Program Specifics

AI Academy Program Format

The AI Academy program is an innovative program designed in collaboration with our partners including IBM, Citrix, Microsoft, Hazardous Software and others. The program is a combination of 40 weeks of live, online, coursework and concurrent, on-the-job training enabled through a part-time, paid apprenticeship experience working alongside an AI industry professional. In 2021 there will be two entry-points into the program for participants to begin their work: January 4 (Cohort 1) and July 12 (Cohort 2). We anticipate enrolling approximately 500 individuals in Cohort 1 and 1,000 in Cohort 2.

Ways to Participate

The AI Academy is subsidized by the U.S. Department of Labor and, therefore, all participants must be current U.S. citizens. There are two ways to participate in the AI Academy:

  1. UpSkilling Track
  2. General Track

UpSkilling Track

One way to participate in the AI Academy is for individuals to ask their current employer to financially sponsor them to participate in the program as part of their professional development. This type of enrollment is called the UPSKILLING TRACK – meaning your employer is supporting you to grow your expertise in AI. The design of the UPSKILLING TRACK is for the employer or industry partner to invest in the participant by paying their fees for coursework ($2,500 per class = $10,000 for the program) and also pay the individual an entry-level part-time hourly rate for their time worked in the apprenticeship work with their AI industry mentor.

Potential applicants who are currently working should inquire with their employer regarding availability of funding to pay for their program costs ($10,000) and their flexibility to allow time within their paid work schedule to work with an AI professional within the company who will serve as their mentor. If the employer is willing to sponsor you, but there is not a person in your organization working in AI yet, we can assist with placing you with an AI Academy industry partner who will host you. Your employer will need to continue to pay you during these released hours.

General Track

The second way to participate in the AI Academy is to apply through our general applicant pool. There are thousands of employers who are looking for new talent in artificial intelligence and this pathway will match you up with a potential future employer who will invest in your program by paying for your coursework fees and your time to work as a part-time apprentice alongside one of their AI professionals. All applications for the General Track will be reviewed in four cycles each year for consideration in an upcoming cohort for the program. The application process will consist of the actual application and a virtual interview with program staff and/or employers. There is no requirement that you stay employed with the industry sponsor at the end of the program. However, the GENERAL TRACK provides our participants an excellent way to gain new knowledge, skills, and credentials while learning more about a future career with their sponsoring company.

Apprenticeship Format

Your apprenticeship experience will be individualized to best meet your professional growth needs, schedule, as well as the interests of the sponsoring industry employer. The schedule for your hours of on-the-job training with the AI mentor each week will be arranged by the sponsoring industry employer.

AI Academy Course Format

The AI Academy curriculum is comprised of four courses: Introduction to Artificial Intelligence, Data Mining, Machine Learning, and Human-Computer Interaction. You will complete one course each ten weeks of the program. There will be live, online course meetings each week using Zoom videoconferencing technologies. First, there will be a pre-recorded SEMINAR each week, which is a 120 minute session where the introduction of new concepts, skills, and tasks will be presented and discussed. Each course will also include two WORKSHOP sessions each week which are 120 minutes each where participants will be guided through the application of content as they complete group and individual tasks to grow their understanding of the content. Finally, each course will include additional work outside the actual class meetings including assignments which will be connected to the apprenticeship placement.

AI Academy Schedule


January 10, 2022 to March 18, 2022

Course #3: Machine Learning

Lead Instructor: Dr. Min Chi, NC State


April 4, 2022 to June 17, 2022 (No class the week of May 30th)

Course #4: Human-Computer Interaction

Lead Instructor: Dr. Noboru Matsuda, NC State



START DATE – July 12, 2021


July 12, 2021 to September 17, 2021

Course#1: Introduction to Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Lead Instructor: Dr. Collin Lynch, NC State


October 4, 2021 to December 17, 2021 (No class the week of  November 22nd)

Course #2: Data Mining

Lead Instructor: Dr. Thomas Price, NC State


January 10, 2022 to March 18, 2022

Course #3: Machine Learning

Lead Instructor: Dr. Min Chi, NC State


April 4, 2022 to June 17, 2022

Course #4: Human-Computer Interaction (No class the week of May 30th)

Lead Instructor: Dr. Noboru Matsuda, NC State