Mason, NOVA, Amazon degree program is lauded

Adeline Kon/Education Dive

The new four-year degree pathway in cloud computing between George Mason University and Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA), and developed with Amazon Web Services Educate, has been named Partnership of the Year by Education Dive.

The degree pathway will be launched in the fall of 2020 as part of the ADVANCE Program, Mason’s partnership with NOVA that streamlines paths to four-year degrees, eliminates transfer obstacles and saves students money. The degree will provide a clear path to high-demand careers in cloud computing with Amazon Web Services partners and customers.

“We’re honored to have the cloud computing pathway recognized by Education Dive,” said Michelle Marks, Mason’s vice president for academic innovation and new ventures. “Our students are the real winners. Launching this new pathway through ADVANCE allows us to be responsive to this fast-growing job market and will be a giant step toward creating a tech talent pipeline that reflects the diversity of our region. We’re grateful to have partners that share Mason’s commitment to innovation and access.”

Mason and NOVA faculty worked with AWS Educate curriculum designers to create the Bachelor of Applied Science degree that will equip students with the technical skills and hands-on experience that will prepare them for careers in cloud architecture, cybersecurity and software development.

The degree pathway is open to students who want to begin at NOVA and transfer to Mason, or to students who come to Mason as freshmen.

“We’re really reaching the population that we’ve committed to serve, which is students from all backgrounds and all socioeconomic experiences,” said Liza Wilson Durant, an associate dean for strategic initiatives and community engagement in Mason’s Volgenau School of Engineering. “The collaboration with AWS helps give our students a competitive edge.”