Zip Code Wilmington receives national recognition - Technical.ly Delaware

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Aug. 16, 2016 2:11 pm

Zip Code Wilmington receives national recognition

The coding bootcamp is among elite company in a new Obama administration effort to connect students with tech training opportunities.

Students from Zip Code Wilmington's second cohort work on projects.

(Courtesy photo)

The Obama administration thinks Zip Code Wilmington is doing something right.

The coding school is one of eight nontraditional education providers involved in a $17 million effort to connect more workers with 21st-century skills. The U.S. Department of Education program, called the Educational Quality through Innovative Partnerships (EQUIP), offers students grants and loans to attend schools that aren’t traditional colleges. The news was first reported Tuesday by the Wall Street Journal.

The ability to use federally backed financial aid will make tech training programs more accessible to low-income students, supporters say.

“As you can imagine, it might have taken a decade if Zip Code set out to do those things,” venture capitalist and Zip Code cofounder Ben duPont told Technical.ly. “The White House short-circuited the process.”

Along with Zip Code Wilmington, fellow coding academy Flatiron, Baltimore’s StraighterLineStudy.com, MakerSquareGuild EducationEpicodus and corporate behemoth GE are involved in the program.

The news comes as Zip Code makes some tweaks to its much-heralded formula.

The nonprofit will partner with Wilmington University as part of the EQUIP program, giving eligible Zip Code students access to Pell Grants and college credit.

“The EQUIP program enables Zip Code Wilmington to offer students an outstanding education and a semester’s worth of college credits at Wilmington University in only 12 weeks, potentially at no cost to the student,” Zip Code President Jim Stewart said in a statement.

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The coding school’s enrollment process is also getting a makeover. As opposed to using Codecademy exercises as the barometer for admission and graduation exams, the school will now be using HackerRank instead. “HackerRank acts as an SAT score for coders,” said duPont.

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