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Global software firm Sage and Morehouse College partner to expand the college’s Software Engineering curriculum and prepare a diverse pipeline of talent for tech jobs

Atlanta-based partnership, which includes an $80,000 investment and development of new coursework, signifies a commitment to support the changing landscape of a rapidly evolving tech industry
 
ATLANTA – (April 4, 2023) Sage, the leader in accounting, financial, HR, and payroll technology for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), has announced a new partnership with Morehouse College, the nation’s only historically Black liberal arts institution dedicated to educating and developing men. The partnership will expand Morehouse’s software engineering program, providing students of color with more opportunities to use and study emerging technologies and learn first-hand how advancements in the tech ecosystem are impacting businesses and producing new career paths. Sage experts will help to design and teach a series of new software engineering courses at Morehouse, as well as mentor and employ students as interns. The partnership was launched during an event at Morehouse College featuring top leaders from both organizations.

The aim of the partnership between Sage and Morehouse is to develop a more diverse technology industry talent pool that provides underrepresented communities with increased access to training and lucrative careers. Sage will also work in partnership with the Morehouse-based Center for Broadening Participation in Computing, an academic and industry collaborative dedicated to making the tech ecosystem a more just, innovative, and equitable space.

Students at Morehouse College and the Atlanta University Center, which includes Clark Atlanta University and Spellman University as members, will be able to enroll in the new Sage-sponsored software engineering classes starting August 2023.

"We are excited about the opportunity to work with Sage as partners in the EngageComputing program and appreciate the company’s $80,000 investment in tech education at Morehouse,” said Kinnis Gosha, Ph.D., the Hortenius I. Chenault Endowed Professor of Computer Science and the executive director and chief research officer of the national Center for Broadening Participation in Computing. “There is a delta between what is normally taught at a traditional undergraduate and graduate program and where the industry is going. The importance of a partnership like the one Morehouse now has with Sage is it allows us to shrink that delta so that computer science students are more connected to what is needed from them. If they never see it, the learning curve gets steeper. This partnership will help us to bring emerging technologies, emerging challenges, and emerging opportunities to a diverse group of students and support them in their education and ability to compete for jobs.” 

Breaking down barriers to diversity in the technology sector

According to a recent study by Kapor Center, a leading organization focused on addressing racial inequity in the technology sector, from 2014 to 2021, the tech industry produced only a 1% increase in Black representation within technical roles in large tech companies. In addition, despite comprising 13% of the labor force, Black talent now represents just 4.4% of board roles, 3.7% of those in technical roles, and just 4.0% of those in executive leadership in the tech sector. The report also noted Black students continue to be affected by unequal educational structures, policies, and practices in both traditional higher education institutions and non-traditional pathways such as tech bootcamps and apprenticeships.

Sage leaders believe it is imperative to address these challenges within various higher education institutions, including four-year colleges, HBCUs, and two-year colleges, to foster a more diverse talent pool in the technology industry. As part of the partnership with Morehouse, Sage will support faculty development, introduce students to career opportunities within the company, and co-teach two courses in the Fall 2023 Semester and two in the Spring 2024 Semester. The classes will be offered in-person, online, and through a hybrid model.

"At Sage, we take pride in our position as a technology leader in the Atlanta area,” said Aziz Benmalek, President of Sage North America. “However, we acknowledge the diversity challenges within our industry and are committed to breaking down barriers that currently exist. It is crucial for our tech workforce to reflect the diverse stakeholders we serve, as this leads to more innovative solutions for our customers and partners. We are honored to partner with such a prestigious institution as Morehouse College and we’re eager to support the next generation of tech leaders."  

Morehouse College President David A. Thomas, Ph.D., said the alliance with Sage aligns with the College’s focus on improving diversity, inclusion, and equity across disciplines and its work to seek partnerships of purpose with industry leaders. “What we have decided very intentionally here at Morehouse is while lots of companies are knocking on our door, we are going to choose widely and engage with those companies that are not just here to seek an employee but are also here to invest in Morehouse to build our capabilities and enrich our students’ experience. This partnership with Sage will help Morehouse to continue its legacy of leadership, innovation, and social justice in the technology industry.”

About Sage

Sage exists to knock down barriers so everyone can thrive, starting with the millions of small- and mid-sized businesses served by us, our partners, and accountants. Customers trust our finance, HR, and payroll software to help business flow. By digitizing business processes and relationships with customers, suppliers, employees, banks and governments, our digital network connects SMBs, removing friction and delivering insights. Knocking down barriers also means we use our time, technology, and experience to tackle digital inequality, economic inequality, and the climate crisis. Learn more at www.sage.com/en-us/

About Morehouse College

Morehouse College is the largest men’s college in the United States and the only college with a mission to educate Black men. A private, liberal arts institution founded in 1867, Morehouse is the nation's top producer of Black men who go on to receive doctorates, the top producer of Rhodes Scholars among HBCUs, and was named to the list of U.S. institutions that produced the most Fulbright Scholars in 2019-2020. Morehouse has the top-rated core curriculum of any HBCU nationwide, according to the American Council of Trustees and Alumni, and Academic Influence named Morehouse one of the two most influential HBCUs of the 21stcentury. Morehouse is one of the top five HBCUs nationally, according to U.S. News and World Report, which also ranked the College among the top 20 liberal arts colleges nationally in terms of social mobility and the top 50 nationally in terms of innovation. Morehouse is the #1 producer of Black male graduates in Georgia in biology, business, engineering, English, foreign languages, history, mathematics, performing arts, philosophy, physical sciences, religion, and visual arts, according to Diverse Issues in Higher Education. As the epicenter for thought leadership on civil rights, Morehouse is committed to helping the nation address the inequities caused by institutional racism, which has created social and economic disparities for people of African descent. Prominent Morehouse alumni include: Martin Luther King Jr., Nobel Peace Prize Laureate; Dr. David Satcher, former U.S. Surgeon General; Shelton "Spike" Lee, Academy Award-winning American filmmaker; Maynard H. Jackson, the first African American mayor of Atlanta; Jeh Johnson, former U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security; Louis W. Sullivan, former U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services; Bakari Sellers, attorney and CNN political analyst; Randall Woodfin, elected as the youngest mayor of Birmingham in 120 years; and U.S. Senator Raphael Warnock, Georgia’s first Black U.S. senator from Georgia. For more information, please visit: https://morehouse.edu.

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