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IBM Announces Scholars Program For The Higher Education Community

Wide-Ranging Program Helps Educators Address Shortage Of Skilled Technical Professionals

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ARMONK, NY - 27 Mar 2002: IBM today announced the IBM Scholars Program, a comprehensive, worldwide offering for higher education. The program gives participants access to free software, discounts on hardware, course materials and information on IBM's university-related initiatives.

Available free-of-charge to the global higher educational community, including accredited colleges, universities and technical schools, the IBM Scholars Program is intended to help address an ongoing skills shortage in the information technology industry.

"There's a great need for technical talent to drive innovation," said Margaret Ashida, director of IBM's University Relations program. "The higher education community needs technical talent for its own teaching and research needs, and to fuel the talent pipeline for industry. IBM is addressing this mutual need by expanding access to its software, hardware and educational offerings to better serve faculty and students."

Through the IBM Scholars Program -- located at www.ibm.com/university/scholarsprogram -- educators and students can access a wide range of IBM programs and offerings for teaching, learning and research. For example, the program offers IBM software that teachers can distribute to students for class assignments, lab work and research projects; and schools can lease or purchase hardware, such as servers, through various discount programs.

Throughout its 80-year history, IBM has maintained strong relationships with higher education through collaborative research projects, by giving students work experience via internships and co-op positions, and as a technology supplier. With the IBM Scholars Program, the company is pulling its higher education efforts together under an umbrella program of unparalleled breadth.

IBM's work with higher education takes many forms. Some examples include:

Penn State University: Students in Penn State's School for Information Sciences and Technology, at the Mont Alto Campus, recently put IBM technology to creative use. Through the IBM Scholars Program, they used IBM DB2 data management software to develop an online store accessible over mobile computing devices. The store, Virtual Coconuts, sells merchandise for a student luau event, including Hawaiian shirts, grass skirts and papier-mache coconuts. Students can set up an online account, order products and check the status of their orders using handheld computing devices.

Colorado State University: IBM and Colorado State University (CSU) are partnering to give students experience with the Linux operating system. Through the IBM Scholars Program, a Linux technology hub is now up and running in Boulder. Students from CSU and other schools can tap into the hub's IBM eServer zSeries to learn Linux concepts and conduct research projects. CSU students are currently working on six research projects, ranging from a study on enterprise server consolidation to the development of multi-sensory human-component interfaces.

Southwest Texas State University: Beginning this year, the faculty in the Department of Computer Information Systems and Quantitative Methods at Southwest Texas State University are training the next generation of software developers with IBM's open-standards-based technologies. Seven new courses are being incorporated into the curriculum using DB2 data management software, VisualAge for Java, WebSphere Studio, WebSphere Application Developer, Linux, and IBM Pervasive technology tools. In addition, students will learn IBM's Framework for e-business using tools and products acquired through the IBM Scholars Program. The Computer Information Systems faculty worked closely with IBM's Developer Relations team during a one-week workshop at IBM's Austin site to develop the new courses and receive training on IBM's e-business tooling.

Dalian University of Technology (China): Since 1996, IBM China has been working with higher education campuses on the IBM Global Technical Certification Campaign. To date more than 2,000 students at Dalian University of Technology have passed various IBM certification tests, seeding skills among new professionals in this important emerging market.

Skagit Valley College (Wash.): In 1998, Skagit Valley College acquired its first IBM eServer iSeries and began using the equipment to teach systems operations courses. Since then, it has leased an IBM eServer pSeries through IBM's discount program for higher education and is using the zSeries Knowledge Center at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., to teach a distance learning course. Faculty receive IBM Learning Services course material and attend training at no cost, to prepare them for teaching assignments. Students train on the servers to prepare for internships and full-time positions with area businesses. In addition, the school recently introduced a two-year associate degree program in Midrange and Mainframe Computing Systems.

St. Louis Community College (Mo.): In 2000, St. Louis Community College's Meramec Campus purchased an IBM eServer pSeries through IBM's discount program for higher education so it could offer instruction to students on server administration. STLCC faculty were provided IBM Learning Services course material and instructors attended training courses at no cost to prepare them for their upcoming teaching assignments. As a result of their course work at STLCC students have interned with area businesses. Both the students and the local businesses have benefited from the STLCC relationship with IBM -- businesses have well-trained people working on their systems and the STLCC students receive valuable work experience

"Many of the programs we've offered to colleges and universities over the years will continue under the IBM Scholars Program, and we'll continually expand our offerings to better serve the needs of the higher education community," said Ashida. "Technology is advancing at such a rapid pace that working with faculty and students is critical to preparing the workforce of the future."

IBM already has more than 1,300 faculty members representing 900 schools from nearly 90 countries signed up for the new IBM Scholars Program.

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