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Why Every College Needs an AI Program and How to Get Started

Jimmy Pawelski
April 17, 2024
6 mins

There is growing urgency around artificial intelligence (AI) and its potential impact on higher education. As a plethora of news headlines proclaim, ‎employer demand for AI literacy is surging and higher education institutions face pressure to keep pace in providing students with various options to acquire AI-related skills. This article explores why there's a need for colleges to act fast on launching AI academic programs now, specifics of Rize's AI program offerings tailored to colleges' needs, and how schools can swiftly yet thoughtfully implement these programs to attract and retain new students.

Why AI Academic Programs Matter

AI adoption is accelerating at an unprecedented rate. Just look at ChatGPT, which attracted 1 million users merely 5 days after launching. Students and employers alike see AI as an integral part of the future workforce.

According to a recent Inside Higher Ed Student Pulse Survey, there's overwhelming data that suggests student demand for AI-related academic programs is rapidly increasing:

Student demand for AI programs data

On the other hand, employers are facing challenges in finding graduates with AI literacy skills and are willing to pay more for those that have them:

Employer demand for AI skills data

The message is clear: demand for AI talent far outpaces supply. Colleges and universities have a major opportunity to fill this gap.

What Rize's AI Programs Entail

Rize offers two AI academic programs built on input from industry leaders:

Applied AI: A 5-course technical program sitting atop computer science or data science foundations. Courses like Introduction to Generative AI and Predictive & Prescriptive AI aim to produce AI engineers capable of adapting systems to business needs.

AI Literacy: A 4-course interdisciplinary program focused on producing informed AI users and decision makers across fields. Core courses teach prompt engineering, identifying AI use cases, and detecting AI-generated content.

Rize AI Program Offerings


Both programs stress hands-on skills grounded in real workplace applications. And the expertise behind them is unmatched, spearheaded by Dr. Risto Miikulainen, a pioneer in AI education and research.

Implementation Considerations

Rize utilizes an affordable subscription model starting at $15-20k annually per program, with a small per student registration fee. Custom enrollment marketing support is also included.

Incentives exist for early adopters of Rize AI programs, including special discounted access to foundational courses. We're suggesting our partners move quickly in order to maximize the potential enrollment impact of these new programs immediately upon launch. We're offering discounts for those who sign up for both AI programs by June 30th, 2023 to take advantage of the Fall 2024 enrollment cycle.

Benefits of Rize's Program Sharing Approach

Rize reduces the burden of specialized program development for partners through economies of scale. A network of shared, cutting-edge curriculum lets small institutions leverage world-class instructors and content that would be prohibitively expensive to develop alone.

Rize also provides services including ongoing student support, enrollment marketing, and an iterative instructional design process to maximize the impact of new programs while ensuring student success. These comprehensive offerings accelerate speed to market while ensuring program quality.


The AI revolution is here. Students expect colleges to help them lead in an AI-driven world, while employers demand graduates ready to interface with emerging technologies.

Rize equips schools to meet this need quickly and affordably. By blending shared expertise with customized support, Rize is preparing partners to meet surging AI demand as early as Fall 2024.

The time to act is now. Interested institutions should contact Rize's Academic Partnership team today to explore launching any of our AI programs: ‎

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