General Assembly’s Software Engineering Immersive is a profiled program in the Plugging In Report.
Who is served: Adult learners
Number of participants served annually: 12,000
Frequency/Duration: Immersive and accelerated programs meet Monday–Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Part-time courses are often in the evenings, or on weekends. General Assembly also offers short-form classes and workshops, ranging from 1 hour to 2 days, as well as free events for career exploration, networking, and community-building. Programs range from 1 hour to 24 weeks.
Application process: Online application. Applicants for full-time Immersives complete admissions assessments to ensure they are prepared for the rigor of the curriculum. Admissions reps help prospective participants determine if a course is the best fit.
Curriculum: Full time: Software engineering, data science, and user experience design Part time: Python programming, UX Design, Data Analytics, Digital Marketing, Data Science, Product Management, Visual Design, Front-End Development, Java-Script Development, React Development
Skill level: Entry-level, mid-level, advanced
Outcomes: Entry-leveljobs, upskilling and re-skilling, career transitions
Partnerships: Employers partner with GA through on-site upskilling and reskilling programs. They have also implemented diversity and impact programs with companies (e.g., Adobe Digital Academy and CODE:Rosie).GA has also run programs in partnership with the New York City Tech Talent Pipeline and nonprofit organizations such as Hack the Hood, IBM P-Tech, LaGuardia Community College, The Last Mile, New York on Tech, the U.S. Department of Labor, Vets in Tech, and more.
Cost: Costs range from $200 for a 1-day bootcamp in digital marketing to $16,000 for a full-time data science immersive course. GA offers a $0 upfront tuition model, loan financing, and installment plans for several courses, in addition to full upfront payment. Scholarships are available.
Sources of funding: Tuition
“We’re not competing with 4-year degree programs,” explains Senior Director of Social Impact Tom Ogletree. “We are working with top businesses across sectors to develop courses and we’ve done a lot of work with them around standards and assessments.”
General Assembly also operates programs in partnership with community-based organizations, nonprofits, and community colleges. General Assembly ran 2 innovative partnership progrms funded through the Obama Administration’s TechHire initiative, including CodeBridge in partnership with Per Scholas and TechHire—Open Code in partnership with LaGuardia.The program also offers the See Her Excel Scholarship, awarded to women pursuing software engineering.
What do participants need to succeed? Demands vary depending on the program. Some immersives require a full-time, multi-week commitment, while part-time courses are designed for nights and weekends, or 1 week of full-time classes. Though many courses are geared towards beginners with no prior knowledge of a given subject, pre-work assignments help participants get up to speed, and additional, personalized support is available. Given the significant costs and time commitment for some of GA’s programs, even with scholarships and merit-based loans, low-income participants can face nontuition barriers.
What does the organization need? Strong relationships with employers to ensure companies are thinking about student skills and competencies in lieu of traditional credentials.