On August 18, I am starting a small computer science and IT training program with Highlands Community Charter School, that will have no more than 10 students in it. This program is open to students who are 22 years of age, or older, and who don’t have a high school diploma. Students must also have sufficient computer skills before entering the program, although, students who don’t yet have sufficient skills may join a self-paced IT Prep program with the school, to work up to joining the class. This is a full-time program, where students go to school 6 hours per day for a full school year.
The training program will include both computer science (application programming) and ICT support (technician work) training. Today I’ll talk a little about the computer science portion, because honestly this is where students have the most opportunity to start their way towards a good career. It is clear that there is a lack of good computer programmers in the U.S. as can be seen by their very high wages. It is also true that often in the computer field, ability is more important than academic qualifications. So while students will be able to earn certificates (and gain their high school diploma) through this program, the main focus will be on project based learning, where students can build a portfolio of work that they have done, and because we focus on open source projects, students also start to network with other computer programmers, leading to more job opportunities.
Students will start with learning Python and then move on to Java (prep students can start with learning Scratch first). Students will also have the opportunity to learn database development and basic data science and analysis techniques. And as briefly mentioned, students will also learn technician skills, by helping with IT work with the school. (It is by having a win-win, where students help with IT work, that I can keep the class size so low, and personalized.)
If you know of anyone who might be interested in this opportunity, please have them comment to this blog post, or to the Facebook post, and I’ll contact them, to see if they are qualified to join.