Apple and ACC launch new app development program

Kevin Dural

In conjunction with Apple, Austin Community College is launching a new application development program aimed at educating the next generation of coders and developers.

The curriculum, designed by Apple, was announced when CEO Tim Cook visited Austin last week. The course teaches students how to develop in Swift, a popular and continually growing open-source coding language that serves as the basis for a lot of the applications we use today. According to Jessica Vess, associate director of communications for the Austin Community College District, no prior coding experience is needed for this course.

“The App ACCelerator program is designed to help students who have no programming experience get a start in the industry,” Vess said. “The curriculum enables students to build fully functional apps of their own design, preparing them for careers in software development and information technology.” 

As Austin is home to Apple’s second largest headquarters outside of Cupertino, California, Cook suggested that making these developments in Austin seems like a right next step. 

“We’ve seen firsthand how Apple’s app ecosystem has transformed the global economy, creating entire new industries and supporting millions of jobs,” Cook said. “We believe passionately that same opportunity should be extended to everyone, and community colleges have a powerful reach into communities where education becomes the great equalizer.”

Jason Stanford, communications director for Austin Mayor Steve Adler, said that choosing to launch this program at community colleges represents Austin’s commitment to diversity and equality.

“Apple is completely committed to creating equal opportunity in all forms, including helping communities that have traditionally been left behind,” Stanford said.

Stanford praised Austin Community College for its accessibility. He added that this program can uncap the potential that lies within the students of Austin, which has one of the fastest-growing tech markets in the country. He added that the next great coders are ready for the task.

“ACC serves more than 74,000 students each year and is particularly accessible to the people in Austin we are committed to lifting out of poverty and into good jobs,” Stanford said. “ACC was a perfect fit for Apple’s new curriculum. They are arm in arm with us on our job training programs and could not be better-suited to the task.”

Vess said that she thinks Apple and ACC will form a very fruitful educational partnership.

“The college strives to ensure affordable access to higher education,” Vess said. “Apple shares this vision.”