Students walk through a hallways with a blue wall behind them

Noah Scott / Nevada Sagebrush
Students walk through the hallways of the Davidson math and Science Center on Jan. 28. TechWise is a new program launched at UNR to help propel students into the world of tech.

University of Nevada, Reno’s President Brian Sandoval announced the university will partner with TalentSprint Inc., a global innovator supported by Google, in an announcement on Jan. 19. 

TechWise is an innovative program selecting five universities and colleges across the nation to help propel a cohort of 120 undergraduate students towards a career in tech or programming. 

The five selected universities and colleges are: University of Nevada, Reno; Mercy College, Bronx; Benedict College, South Carolina; Community College of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania; Des Moines Area Community College, Iowa. 

Twenty students will be selected from each educational institution, in which they will receive a scholarship and an additional stipend bonus of $5,000 to fund them through the 18-month virtual program. Students will also receive exclusive 1-on-1 Google mentorship. The program is expected to begin March 5, 2022. 

The application process closed Feb. 3, consisting of three further selection steps. Those selected began the next step on Feb. 1 through Feb 7. Following the online assessments is the ‘Coding Training Assessment’, which takes place from Feb. 8 to 18. Finalists will attend a ‘Final Selection Interview’ which will range between Feb. 19 to 25. 

“Google is working very hard to increase the diversity of their employee base,” said Jeff Thompson, vice president and provost of UNR.  “They wanted to offer support to students that could become employees of Google, educate them, train them, and provide mentoring. Since we have very good computer science, engineering, data science, and information science programs, and have a very diverse student body we were a natural fit.”

UNR ranks 231 nationwide for Engineering and comes in first in Nevada for Engineering and Computer Science according to CollegeFactual

The virtual program will be incorporated alongside students’ class schedules and will most likely be self-paced, however, those selected will be expected to meet the completion dates. 

“I think it’s going to be a good program for students. I think it’s going to be a very rigorous program too. They’re going to have to work pretty hard,” said Thompson. 

Thompson, however, emphasized the support which will be available for the educational part of the program if students find themselves struggling. 

“Being in the program will allow students to have state-of-the-art education in what’s currently going on in some of the tech industries,” Thompson said. “It’s also a paid internship so the students will be paid and at the end have an opportunity to interview for a job with Google.”

The idea was first introduced to Sandoval and Thompson just before Thanksgiving of last year. 

Thompson describes the program as being in its “pilot” stage, as it’s the first year and is only selecting a limited number of students. Although Sandoval and Thompson remain optimistic about TechWise, they hope the program can expand and attract similar opportunities to students across various departments, not just the College of Science.

Summer Steinsrud can be reached via email at or via Twitter @NevadaSagebrush.