.
“The money provides great opportunities for students in tech programs and I’m excited because it could overlap with other programs for students taking college courses,” said Lallemad, who has a 3.94 GPA. in high school. She is also an intern for Islander News.