- A "substantial" gift of an undisclosed amount from social game developer Zynga to the University of Southern California will be used to fund courses around social mobile gaming, inclusive production and increasing the diversity of the gaming industry, eCampus News reports.
- As part of the partnership, the USC School of Cinematic Arts’ Interactive Media & Games Division will offer a course from fall 2017 through spring 2020 on social mobile game development using Zynga's methodology, as well as on best practices for production around team building.
- The company is also sponsoring a series of events featuring speakers from a variety of areas of the social mobile gaming industry, with members of the Women at Zynga employee group slated to speak and alumni currently working at Zynga like Anshul Dhawan and Anna Huerta having already spoken.
With pressure on higher ed to guide more students toward STEM-oriented careers, partnerships like the one between Zynga and USC are likely to become increasingly common. And the focus of programming being developed as a result is very timely, as well, given efforts around boosting the number of students of color and women entering STEM fields.
Students building ample networking contacts that could open the door for internships and post-graduation employment, with the institution gaining better job placement numbers and the company having a steady stream of skilled job-seekers familiar with its practices, is an added bonus. An institution should also work to ensure that its broader content around the specific subject area involved remains untouched by a private partner's interests, but such partnerships essentially provide a win-win scenario as colleges and universities feel growing pressure to demonstrate outcomes for policymakers and other stakeholders.