IBM Provides $2 Million in Learning and Technology Resources to SC State University

Tuesday, November 10, 2020


ORANGEBURG, S.C. – In alignment with the university’s strategic statement of “Transformation through Collaboration,” SC State President James E. Clark announced a multimillion-dollar collaboration with International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) for technology education delivery to South Carolina State students and faculty. IBM has made $2 million in learning and technology resources available to SC State, which will provide the university with access to industry resources for academic enhancement.


Through the collaboration, students and faculty will have access to more technology, resources and skills development as SC State and IBM work together to develop the expertise of faculty and students, develop the curriculum and provide research opportunities. The academic collaboration will focus on several key areas, including cybersecurity, data science analytics, cloud, blockchain, quantum computing and artificial intelligence.


IBM will make software, courseware and other resources available to the university through its IBM Academic Initiative. The initiative is a program that provides historically black colleges and universities’ (HBCUs) faculty and students no-charge access to the most relevant tools for the current job market.


IBM’s website states the initiative’s mission is to “enable students to graduate with direct hands-on experience on "industrial strength" tools that will help them in their chosen career.” The company aims to build meaningful relationships with academic institutions around the world, and has recently pledged funds to various historically black colleges and universities in the U.S. to help students obtain the technological prowess they need to succeed.


The collaboration will also provide the university with access to the IBM Skills Academy, which is a comprehensive training and badging program designed to empower students of various backgrounds. The academy provides students with additional skills, giving them a competitive edge.


As advanced technology becomes increasingly paramount, this alliance will provide SC State students with more of the industry knowledge and skills they need to lead in their field. For example, three SC State faculty are starting initial training in IBM’s data science curriculum now, so 15 students who graduate in the spring of 2021 can benefit.


“We are very grateful for this collaboration between SC State and IBM. It is a great opportunity for the university to stay up to date with modern technological advancements. This partnership is a gateway to success for all students, faculty and staff. It is also a step to ensuring the continued success at HBCUs,” said SC State Student Government Association President Javonni Ayers.


“Equal access to skills and jobs is the key to unlocking economic opportunity and prosperity for diverse populations,” said Valinda Scarbro Kennedy, HBCU Program Lead, IBM Global University Programs. “As we announced earlier this fall, IBM is deeply committed to helping HBCU students build their skills to better prepare for the future of work. Through this collaboration, South Carolina State University students will gain modern skills in emerging technologies across hybrid cloud, quantum and AI so they’ll be better prepared for the future of work and thrive in the digital economy.”


SC State University envisions the expansion of its work with IBM and hopes to facilitate more programs that cater to the needs of a dynamic workforce.


“This collaboration is another way we are developing relationships to enrich our students and equip them with transformative education,” said SC State University President James E. Clark. By teaming with IBM, we are creating avenues for our students to compete and lead globally. South Carolina State University is appreciative of IBM’s support and anticipates a collaboration that is long-lasting.”