Courtway Announces New Coding Academy

UCA announced a new opportunity for students interested in information technology with the arrival of the Arkansas Coding Academy on July 19, 2016.

UCA’s Division of Outreach and Community Engagement brought the new program to campus, UCA President Tom Courtway revealed to the community at the Tuesday meeting.

“At UCA we do a great job with graduate programs and undergraduate programs, but the Outreach Community Engagement is also a big piece of that puzzle,” Courtway said. “And a big thing we have to do is to reach out into our community and all across the nation and help citizens. If they already have a college degree or if they want to do something else, then that is what the Coding Academy is going to become all about.”

Although the Arkansas Coding Academy (ACA) is a part of the Division of Outreach and Community Engagement, the three-month course does not count toward college credit. It will give students the training needed to pursue a further career in information technology, according to the academy’s website.

“Based on conversations we have with local employers just in Conway there is a need for several hundred programmers or IT professionals in our local job market in the next three to five years,” President and CEO of the Conway Area of Chamber of Commerce Brad Lacy said.

Many Arkansas businesses have joined the task force in helping the program succeed.

Some of the community partnerships helping the academy so far include Metova Inc., Acxiom, the Arkansas Department of Workforce Services, the U.S. Department of Labor, the Conway Area Chamber of Commerce, Ensono, Field Agent, First Orion, Innovate Arkansas, JB Hunt, RevUnit, Rockfish and SEAS.

“I think this will have a positive effect for college students, people in the IT field or people who want to join a thriving workforce in IT. This will increase and bring about more opportunities for individuals because technology is not going anywhere,” Dylan Driggers, UCA alumnus and IT worker at HPE said.

Mary Dunlap, ACA Program Director, has admitted nine students into the program and is accepting applications on the academy’s website.

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