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Clark Atlanta, one of six HBCUs in U.S. getting cybersecurity centers

Clark Atlanta University will receive one of the first IBM cybersecurity centers to train underrepresented communities.

ATLANTA — One Atlanta school will be one of six Historically Black Colleges and Universities in the South to receive the first of many IBM cybersecurity centers that train underrepresented communities. 

Clark Atlanta University, Xavier University of Louisiana, North Carolina A&T, South Carolina State and Morgan State universities are the six schools according to a news release. 

The new Cybersecurity Leadership Centers will give students access to "customized, multi-year cybersecurity experience with IBM, including cybersecurity curricula, cloud access, and an immersive learning experience to expand HBCUs’ capacity to develop top talent in the cybersecurity sector," as outlined in their news release. 

"The cyber security center is a big deal because of the fact that is going to impact the community. It will also allow students to be at the forefront of technology and to have real-life action to be able to solve the problem that is presently confronting our nation and also globally," said Dr. Olu Olatidoye, Professor of Engineering at Clark Atlanta. 

Dr. Olatidoye explained that this won't be the first time that IBM comes to the Atlanta HBCU. 

"IBM has had a relationship with Clark Atlanta University over the years, and presently we have the IBM Skill Academy," he said. 

These collaborations with HBCUs are part of IBM's commitment to skill 30 million people worldwide by 2030 "to create equitable, inclusive economic opportunities while also addressing a longstanding STEM job skills shortage impacting the business community," as mentioned in a news release. 

Dr. Olatidoye told 11Alive that Clark Atlanta University and IBM's new partnership will give students a look into a real-life problem.

"It kind of opens a different door for our students. Apart from the curriculum development aspect, it gives them real-life scenarios. While on campus they can be working on real-life problems. And now the country is faced with a lot of cyber threats, which some of our students have already participated in," he said. 

IBM said it plans to put more than 20 cybersecurity centers in HBCUs nationwide.



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