Coding Masthead

Code The Way: Partnering High Schools & Tech Companies in the Real World

October 24, 2018

The Milwaukee region has a significant base of technology talent of nearly 76,000 workers, supporting more than 140 industries, accounting for more than $27 billion to the regional economy. There is a need to strengthen both the talent pipeline and the ecosystem that supports this talent base (The Huls Group and TIP Strategies, Inc., 2018).

Computer and information technology occupations will grow 13 percent in the next decade, faster than the average for all occupations, adding 557,000 new jobs (Bureau of Labor Statistics) BUT if training for computer science teachers stays the same, there may be a shortage of 23,000 teachers by 2025 (Thompson, EdSurge, 2018).

Vision

High school students in Greater Milwaukee have access to high-quality computer science education and real-world job experiences, positioning them for success in technology-related fields.

Mission

Code the Way partners with high schools and technology companies to offer students advanced computer science training and real-world job experiences working on projects that benefit local nonprofits and increases certified computer science teachers, contributing to the computer science talent base.

Code the Way model includes:

  • Increasing certified computer science teachers – Support and training for computer science teacher certification increases the availability and quality of high school computer science programs.
  • Student access to real-world job experience – In addition to an advanced course that may earn post-secondary credits, students get experience working collaboratively on a project that benefits a nonprofit, culminating in a presentation to business leaders.
  • Companies are part of the solution – Companies invest in education, make technology more accessible to nonprofits, offer their employees a meaningful volunteer experience and contribute to the talent pipeline.

Background

After two years of successfully piloting the program, Code the Way seeks to impact more students, specifically a mix of urban and suburban, improve high school computer science programs and benefit more nonprofits in Milwaukee. Sixty high school students from three high schools have participated, resulting in measurable outcomes.

Achievements in Just Two Years

  • Sixty students, three separate projects, impacting two nonprofits, meaningful volunteer opportunities for company developers, scholarship dollars received, post-secondary credits received, authentic work experience, and changes in college direction.
  • Three new certified teachers able to elevate the quality of their high school computer science program
  • Two nonprofits that received more than $250,000 worth of technology services, allowing for the shift in
    human resources towards mission work.

What We Need to Launch and Grow Impact

  • Secure $25,000 in capacity building money by the end of 2018 to begin outreach to schools, companies and nonprofits, and $150,000 in 2019 to plan for and execute the summer program.
  • Recruit 45 students, 10 from MPS.
  • Attract 4 companies to host or sponsor student teams.
  • Identify 4 nonprofits that are a good match for student projects.
  • Attract additional developers and business analysts seeking meaningful volunteer opportunities.

For more information, go to codetheway.org and to see a video about the first year program, watch below!

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