Google has partnered with Howard University to create Howard West, the Washington, D.C. based HBCU announced on March 23. Howard West is a summer residency program in Silicon Valley for the school’s top juniors and seniors majoring in computer science.


Between 25 and 30 students will spend three months working at Google’s Mountain View campus under the tutelage of Google engineers and Howard faculty. The students receive class credit for their work while the tech giant covers students’ housing and other related expenses. The program is the first of its kind.

“Howard West will continue Howard’s tradition of providing unprecedented access to opportunity, only now with a presence in the heart of Silicon Valley,” Bonita Stewart, Google’s vice president of Global Partnerships, said in a statement.

Howard West is an extension of the Google in Residence program, which embeds Google engineers at Howard and other HBCUs, including Hampton University in Virginia, Fisk University in Nashville, Tenn., and Spelman College and Morehouse College in Atlanta, Ga., to teach courses.

USA Today reported that some students in the program secured summer internships at Google. Last year, Google hosted 50 technical summer interns from seven HBCUs. This summer, 62 interns from 10 schools have accepted offers, the news publication reported.


Howard West is part of Google’s ongoing efforts to find and retain top diverse talent. According to Google, 2 percent of their total workforce is Black and 1 percent of their technology workers are Black. Whites and Asians make up the vast majority of the company’s employees. The initiative meshes with Howard University President Wayne A.I. Frederick’s goals to plant the university’s flag on the West Coast.

“We envisioned this program with bold outcomes in mind – to advance a strategy that leverages Howard’s high quality faculty and Google’s expertise, while also rallying the tech industry and other thought leaders around the importance of diversity in business and the communities they serve,” Frederick said in a statement.

Although the amount of new hires the program will generate is not known, 740 students will have matriculated within five years.