AWS Government, Education, & Nonprofits Blog

Partnership of the year awarded to Virginia schools and AWS Educate for creating Cloud Degree Programs

Education Dive announced George Mason University (GMU), Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA), and AWS Educate earned the Higher Ed “Partnership of the Year” award for collaborating to launch a two and four-year cloud degree pathway.

Education Dive, a digital publication for the education industry, gives out the annual Dive Awards to the industry’s top innovators for their efforts to shape the future of education. The award builds on momentum for AWS Educate’s Cloud Degree initiative. Governors from three U.S. states (Louisiana, Virginia, and Texas) announced that they will collaborate with AWS Educate to incorporate cloud curricula from K12 through higher education, and the first international implementations were announced in the United Kingdom and Bahrain.

In 2018, NOVA worked with AWS Educate to create an associate’s degree with a cloud computing specialization. AWS Educate provided the instructional design support, frameworks for building the curriculum, access to subject matter experts, and use of cloud computing tools for hands-on learning. Chad Knights, NOVA’s provost of information and engineering technologies, said that AWS Educate provided a forum for innovation and confirmed the high student demand for the program.

For GMU, it became a “natural decision” to build on NOVA’s work and offer the third and fourth year of courses to students. In June, GMU announced they would begin offering a bachelor’s degree in cloud computing.

“We’re really reaching the population that we’ve committed to serve, which is students from all backgrounds and all socioeconomic experiences,” Liza Wilson Durant, Associate Dean and Professor at GMU said. “So why not offer [cloud education] to them as well as to our students that elect to come to Mason as freshmen?”

“Students have to scaffold to higher levels of attainment, whether it’s directly out of school or over time,” said Ken Eisner, director of worldwide education programs at Amazon Web Services (AWS) and head of AWS Educate. “We want to make sure that students have strong pathways both into and out of the workforce and into higher levels of learning and skill development.”

Learn more about AWS Educate.