Wilmington U and Zip Code team up for “unique” initiative

Sean Strauss tackles a coding challenge as part of the 90-day Zip Code Wilmington boot camp. (Avi Wolfman-Arent/WHYY)

Sean Strauss tackles a coding challenge as part of the 90-day Zip Code Wilmington boot camp. (Avi Wolfman-Arent/WHYY)

The U.S. Dept. of Education’s EQUIP program is designed to help low-income students access new models of schooling.

 

Zip Code Wilmington is already a unique training program. The 90-day software coding boot camp helps students gain the skills needed to get an entry level developer job.

The boot camp is now one of a handful of entities nationwide to take part in the Dept. of Education’s Educational Quality through Innovative Partnerships program. That’s a lengthy title for the DOE’s effort to pair non-accredited teaching providers -like Zip Code- with accredited schools- like Wilmington University.

Through EQUIP, eligible Zip Code students will be able to receive Pell Grants and a full semester of credits from Wilm. U’s Applied Technology Degree program. Those credits can then be used toward an associate or bachelor’s degree.

“This furthers our mission to create a one-of-a-kind learning opportunity that leads to job placements at top companies and helps our graduates change their income potential for life,” said Zip Code’s head of school Melanie Augustin.

The program fits in with Wilmington University’s mission, too, according to Wilm. U College of Technology Dean Mary Ann Westerfield. “This partnership is aligned with our mission’s commitment to excellence in teaching, relevancy of the curriculum and individual attention to students.”

To ensure the quality of education students in the EQUIP program in Delaware are receiving, HackerRank has agreed to serve the quality assurance function. Since 2012, HackerRank has backed more than 1,000 companies’ coding assessments. The company is offering its services on for free during the EQUIP pilot program.

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