George Mason University
George Mason University Mason
George Mason University

Mason joins Virginia education leaders in cloud degree program launch

September 23, 2019   /   by Mary Lee Clark

George Mason University joined community colleges, universities, and K-12 schools across Virginia to celebrate the statewide implementation of the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud degree at Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) on Friday, Sept. 20.​

In June, Mason announced that it would partner with NOVA and AWS to create a Bachelor of Applied Science degree pathway in cloud computing. The new degree pathway will launch in fall 2020 as part of the ADVANCE Program, which provides a seamless pathway for NOVA students to earn a four-year degree at Mason.​

“Virginia is setting an example,” said Teresa Carlson, vice president of worldwide public sector at Amazon Web Services, adding that Mason and NOVA became trendsetters by establishing one of the first four-year cloud computing degrees in the world. ​

Mason student Dolica Gopisetty, a senior majoring in information technology in the Volgenau School of Engineering, also spoke at the launch, drawing from her own educational journey in cloud computing. At age 20, she is one of the youngest AWS certified solutions architects in the country. ​

“Like many young people, I’ve always been interested in technology and building. I love taking things apart and putting them back together and understanding how things work, so cloud computing is the perfect outlet for my interests,” said Gopisetty, who received a standing ovation after her remarks. ​

Mason President Anne Holton also spoke at the launch, adding that the AWS partnership is helping to improve the workforce opportunities for young people and elevates the field for all players. ​

Other speakers included NOVA’s Interim President Mel Schiavelli, Virginia’s Chief Workforce Development Advisor Megan Healy, Virginia Secretary of Education Atif Qarni, Virginia Community College System Chancellor Glenn DuBois, Fairfax County Public Schools Chief Operating Officer Marty Smith, Virginia Tech President Tim Sands, and Hampton University Chancellor and Provost JoAnn W. Haysbert.