TCC Awarded $40K Grant to Develop Artificial Intelligence Lab

Tulsa Community College is one of 15 colleges nationwide to receive a grant as part of the Artificial Intelligence (AI) Incubator Network Initiative, a collaboration between the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), Dell Technologies and Intel.

TCC received $40,000 to create an Artificial Intelligence (AI) lab using a virtual platform. The overall goal is to provide greater access to AI computing power, tools and resources, aiming to foster the skills needed for future jobs.

“Our participation in this national initiative offers TCC a level of customized technical and peer support that will significantly enhance our current efforts to develop successful and inclusive industry-advised curriculum, including artificial intelligence, to meet growing workforce demand,” said Leigh Goodson, TCC president & CEO.

TCC is incorporating AI content into existing courses and redesigning several courses leading to the Information Technology Application Development degree.

“The potential with AI is an exciting addition to the technology hub in the Tulsa region. With the help of this grant, our students may now acquire foundational skills in data analysis, data visualization and machine learning. These additions set the stage for students to further their learning in the field,” said Travis White, TCC Dean of Business & IT.

Courses for Fall 2022 and Spring 2023 have added additional AI content and a new course on data visualization planned for Summer 2023 will offer next level skills in AI. Plus, more courses could be developed along with the possibility to develop a micro credential in partnership with local industry.

“The data visualization course uses a software package enabling students to develop dashboards and data visualization that bring to life the meaning behind the data. In the updated Python programming course, students will work through coding examples that lay the foundation to solve problems such as pneumonia detection based on x-rays, loan acceptance prediction, and Web site chat bots,” said Julie Luscomb, Business & IT faculty member.

In addition to receiving the grant, TCC has also joined the AI Incubator Network to connect with community colleges across the nation on strategic economic development opportunities, participate in discussions about learning pathways, strategize on student engagement in AI programs, and gather best practices from each other and industry leaders.

“AI has become an increasingly important focus for community colleges as providers of workforce education for multiple industries,” said Walter G. Bumphus, Ph.D., AACC president & CEO. “Working together with peers and across sectors will enhance the ability of our colleges to advance and scale this curriculum across the nation to ensure that students earn the skills needed to fill these jobs and begin meaningful careers.”

In January 2022, AACC, Dell Technologies and Intel announced a joint commitment to grow Intel’s AI for Workforce Program from 18 states to 50 by 2023.

“Today’s students will enter a technology workforce where every organization will focus in some capacity on applying AI to solving problems and creating value for organizations,” said Carlos Contreras, Intel senior director of AI and digital readiness. “Intel is excited to partner with the AACC and Dell Technologies to democratize AI technology and enable students to enter that workforce with AI experience.”