Cal Poly, Fullstack partner with online courses for web developers

  • California Polytechnic State University is partnering with coding boot camp Fullstack Academy to train web developers in a 26-week, part-time synchronous online program, EdSurge reported.
  • Fullstack will oversee course instruction and operations, although the course will be offered under the Cal Poly brand. Students will earn a certificate from Cal Poly’s Extended Education school. The two organizations will share revenue, with students paying $11,910 each.
  • Cal Poly is Fullstack’s first university partnership, though it says it is planning others. The Cal Poly boot camp will likely host 25 to 40 people each in three to four cohorts per year.

Dive Insight:

As short courses designed to build specific skills become more popular, colleges and universities are integrating them into their curriculum, either through partnerships with companies like Fullstack or by building their own. 

More than 20,300 students were set to graduate from boot camps in 2018, according to a Course Report study in August. That’s a significant increase from 2013, when just 2,178 students completed such programs.

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That explosion has included programs at colleges and universities. 

Trilogy Education has made its name as a partner to colleges and universities building boot camps in tech fields like data analytics, UX/UI and cybersecurity, partnering with more than 40 institutions.

Other institutions are developing programs on their own. Northeastern launched its Level program in 2015, building off a focus on experiential learning throughout its curriculum, EdSurge explains. Rather than partner with a boot camp provider, officials said, they decided to leverage their own brand and network.

Boot camps are even gaining traction in the Ivy League. Late last year, both Harvard and Yale universities announced short-term “boot camp”-style programs with a focus on adult learners. Yale’s coding boot camp will be offered through the Flatiron School, while Harvard is working with Trilogy on a web development program.

Not everyone is sold on boot camps in higher ed. Some worry the arrangements will water down the accreditation process or the mission of struggling institutions who develop the partnerships to keep their doors open. But they seem to have the support of the Trump administration as the Education Department weighs removing restrictions on colleges and universities outsourcing educational services.

This fall the model got a boost from a partnership announced between coding program Make School and the Dominican University of California. The pair will offer a bachelor’s degree in computer science using an accreditation path established by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges for institutions that work with existing colleges and universities.