The computer science department is a relatively newer program at Southern University, as it just moved into the former architecture building a little over three years ago. Despite this, the department has worked towards the goal of being the “the showcase department” as the department Chair, Dr. Ebrahim Khosravi, puts it. Having improved by great lengths, the department has partnered with two technology companies, X-Corp Solutions and DXC Technology.
The X-Corp partnership is providing the Southern University system with a new facility at the Quantico Corporate Center in Stafford, Virginia. The 30,000 square foot building will specialize in cyber security and will be one of the largest of its kind in Virginia. The facility will offer a variety of different programs for members of the armed forces and other federal employees who are looking to get into the different fields of computer science like cyber security and artificial intelligence. The different programs will offer comprehensive training and will also provide graduates industry standard certifications.
While the actual facility itself is geared more towards professionals looking to relearn and retool, versions of the programs at the Stafford location will be available at Southern University for undergrad and graduate level students. “When we were designing this, we also had the same line of thinking, how could we have our students take advantage of this? As a result, we are going to open a parallel campus here so that our students here can also get the lectures and certifications here,” said Dr. Khosravi. The Stafford facility along with the parallel programs should both be up and running by Fall of this year.
DXC Technology is an emerging technology company based out of New Orleans. In conjunction with the State of Louisiana and the city of New Orleans, $25 million will be put towards STEM programs in colleges and universities around Louisiana, with Southern being one of the recipient schools. The money would be utilized for improving, modernizing, and advancing all the STEM programs offered at Southern. “This is a wonderful initiative that will benefit our students across our campuses and a great increase to our graduation rate in STEM. STEM drives this country and world, and our students will be able to join the many sectors that those disciplines impact on a larger scale,” the President-Chancellor of Southern University, Dr. Ray L. Belton commented.
DXC Technology has also been aggressively recruiting from Southern University along with offering a variety of different training programs for faculty and students. Fresh to Louisiana, DXC is looking to fill over 2,000 positions-ranging from I.T. to software and mobile development to business professionals over the next five years. The computer science department is looking to capitalize on this need by creating a funnel for graduates to DXC.
DXC is currently offering a course in Cloud Computing for this summer, from July 8-13, that will teach students fundamentals about cloud computing, cyber security, and other skills. DXC is also currently sponsoring the creation of several new courses in the computer science department by facilitating the training of faculty.
Sophomore computer science major, Taylor Bolton agreed, “This growth provides not only more opportunities, but it also opens the amount of jobs where you can start your career.” The department has also submitted requests for a dedicated cyber security building on Southern’s campus.