AWS Machine Learning University is now providing a free educator enablement program. This program provides faculty at community colleges, minority-serving institutions (MSIs), and historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) with the skills and resources to teach data analytics, artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning (ML) concepts to build a diverse pipeline for in-demand jobs of today and tomorrow.
According to the National Science Foundation, Black and Hispanic or Latino students earn bachelor’s degrees in Computer Science—the dominant pathway to AI/ML—at a much lower rate than their white peers, earning less than 11 percent of computer science degrees awarded. However, research shows that having diverse perspectives among skilled practitioners and across the AI/ML lifecycle contributes to the development of AI/ML systems that are safe, trustworthy, and have less bias.
In 2018, we announced the Machine Learning University (MLU) to share with all developers the same courses that we used to train engineers at Amazon and AWS. This platform offers self-service, self-paced, AI/ML digital courses.
And today, we add this new program to our AI/ML training offering. Although anyone could access the MLU self-paced learning, it places the burden on the learner to source prerequisite work and solutions. This educator enablement program takes the concepts and lessons developed by MLU and makes them more accessible to educators. It offers a year-round educator enablement program with lesson planning, course playbooks, and access to free compute resources.
Educators are onboarded in small-group cohorts into bootcamps where they will learn the material and deep dive into how to teach it via instructor-led lectures and hands-on projects. Educators who complete the bootcamp can take part in different year-round development opportunities, such as a dedicated Slack channel to share teaching best practices, education topic series and virtual study sessions moderated by MLU instructors, and regional events for continued professional development. Also, they will receive continuing education credits and AWS-provided stipends.
Faculty and students get access to instructional material through Amazon SageMaker Studio Lab. SageMaker Studio Lab was announced last year and is AWS’s free (no credit card required) ML development environment. It provides computing and storage for anybody that wants to learn and experiment with ML. Institutions can unlock additional resources to support their ML programs by registering for AWS Academy. AWS Academy unlocks all the AWS services for a complete AI/ML program.
Community colleges and universities can integrate this educator enablement program into their computer science, information technology, and business curricula to create an AI/ML course, certificate, or degree. We have worked with educators and education boards such as Houston Community College to create content that is vetted for credit-worthy and degree-earning curricula.
In August 2022, we launched our first educator bootcamp in partnership with The Coding School. The bootcamp was delivered over two weeks, offering lectures, case studies, and hands-on projects. 25 educators completed the Educator Machine Learning Bootcamp, representing 22 US community colleges and universities.
Learn More and Join The Program
During 2023, AWS Machine Learning University will run six educator-enablement cohorts starting in January. The program will give priority consideration to educators at community colleges, MSIs, and HBCUs, in alignment with this program mission to increase access to AI/ML technology to historically underserved and underrepresented students.
If you are a computer science educator or part of a board of educators interested in fostering more depth in your computer science coursework, you should sign up for the educator enablement program.