Coding bootcamp New York Code + Design Academy — which has campuses in New York, Philadelphia and Salt Lake City — will be closing its doors in March 2019 after it completes a final software engineering program.
Jeremy Snepar, CEO and founder of the company, confirmed the news via text message on Thursday evening.
Snepar founded the bootcamp program in 2012, which opened a Philly satellite program in 2014. Two years later, the company was acquired by Virginia-based Strayer Education, Inc. (SEI), the publicly traded parent company of Strayer University and other higher ed institutions.
On Thursday morning, during an earnings call with investors, Strayer CEO Karl McDonnell announced the decision to shutter the bootcamp as part of an internal restructuring, transcripts show.
“During the quarter, we also reorganized SEI’s non-degree business components into a single management structure and,” McDonnell said. “And following a strategic review of these non-degreed entities, we have decided to eliminate the New York Code and Design Academy’s asset value in its entirety.”
NYCDA marketing head Mike Miller announced the shutdown in a Slack message to the bootcamp’s community later that day.
“It is with great sadness that I deliver this update,” Miller said. “The New York Code + Design Academy will be ceasing operations following the completion of our November 2018 cohort of Software Engineering Intensive on March 15th, 2019. We did not make this decision lightly, and we hope the spirit of NYCDA will continue to live on through our vast alumni network around the world.”
NYCDA was one of few Philly bootcamps to outlive last year’s tsunami of sorts among national coding schools, in which both Iron Yard and Dev Bootcamp announced they’d be shutting down within 30 days of each other. At the end of 2017, Boston-based Launch Academy quietly let its Philly staff go and closed its Center City outpost. It remains active in Boston.
Amid a push for higher participation last year, NYCDA gave students at its Philly and Salt Lake City campuses the ability to enter Income Share Agreements (ISA). Under the terms of the deal, students pay 8 percent of their yearly post-graduation salary, provided they landed jobs that pay at least $40,000. If students failed to secure a job after the bootcamp, NYCDA took a loss on their tuition.
Snepar told Technical.ly at the time that it was also a way to help ease the woes of student debt.
“The problem with education is that people get into debt to get an education that then doesn’t pay them a living wage,” Snepar said. “People are basically working to pay interest to a bank. It’s a terrible situation and I’m hoping that this will help people circumvent that cycle but also put pressure on universities to give a little more value and help get their students in real careers.”
As one expert puts it, the rocky year experienced by coding bootcamps could have something to do with a mismatch between program results and employer expectations.
“We’re expecting code schools to do too much,” Baltimore founder and developer Mike Subelsky told our sister site Technical.ly DC earlier this year. “Experience is what makes you a good programmer, and after three months, you really just have the basic syntax of the language down. Any nontrivial application is going to need at least two or three other skills.”
In Philly, though, two bootcamps still remain: The Penn LPS Coding Boot Camp at the University of Pennsylvania — which recently graduated its inaugural cohort — and online-only Thinkful, which organizes regular meetups in Philly. (Blackfynn developer Daniel Hunter credits the Thinkful program with his pivot into tech.)
Here’s Mike Miller’s full message on Slack:
It is with great sadness that I deliver this update.
The New York Code + Design Academy will be ceasing operations following the completion of our November 2018 cohort of Software Engineering Intensive on March 15th, 2019.
When Jeremy and Zach brought NYCDA to life, they did it with a simple mission: _teach everyone to code_. Over the past 6 years, we’ve had the pleasure of teaching over 3,000 people code and design through our courses and events across the United States and Europe.
I know personally from having worked with so many of you the passion that you all brought to this community, your projects, and your new careers. It was this passion that drove that mission forward. It was all of you that made The New York Code + Design Academy a welcoming, energetic environment to change lives. It was truly a pleasure to come to work every day and see this change happening.
We did not make this decision lightly, and we hope the spirit of NYCDA will continue to live on through our vast alumni network around the world. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will do our best to respond to everyone in the weeks to come.
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