LaGuardia Community College (Learning Innovation Center at Long Island City – LIC^2)

Adult Program


31-10 Thomson Avenue

Long Island City, NY 11101

Open Code: Network Administration

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LaGuardia Community College (Learning Innovation Center at Long Island City – LIC^2)

31-10 Thomson Avenue

Long Island City, NY 11101

LaGuardia Community College (Learning Innovation Center at Long Island City – LIC^2)’s Open Code: Network Administration is a profiled program in the Plugging In Report.

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Who is served: Young adults ages 17–29

Number of participants served annually: 120

Location: Long Island City, Queens

Frequency/Duration: 5 weeks before moving to training partners

Eligibility Criteria: Must be unemployed or underemployed, not currently enrolled in college, hold a high school diploma or equivalent, and have basic computer skills

Application process: Online application, assessment during the application process to gauge interest, and interview

Curriculum: programming fundamentals, product development, and web development (Java, CSS, HTML), network administration (CompTIA A+ and N+ certification)

Skill level: Entry-level

Outcomes: Prepares participants for advanced technical training with partner organizations

Partnerships: General Assembly, Udacity, Software Guild, and Uncubed.

Cost: Free

Sources of funding: Funded through a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration

What makes this program stand out? LaGuardia TechHIRE—Open Code operates what can be considered a “bridge program” for non-degree seeking students through the Division of Adult and Continuing Education (ACE) at the community college.Michele Valdez, director of the program, reports that Open Code has a relatively high acceptance rate.

Once enrolled, students go through a 2-week “vestibule” course at LaGuardia where they learn basic programming languages and concepts to get comfortable with learning code. They also participate in career exploration exercises with Uncubed, a digital jobs search website, giving students insight into working at startups in the tech world. Upon completion of the introductory course, case managers assess a student’s ability to move forward in the programs looking at everything from attendance to how well they work in teams.

The curriculum is designed to train students in computer science fundamentals and gain familiarity with software tools used to create websites. Once students complete the training with partner organizations, they return to LaGuardia and begin technical interview preparation.

What do participants need to succeed? TechHire—Open Code is a bride program that seeks to not only prepare participants for intensive tech training with partner organizations, but also help them overcome barriers which may be obstacles to success. Participants have access to all services available to LaGuardia Community College students including the food pantry and wellness center, even throughout the duration of their training at partner providers to ensure they have their needs met.

What does the organization need? Close partnerships with community-based organizations and workforce development organizations that raise awareness about these training opportunities.