ARIZONA NEWS

Maricopa colleges offering Arizona’s first AI certificate, degree program

Jun 26, 2020, 4:05 AM
(Gerd Altmann/Pixabay)...
(Gerd Altmann/Pixabay)
(Gerd Altmann/Pixabay)

PHOENIX — The Maricopa County Community College District announced Thursday it will be offering Arizona’s first artificial intelligence certificate and degree program.

The new AI program is a collaboration with Intel and the Arizona Commerce Authority.

“This program will train our students for a competitive workforce, strengthen Arizona’s economy as well as help close the opportunity gap we see across the state and be a model for educational institutions across the nation,” interim district Chancellor Dr. Steven R. Gonzales said in a press release.

More than 20,000 AI employment opportunities are projected for Arizona this year, which ranks 6% above the national average, according to the release.

The MCCCD Workforce and Economic Development Office estimates a 22.4% increase for these positions by 2029.

Maricopa colleges will virtually offer the first two courses of the artificial intelligence and machine-learning program as soon as the fall 2020 semester.

MCCCD intends to have all five courses available for the spring 2021 semester.

Students who pass all five AIM courses can earn a certificate of completion and an associate’s degree.

The program will teach students skills such as data collection, AI model training, coding and exploring the societal impact of AI technology.

MCCCD intends to hold in-person classes at Chandler-Gilbert and Estrella Mountain community colleges once guidance regarding COVID-19 permits the schools to do so.

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Maricopa colleges offering Arizona’s first AI certificate, degree program