Our first priority is a successful semester, which starts for us the week of March 13th and ends at the end of May. We'll be operating in close to 30 classrooms with around 400 students taking part in the program. That includes the majority of the District's public and charter middle-schools, and we'll be piloting the program at two DC recreation centers.
Our immediate enrollment goal is 750 students participating by the end of 2017.
There was a study last year by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments that indicated that computer programmer is the single most in-demand occupation in the Washington region and will be for decades (see link below).
Georgetown's Center for Education and the Workforce estimates that the DC region will create 350,000 hardware and software jobs between now and 2026. 110,000 of them will not require a college degree.
Our primary long-term goal is to evolve into a pipeline of qualified candidates for those jobs in the DC region and to demonstrate that our particular model for teaching coding is stable and sustainable.
Getting there will involve expanding into high school and some type of post-secondary certification system, upgrading our curriculum, developing better training for our instructors, expanding from 16 hours of instructional time per semester to 32, and creating the technology and other systems that would allow the program to scale at a reasonable cost. We also need to prove that the model can be replicated in other cities.
We're also working on developing the appropriate data collection and assessment tools to be able to properly measure the impact of the program.
There are a plethora of challenges that stand between us and these goals, but we're cautiously optimistic that we can get it done.