The AT&T & Clarkson Digital Experience will provide local students exposure to technology skills and college credits focused on the innovation economy
AT&T and Clarkson University are seeking high school students from underrepresented and under-resourced communities in the Mid-Hudson Valley to take part in a new free digital literacy program that is being offered this fall, thanks to a contribution from AT&T. The AT&T & Clarkson Digital Experience is designed to give local underrepresented students early exposure to key tenets of digital literacy theory and practice at Clarkson’s campus in Beacon, NY. The innovative program will also provide local students early exposure to a collegiate academic experience and give them the necessary skills to become competitive workers in the digital economy.
The AT&T & Clarkson Digital Experience consists of three residential sessions held at Clarkson’s Beacon Institute on August 21, September 24, and October 22 from 8:30am-4:30pm. In preparation for each residence session, course pre-work will be assigned approximately 2 weeks prior to the residential sessions. Pre-work will consist of 4-6 hours of asynchronous learning that is designed to provide all students with baseline knowledge of digital literacy and ensure that all students, regardless of background, have the same opportunities to comprehend the material. This pre-work also serves to acquaint students with the learning platforms, their instructors and fellow students through carefully designed collaborative exercises via online communication tools.
The curriculum of the AT&T & Clarkson Digital Experience was developed by faculty in Clarkson’s Department of Communication, Media & Design and consists of three, one-credit college-level courses focused on developing an appreciation and understanding of the key tenets and skills of digital literacy theory and practice. The courses include: 1) Infographics: Concepts & Applications, 2) Social Media Analysis & Application and 3) User Experience (UE) Design. Each one credit course is approximately five weeks in length.
After the AT&T & Clarkson Digital Experience residential sessions are completed, students will be expected to complete 4-6 hours of asynchronous work that is intended to engage each student in the critical thinking process. This work may come in the form of reflection assignments, group projects or any other learning activity deemed appropriate by the instructors. Students will have approximately 2 weeks following the residential session to complete the required post-work. Each completed course will earn students one college credit. Students will be engaged for approximately 4 weeks for each individual course (2 weeks of pre-work, residential sessions, 2 weeks of post work). The program will provide participants with computers and a networked classroom in the event that those students do not have access to adequate resources to participate in the program.
A second component to the AT&T & Clarkson Digital Experience is that of a true workforce development aspect. As the economic climate constantly evolves and changes, there are many career fields emerging that do not require a four-year degree. This new program will offer select professional “gateway” certifications for upper-level high school students that will allow them the opportunity to gain industry-recognized skills that stack toward certifications in specific knowledge areas such as IT Support, Cybersecurity Analysis, Data Science and more. Each certificate program varies in length but ranges from 100 hours to 200 hours of engagement time. Each certificate will be asynchronous and self-paced allowing students to progress at their own comfort level. Built-in self-assessment and minimum required grades ensure learners are achieving the required knowledge and skill-sets necessary in the chosen discipline.
The AT&T & Clarkson Digital Experience is seeking to enroll 25 students in grades 9 through 12 for the free educational program. To apply for the one-credit courses, click here: https://connect.clarkson.edu/register/badge_course, to apply for the certificate program click here: https://forms.gle/BEa57oYTQ8AFA6vA6.
Digital knowledge is quickly becoming the new literacy and is the driver of all new global technology. With the growing demand to innovate, organizations across various industries struggle to fill skilled positions. It's projected that there will be 3.5 million STEM jobs in the U.S. by 2025, underscoring the importance of providing the youth the tools and skills necessary to compete in this innovation economy. The urgency for more diverse technology-trained employees is accentuated by the low percentage of diversity make-up of the technology industry. This alarming diversity shortage in the tech industry and the growing STEM job market emphasizes the importance of providing programming like the AT&T & Clarkson Digital Experience for youth of all backgrounds and economic situations.
AT&T’s partnership with Clarkson University to develop and offer this free digital literacy program in the Hudson Valley is part of the Company’s legacy of supporting educational programs focused on digital literacy and STEM disciplines in New York through AT&T Aspire, the company’s signature $600 million philanthropic initiative that leverages technology and social innovation to help give people – regardless of age, gender, race, or socioeconomic status – the opportunity to succeed. Aspire is one of the nation’s largest corporate commitments focused on advancing education, creating opportunities, strengthening communities, and improving lives, particularly amongst historically underserved populations, by creating new learning environments and educational delivery systems that promote racial equity in academic and economic achievement. For more information on the program, click here: https://www.clarkson.edu/att-digital-experience.