New Schedule for Software Engineering Program – Why the Change

Jul 6, 2023
Kate Rogers

We are announcing a change to the delivery of our Software Engineering with Java/AWS Specialization program. Going forward, we will offer the Software Engineering program in a flexible full-time format. Our goal with this change is to allow students more flexibility in setting their weekly schedule without taking away the opportunity to collaborate remotely with classmates and learn in real-time from instructors. By creating a flexible full-time schedule, students can still put in the 35-40 hours a week that this program requires while gaining flexibility to honor commitments to family and part-time work. 

A Little History – What We’ve Learned

This program was rolled out last summer, with our first class launching in June of 2022. Our original full-time schedule required students to be live on Zoom from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Now that we have graduated two cohorts and have another cohort in progress, we have learned a few things. Nine months is a long time to go without income, and the original schedule made working even a part-time job challenging, especially for those also supporting their family. Our new flexible full-time schedule allows you to compartmentalize the hours you need to be live online in class with us and do the rest of the work for that week on your schedule – while still keeping the program length to 9 months.

The New Schedule: Flexible Full Time

So what does a flexible full-time schedule look like? We’ve broken it down into three categories.

Core Class Time

All students are required to be online and in class three mornings a week: Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 8 a.m. - 12 p.m. CT.

When you put in the remaining hours of course and project work each week is up to you. (You will have deadlines to meet - this is not a self-paced course.)

*Note: There will be some required hours outside of Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday mornings, such as the first week of the program and for career development events.

Flex Class Time

If you’d like to work with classmates and while there’s an instructor available, we recommend that you plan to spend at least some of your remaining hours online during Flex Class Time: Mondays and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. CT and Tuesdays through Thursdays 1 - 4 p.m. CT. During Flex Class Time, the class Zoom room will be available for students to meet with classmates to work on coursework, coding exercises, and group project work. Instructors will also be available for support. We recommend that you plan to attend at least some Flex Class Time each week to work on group projects and ask questions.

Open Time

For students who need more flexibility to complete their independent work, Open Time encompasses the rest of your week. That means Open Time starts at 4 p.m. CT on weekdays and ends when you call it a night - let’s say 10 p.m. CT so your brain gets the rest it needs for learning. You can also work independently on weekends. Instructors will not be available during Open Time, but your classmates might be. You're free to coordinate with your classmates to meet up in-person or virtually during Open Time. And you’ll have access to a cohort Slack channel that is open 24x7 which can be used to get help and help your classmates. (Instructors will also be available on Slack during Core and Flex Class Time.)

We’ll share some example schedules in our blog post early next week so you can see how this might work for your schedule.

Here is what will NOT change:

  • We are not changing the contents of the curriculum itself. We are only changing the schedule for delivering the curriculum.
  • You still have access to support from our Instructional team. Instructors will be available and ready to answer questions and support students the same amount of time as they have for our previous classes. Students can still work until 4 p.m. Mon. - Fri. if they choose and instructors will be available for support. 
  • This is still a full-time class.  We expect that on average students will need to invest 30 to 40 hours a week to master a given week's material but some weeks might be 25 and other weeks might be 50 hours to complete the weekly assignments and meet class expectations.
  • The duration of the program remains the same. This is still a 9-month class

So then, what is changing? We are simply changing the requirements of time spent in the Zoom class and on camera. Students will still be putting in the hours that are needed to complete a full-time program but they will no longer be required to complete those hours on our schedule. In our original schedule, students spent time every day working independently during required hours. That independent work won’t change. All that changes is that the student gets to choose when to complete that independent work. 

There are still weekly expectations and work to be submitted each week. Students will still have group activities and projects. Students will be expected to complete each week’s work by the first class of the following week and be prepared for that week’s new lessons. It’s worth repeating: the amount of work this class entails isn't changing, but we are no longer dictating what time/which day you complete it. Class Instructors will be available Monday and Friday from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. and Tuesday through Thursday 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. to support students as they work.

Many students apply to our programs with the goal of making a career change that allows them to work remotely and have flexibility in their full-time work schedule. That is what this new schedule permits, a full-time course that still allows you to pick up your kids or book a Thursday evening gig. We are not reducing instructional support or the hard work that goes into completing the Software Engineering with Java/AWS Specialization program, we are opening up the schedule to accommodate that flexible full-time model. This schedule allows students to master the full range of skills presented in this comprehensive program in the shortest reasonable amount of time while accommodating student needs for more flexibility.

Learn more about what our flexible full-time schedule could look like for you in our next blog post.

Ready to apply? Applications for our October cohort are open through July 31st. Learn more and apply here.

Topics: News, Software Engineering