Journal of Information Systems Education


This paper describes the founding principles upon which historically Black colleges and universities (HBCU) are built and examines their role in the high-tech economy. It examines and discusses the diversity issues that have led many to posit that HBCUs should embrace computing, informatics, and engineering as focal areas, and partner with Silicon Valley tech companies to ensure their graduates have the skills necessary for gainful employment. The Howard-West partnership of Howard University (an HBCU) with Google LLC and an enterprise architecture framework are presented as conceptual examples of how colleges and universities such as Howard University, can work together and with industry to introduce students to computing, regardless of major, to prepare them for the modern workforce. A conceptual framework is presented, guided by the outcomes of the social cognitive career theory. The theoretical orientation of this proposed work focuses on the intersection between individual, environmental, and behavioral attributes, and describes formative and summative evaluation criteria in support of the research and educational goals. HBCUs can be better served by prioritizing the very areas in which they are currently “overproducing” graduates—computing, informatics, and engineering. The proposed model can be adopted, modified, and integrated by HBCUs, and other universities and colleges, that suffer from a lack of disciplinary integration in their computing programs. The potential outcome of the work would be to attract and retain students to computing majors, which could have an impact on the technology workforce.



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