Loyola University Maryland’s first computer science boot camp concludes Friday, July 30 at 2 p.m. with a graduation celebration for 14 participants who have taken the first step in pursuing new careers in computer science. The event takes place at Loyola’s Columbia Graduate Center at 8890 McGaw Road, where the camp sessions have been held since July 6.
The graduates, who range in age from 25 to 60 and who already hold bachelor’s degrees in a wide range of fields, have spent the past three weeks in an intensive program focused on fundamental programming and computer science concepts. Participants benefited from highly personalized instruction and guidance in programming projects from four Loyola computer science faculty members and one graduate student.
“This program was so hands-on—we really had a chance to get into the code,” said Alison Davis, 39, a former math teacher who holds an undergraduate degree in international studies and a master’s degree in education. “I took a programming course years ago that focused on all these really dull exercises. This class had us jump into more interesting, advanced projects already in process and complete the more elementary components necessary to finish them.”
Davis hopes the knowledge and experience she has gained through the Loyola boot camp leads to an entry level position in Java programming. In time, she hopes to become more involved in the consulting business she started with her husband, a software developer who serves as the firm’s managing partner.
Tuition for the boot camp was just $500, thanks to a $43,615 grant from the Maryland Higher Education Commission’s (MHEC) BRAC Higher Education Investment Fund, a program designed to support programs at Maryland institutions of higher education tied directly to educational needs stemming from the Base Realignment and Closure Act. The act is expected to spur the creation of 60,000 new jobs—many of them in technology-driven fields—in Maryland by 2015.
Loyola’s computer science department hopes to offer a second boot camp during the summer of 2011. Please monitor www.loyola.edu/cs for future announcements.
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