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Netflix partners with Norfolk State University on first Virtual HBCU Boot Camps

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Posted at 6:33 AM, Oct 28, 2020

NORFOLK, Va. - Streaming giant Netflix and Norfolk State University are working together to help more college graduates of color enter the tech industry.

Last week, Netflix announced its first Virtual HBCU Boot Camps, open exclusively to undergraduates, graduate students and recent graduates of all majors at Norfolk State University.

In the spring, the 130 students selected will get a real-world education in technology through a curriculum designed by the Netflix Product Team and the faculty at NSU.

The 16-week program, which students can apply for now, will be available over the online education platform 2U and consist of three 'boot camps' covering Advanced Java, Applied Data Science and UX/UI Design.

Dr. Patricia Mead, Chair of Norfolk State's Engineering Department, says she sees these boot camps as a deliberate attempt from Netflix to help diversify the tech industry.

According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, African Americans make up just 7.4 percent of the high tech sector.

"I think this is very aggressive, this is innovative and we need to put the spotlight on it. I hope other programs and other companies will see this model and say, 'Hey, I think we can do that too,'" she said.

According to the HBCU Virtual Boot Camp website, selected students will be eligible for a scholarship from Netflix.

Mead says they will also be provided mentors who work within the streaming company, including Michael Chase, a Norfolk State graduate. At the end of the program, students will be trained on how to market themselves in attempts to land a job.

Mead tells News 3 the partnership between the university and streaming giant is expected to be long-term.

Click HERE to apply.