A new collaboration provides free cloud computing courses, to high school students in underserved school districts across the country

New initiative targets 10,000 underserved students for in-demand cloud computing careers

A new collaboration provides free cloud computing courses, to high school students in underserved school districts across the country

The National Education Equity Lab (Ed Equity Lab) has launched a new initiative with Amazon Web Services (AWS) designed to prepare more than 10,000 students in underserved high schools across the nation for careers in cloud computing by 2025.

As part of Amazon’s ongoing commitment to help 29 million people worldwide increase their technical skills by 2025, the new collaboration, launching this fall, will enable students in low-income school districts to access AWS cloud computing educational content and resources offered by Arizona State University (ASU) at no cost to students.

“Students from underserved school districts and communities face challenges that prevent them from pursuing and succeeding in some of the country’s fastest-growing technical careers,” said Wil Zemp, Director of Education to Workforce at AWS. “It will take intentional, proactive effort by employers, education leaders, and the tech industry to remove those barriers and build more equitable pathways to economic mobility.”

For each of the last five years, cloud computing has been named one of the country’s most in-demand skills by LinkedIn, and the U.S. Department of Labor predicts that increasing demand for cloud computing will be a primary driver of job growth across the IT sector in the coming decade. Ed Equity Lab will collaborate with AWS and ASU to provide high school students with knowledge and skills to move toward careers in cloud computing.

ASU and Ed Equity Lab will provide the high school students with the opportunity to earn college credit, which will be transferable to existing associate and bachelor’s degree programs in cloud computing across the country. Students who successfully complete the rigorous courses will earn college credits from ASU and have the opportunity to earn an industry-recognized AWS Certification credential. The courses will be taught by ASU faculty, trained by AWS to help students become proficient in AWS technology.

“In an increasingly dynamic and global economy, higher education institutions have a responsibility to bridge the gap between K-12 schools and the workforce—and foster the sort of experiences and opportunities that translate to success in higher education and throughout one’s career,” said Maria Anguiano, Executive VP of ASU’s Learning Enterprise. “Together, we’re working to break down the historic silos that so often create friction between high school, college, and the world of work.”

The Ed Equity Lab currently operates in more than 100 Title I and Title I-eligible high schools across 35 cities to deliver college credit-bearing courses from top colleges and universities into teacher-led classrooms across the nation, at no cost to students. Since 2019, the Lab’s pioneering model has served nearly 3,000 students, with thousands earning widely-transferable college credits—for free—and building the skills and confidence to succeed in college and beyond.

“Our work is rooted in the belief that talent is evenly distributed, but opportunity is not,” said Leslie Cornfeld, Executive Director of The National Educational Equity Lab. “This collaboration with AWS and ASU represents the next step in an ongoing effort to shift the status quo—and enable students from all backgrounds to fulfill their aspirations and realize their unique potential.”

Material from a press release was used in this report.

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Laura Ascione
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