San José City College-MITx Collaboration Wins State Grant
San Jose City College

$150,000 will help bring MITx accelerated program to new Milpitas Extension


San José City College has been awarded a $150,000 grant from the California Workforce Development Board (CWDB) for SJCC's innovative technest program, which is designed to train underserved community members for careers in the tech industry.

The grant, from the CWBD's Workforce Accelerator Fund 4.0 will help kick start technest – a rigorous 18-week on-line program of courses offered by MITx and SJCC faculty at the new tech-enabled San Jose Evergreen Community College District Extension in Milpitas. Of the 15 Accelerator grant recipients in the California, SJCC is the only community college to receive a grant award.

MITx is the massive open online course (MOOC) program that is part of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Office of Digital Learning. With technest, SJCC is leveling the playing field for low-income and first-generation students, minorities, and women by providing access to computer science education, training, and resources for those who demonstrate the desire and ability to code.

"This grant reaffirms our belief that we can provide relevant accelerated learning to underserved students who want to gain access to some of the most dynamic and high-paying careers in Silicon Valley," said Dr. Byron Clift Breland, SJCC President. "Our aim is to make this one of the most innovative solutions to bridge the skills and income inequality gap here in the Valley."

The courses are tentatively scheduled to begin in March with a focus on the fundamentals of computational thinking, simple algorithms, and computer programming in Python. Students will meet weekly at technest to collaborate with peers and work with SJCC instructors on problem sets, incorporating the best of both online and in-class learning.

"MIT is committed to converting the best research into learning across the world. The mission of the Office of Digital Learning is to transform teaching and learning at MIT and around the globe through the innovative use of digital technologies. Our joint efforts at SJCC are much aligned with this mission," said Sanjay Sarma, MIT Vice President for Open Learning.

By leveraging the Workforce Accelerator Fund 4.0, the CWDB and the Employment Development Department have supported projects that design, develop, and implement programs that accelerate employment and re-employment strategies for California job seekers.

About San Jose City College
San José City College's metropolitan campus is located just minutes from downtown San José off Highway 280. Established in 1921, San José City College is embarking on the celebration of its 95th anniversary with a state-of-the-art Technology Center, Library and Learning Center, Student Center, Science Complex, Applied Science Center, soon-to-be-completed Physical Education Building.

Daniel Garza
San Jose City College

SJCC Press Release