Amarillo College announces Career Accelerator program with help from $15 million gift

Local News

AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — In June, Amarillo College received word that they were receiving an unsolicited $15 million gift from philanthropist MacKenzie Scott, the largest gift ever in the college’s history.

Initially, the college announced that the gift would go towards an endowment, generating earnings and benefitting the college in perpetuity. But on Thursday, more than two months after the announcement of the gift, the college announced an additional initiative paid for with the help of Scott’s gift.

The college announced its new Career Accelerator through its Innovation Outpost Thursday morning, giving students a crash-course into high-tech and industry-specific skills. According to a news release from the college, the accelerator is what officials call a free 10-week “sprint” through Full Stack Web-Development or Amazon Web Services (AWS) Cloud Skills Certification.

Participating students will receive $2,500 stipends to help offset living expenses while in the program. Officials with the college stated that the total cost coming from Scott’s gift depends on how many people participate in the program, with no more than 20 students participating in each 10-week program.

Amarillo College President Russell Lowery-Hart said in the release that this new career accelerator program “raises the bar” for the college’s dedication to student success while maximizing the economic viability of the region. Scott’s gift helps the college achieve this mission.

“It is not only incumbent upon AC to foster a vibrant economic future for our region, it is imperative if we intend to flourish as a community,” Lowery-Hart said in the release. “Our gratitude to Ms. Scott will long endure.”

Classes for the first cohort of the career accelerator are expected to begin in October, meeting 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., five days a week. Officials stated in the release that these two programs represent the launch of the program, hoping that it is a foundation for the college’s coding and cloud computing program moving forward.

Visit to apply, or call 806-371-5000 for more information.

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