By Blass Guerrero and Zakary Griego:
Amarillo College has announced a partnership with Apple, Inc. to bring the Swift application coding program to AC students.
The college held a news conference March 29 about the new educational opportunity. “With Apple’s Swift certification, students can immediately earn up to six-figure salaries all while continuing to live in Amarillo,” Dr. Russell Lowery-Hart, AC president, said.
Apple’s Swift is a programming language that allows its users to create their own apps. Also, AC students will have the opportunity to check out MacBook Pro laptops free of charge, since AC’s Board of Regents approved the partnership, along with the purchase of $55,000 worth of Apple products including the MacBook Pros, iPads and the iPod Touches.
Lowery-Hart said with Apple’s presence at AC, students will be learners, who become creators, who will become earners.
“We are partnering with Apple Inc. to become a community that can code. Our goal is at the end of this partnership that we can develop pipelines for any independent school district in the community that wants to be part of the Amarillo College Code Program,” he said.
Amarillo College is one of only three community colleges in the state of Texas to partner with Apple to offer Swift courses, said Dr. Tamara Clunis, vice president of academic affairs. The partnership is a very exciting development for AC and the city of Amarillo, she said.
“It’s going to bring big opportunities to learn Swift, and I wouldn’t be able to afford it if it weren’t for Amarillo College,” Julian Jacquez, a computer information system major, said. “This opportunity will help me be on the modern side of coding, helping many to get big jobs like at IBM.”
Andrew Hands, a computer programming student, explained that many large technology companies have switched all of their internal programming to the Swift programming language. Hands added that the Swift programming language is the next up-and-coming language for any prospective programming student to learn.
“Opening the door to such a large market helps not only the students at AC but also the college as a whole,” Cameron Meyers, a computer science major, said.
Starting this fall, students will be able to enroll in two out of the three classes in the Apple Swift app program. All three classes will be available in the spring of 2019 and all these classes are eight weeks long. Students can complete a certificate in iOS app development, which can lead to an 18-hour certificate in coding and design, which will then help lead to an associate degree in coding and design. Within a single semester, students can earn a certification that will be applicable to the real world job market.
Instructors are currently being trained by Apple to bring the new curriculum to AC. Many of these instructors will be able to then train others in the region.
Registration will open April 9 for the new fall semester classes.