De la limite des bootcamp
In other respects, the program has much to improve on. Lugo said that City Colleges wanted to “rapidly upscale individuals with some tech affinity in order to position them in junior or entry level iOS coding positions across the Chicagoland market.” By that metric, the success of the bootcamp was mixed. Though internships were promised to students who finished the course, it seemed that the program had trouble lining up internships by the end of the bootcamp. Daniel Sternfield, the director of media relations at City Colleges, said that students were provided with job search services from a recruiting firm after the bootcamp was over, and City Colleges hired three students from the initial cohort to work as instructors for future iterations of the program. By press time, the Weekly was waiting for updated numbers from City Colleges.
In addition to lackluster career advancement for students, the small, tech-savvy cohort mirrored the high admission standards of for-profit bootcamps. Many students in Turman’s class at Kennedy-King already had significant programming experience, including jobs and degrees in computer science. According to Lugo, prerequisites for the classes included “basic principles in coding, basic principles in development, as well as an affinity for technology products.” Though it’s important for students wishing to take part in an accelerated training program to have a basic degree of comfort with computers, these criteria narrow the window of who’s likely to be accepted and make the program less accessible.
Even with the strict requirements, the workload could be heavy and some students, like Goss, fell behind. Out of the initial fourteen students at Kennedy-King, ten completed the program; at Truman, seventeen completed out of a total of twenty-one initial students. Goss, a South Shore resident, had to commute twice a week to her full-time job in Lincolnshire, an hour’s drive north. She had to put in extra hours to catch up, though some of the students that eventually dropped out may not have had the kind of work-life flexibility to do so. While a bootcamp is inevitably fast-paced, having some system in place to catch students once they fall behind could improve on the program’s success.