25 Jul 2022

SAU Students Complete First Year of Apple C2 Initiative 

(Pictured Left to Right) Front Row: Daja Faulcon, ’22, engineering mathematics, Sinazwayinkosi Ndhlovu, junior, engineering mathematics, and Joyce Jepleting, sophomore, engineering mathematics.

Middle Row: Dr. Mark A. Melton, Interim Provost & VP of Academic Affairs, Mr. Aleiu Wurie, Acting Dean, School of Science, Mathematics & Allied Health, and Mr. Nenfort Golit, Manager of User Services.

Back Row: Tinashe Kucherera, ’22, engineering mathematics, and Kobe Clifton, freshman, engineering mathematics.

On April 21, 2022, Saint Augustine’s University (SAU) students closed out the inaugural HBCU C2 with a presentation on Apple apps that they developed as an end-of-semester project. The presentations culminated in the inaugural HBCU C2 (Coding & Creativity) – Apple Coding Course titled ENGR 100, designed and taught by the School of Sciences, Mathematics & Allied Health’s Interim Dean Alieu Wurie.  

“The presentations made by our students reflect the outstanding leadership of our faculty and information technology staff,” said SAU President Dr. Christine Johnson McPhail. “Through our involvement in the Apple HBCU C2 program, we are producing pioneers of the next generation of leaders in the technology industry.” 

In addition, Nenfort Golit, Manager of User Services, provided technical support for the course and ensured that each student had an Apple iPad for personal use during the semester. HBCU C2 is a national teaching and learning initiative that empowers any HBCU to bring coding and creativity experiences and program opportunities to their home campus and community. 

HBCU C2 promotes innovation and education equity, and aims to address community challenges using app design and Apple’s Swift programming language. Saint Augustine’s University is among the 45 HBCU Hubs and Centers in the growing consortium. The SAU initiative is part of a $50,000+ ongoing commitment from Apple. Interim Provost & Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Mark Melton serves as the Program Manager of the SAU HBCU C2 Program.

“We are excited and thankful for the opportunity to join the Apple HBCU C2 Consortium. This program serves as a platform for SAU students and our campus community to engage and learn to code,” said Dr. Melton. “Further, we look to expand our coding offering beyond ENGR 100 as we embark on community engagement opportunities and partnerships.” 

Starting in October 2020, SAU became an official member of Apple’s HBCU C2 initiative, with Tennessee State University serving as the lead HBCU C2 Hub. As a part of the initiative, SAU received a total of 92 Apple devices (55 iPads with pens and cases, 35 MacBooks, and 2 Apple TVs). In addition to the devices, the university also received robotic equipment for coding, creativity, and app design, which will be open to faculty, staff, students, and the public.  

“SAU’s participation in the Apple HBCU C2 Consortium is a major piece of advancing innovation within our learning ecosystem. As you know, the digital divide and digital skills gap disproportionately affects Black and Brown communities,” said Dr. Terry Kidd, Vice President of Strategic Planning, Research, Technology & Innovation. “With this collaborative learning opportunity with Apple, SAU is better equipped to prepare our students and community with technological skills for an ever-changing society. It is our hope that this program continues to inspire students to pursue careers in tech.”

The HBCU C2 Team currently consists of two subteams: the innovation team and the IT team. The IT team’s responsibility is to assure device configuration, maintenance, and distribution. The innovation team comprises the Program Head, IT deployment lead, Program Manager, Faculty, and Student Lead. In addition, the innovation team meets multiple times a year for mandated seminars on topics such as Apple Teacher Certification, Coding and Creativity, Robotics, and Faculty Coding Class Format, provided by Apple and Faculty members from Tennessee State University. 

The innovation team members get to keep their MacBook and iPad, according to the HBCU C2 project standards, giving them the opportunity to develop their skills. In addition, SAU provided its first Apple coding program in the spring semester of 2022. In the program, students learned how to code and create apps for Apple devices and were able to present their app projects at the end of the semester.  

The university plans to fully utilize the Apple HBCU C2 program by expanding from one to two rooms: the robotics lab and the coding and creativity lab. This expansion will include interactive display panels, iPad mounts, MacBook locks for device security, Jamf Connect for credentials access, and lab furnishings for both labs. Upon completing this expansion, a site visit with Apple and Tennessee State representatives will occur. The current HBCU C2 Innovation Team members are listed below. 

Program Manager: Dr. Mark Melton 

IT Deployment Lead: Nenfort Golit 

Faculty Lead: Prof. Alieu Wurie 

Faculty 2: Ms. Valerie Evans 

Faculty 3: Ms. Nicole Lee 

Student Lead: Destini Vance

Click here for more information about the HBCU C2 Initiative.