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6 HBCUs chosen for IBM cybersecurity centers; NC A&T is on that list

N.C. A&T is one of six HBCUs to receive access to an IBM cybersecurity center to train STEM students with no-cost.

ARMONK, N.Y. — Editor's note: Video features N.C. A&T's Vice Provost changing the face of STEM.

On May 10, IBM announced education initiatives with six historically Black colleges and universities (HBCU).

The goal is to provide no-cost STEM job training to university students from underrepresented communities across the U.S. 

IBM has selected six HBCUs in five southern states that will get cybersecurity centers: North Carolina A&T, South Carolina State, Clark Atlanta, Morgan State, Xavier University of Louisiana and the Southern University System in Louisiana, according to a news release

The following universities will have access to a customized, multi-year cybersecurity experience with IBM. The company plans to put more than 20 of these centers at HBCUs nationwide. 

"We believe that the most promising job candidates for today's demanding careers will come from communities that may have been historically overlooked or excluded due to outdated hiring policies and old-fashioned credentialing," said Vice President, IBM Corporate Social Responsibility and ESG, Justina Nixon Saintil. 

Director of the Center of Excellence in Cybersecurity Research, Education and Outreach, Hossein Sarrafzadeh, PhD, shared that NC A&T being chosen is a great privilege that will give (our) students access to top-notch education, technology, and industry professionals, according to IBM's news release. 

"IBM recognizes the untapped talent at HBCUs and with this investment they are building a cybersecurity education infrastructure that will propel underrepresented communities to the forefront of security leadership," Sarrafzadeh said. 

The company said each school will get customized courses and access to company academic programs along with experience simulated but realistic cyberattacks through IBM Security's Command Center.

These collaborations highlight IBM's focus on providing STEM job training to traditionally discriminated communities and helping students land jobs in their desired fields quicker and easier. 

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