Grace Hopper Program’s Software Engineering is a profiled program in the Plugging In Report.
Who is served: Women and non-binaryindividuals
Number of participants served annually: 137
Location: Financial District, Manhattan
Frequency/Duration: 4-week remote Foundations course (25 hours per week); 13-week full-time Core Curriculum (Monday–Friday, 9 a.m.–6:30 p.m. and later)
Eligibility Criteria: Applicants must be 18 years or older (no age limit) and successfully complete their admissions assessments. No previous education, employment, or financial requirements, except in the case of those who want to access the deferred tuition (need to provide documentation stating authorization to work in the US).
Application process: Timed hacker rank assessment and live/remote pair programming challenge with technical staff
Skill level: Advanced
Partnerships: Black girls code, Lesbians Who Tech
Outcomes: For Grace Hopper’s most recent reporting period (Jan-July 2018) 70 percent of graduates were employed full-time with 180 days of graduation, with a median annual base salary of $91,100. Full outcome report available here.
Cost: Deferred tuition model. $19,910 tuition is paid in 9 monthly installments after graduates are hired full-time and begin work as a developer. A $3000 enrollment deposit is applied toward the total tuition once hired. If graduates are not hired within 1 year, the deposit is refunded. Scholarships through Lesbians Who Tech are available for those who qualify
Sources of funding: Deferred tuition model (train now, pay later) means the program is fully funded by their graduates. As a program of Fullstack Academy, Grace Hopper receives an initial investment from Fullstack, but the program is sustained by deferred tuition payments from fully-employed graduates.
What makes this program stand out? Grace Hopper Academy—named after the pioneering computer scientist—is a bootcamp founded to attract more women to tech careers. The program is provided through their partner coding school Fullstack Academy, and is a software engineering immersive designed exclusively for women with a deferred-tuition model. That means participants are only required to pay tuition once they are employed as software engineers.
“We noticed that our flagship programs at Fullstack Academy, despite different scholarship models and different incentives, we weren’t really seeing results in increasing the gender diversity in our cohort,” said Michele Cantos, director of Grace Hopper Academy, on how the program was founded.
Students are equipped with computer science fundamentals in the first weeks of the program gaining a theoretical understanding of web development. Grace Hopper’s philosophy around education is “learn through teaching.” This has informed the focus on paired programming and group projects students work on that mimic a real-world software development environments.
Grace Hopper participants complete the program with 3 projects in tow, 1 solo project and 2 team projects. The capstone project is the largest undertaking, which students present to the Grace Hopper community at the culminating “Demo Day.” All projects are added to the students’ portfolio and used to demonstrate their work throughout the interview process.
What do participants need to succeed? Grace Hopper offers prep courses for prospective students looking to gain admittance into the bootcamp. The immersive course is not designed for beginners, and expects students need to demonstrate coding proficiency before admission.
What does the organization need? More space and more female engineering instructors.