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Fri Nov 8, 2019, 03:16 PM

Virginia Tech, Radford get millions from state to boost computer science grads; part of Amazon deal

Virginia Tech, Radford get millions from state to boost computer science grads as part of Amazon deal
By Henri Gendreau henri.gendreau@roanoke.com 540-381-1679 Nov 7, 2019 Updated Nov 7, 2019

As part of Virginiaís deal with Amazon, Virginia Tech, Radford University and nine other schools will get hundreds of millions of dollars from the state over the next decades to boost their number of computer science graduates.

Virginia Tech will gain nearly half a billion dollars by 2040 to produce a set number of 5,911 undergraduates and 10,324 graduate students with degrees in computer science and related fields.

Radford agrees to graduate 394 people with bachelorís degrees in tech. The university said it would get about $17.3 million from the state.

Gov. Ralph Northam announced Thursday the stateís agreements with 11 universities for the Tech Talent Investment Program, which was part of Virginiaís efforts to woo Amazon to build its second headquarters in the Arlington area.

The state says the funds will help create a total of 31,000 graduates tech over the next 20 years, above its initial goal of 25,000 new graduates.

Besides Tech, George Mason was the only other school announced Thursday that pledged to produce new masterís degrees in computer science, committing to 5,328 such diplomas, in addition to 2,277 bachelorís degrees. The University of Virginia pledged to create 3,416 people with bachelorís degrees in computer science.

Techís agreement with the state shows the university will see reduced state funds if it fails to meet at least 90% of yearly goals to produce graduates; Radford must meet 80% of its commitment for that to apply, a copy of its memorandum shows.

Radford will grow its computer science bachelorís degrees from 53 currently to 76 each year beginning in 2023.

Other schools and their graduate numbers include: the College of William and Mary, 930 bachelorís degrees; Old Dominion University, 765 bachelorís degrees; Virginia Commonwealth University, 722 bachelorís degrees; James Madison University, 467 bachelorís degrees; Christopher Newport University, 392 bachelorís degrees; Virginia State University, 186 bachelorís degrees; Norfolk State University, 126 bachelorís degrees.

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