OBJECTIVES: The objectives of the Leominster Coding Academy is to introduce Leominster area individuals to programming and web design, provide team-based work study opportunities for beginning and rising professional programmers, and see these individuals through to identified educational goals in programming and web-design. LGDOR and the Leominster Coding Academy is also a holder, provider, and maintainer of a number of ongoing member-led software projects and web-based services meant to teach while at the same time raise revenue to support the mission of the non-profit.

REGISTER/COSTS: You only have to contact us to register and costs are determined on an individual basis. For now, we are able to offer customized schedules that meet both instructors’ and students’ needs. The Academy does not conduct remote learning and all students must be able to meet at our facility for classes. Learning group sizes have varied from individual to groups of four. Registered students will be provided access to our online Moodle classrooms (browser and mobile app access is available). For a description of the tracts we offer, go to https://lgdor.org/academy (click the tracts’ info buttons on the right).

LOCATION: LGDOR’s Leominster Coding Academy activities will take place at Room 38, 24 Church Street, Leominster, MA. (That’s on the south end of the top floor of the building).

TWO PRONGED LEARNING: Participants will learn in a two-pronged manner:

1. PUSH PART: Participants progress through a directed curriculum in a self-paced manner by picking and completing the different learning tracts offered by the Academy’s instructors. These learning tracts are established by the instructors and participants must put together a meeting schedule with the instructors to complete them. Instructors may also offer weekly lectures/workshops if enough interest in a particular tract warrants it.

The learning tracts are stress-free (non-graded and usually self-paced) and includes completing non-graded exercises, quick projects, and on-line learning activities. Some of the tracts offered by the Leominster Coding Academy include: (1) Introduction to Programming (this is via Java, PHP, or JavaScript, or a subset of these); (2) Web Design; (3) Team-based Programming; (4) Database Design; and (5) Advanced Application Programming (via Java EE or Symfony with WAMP Stack). More information about each tract can be obtained on the Academy’s Moodle Home page at https://lgdor.org/academy.

2. PULL PART: Participants should choose a development project to build individually or become part of a development team at the Coding Academy. These development projects are large-scale development projects that solve real-world problems. They are meant to be completed and offered to the public. Individuals and teams will be able to collect “bounties” set for meeting project milestones. Individuals and teams may also collect on-going royalties for completed projects that produce income. They may also incubate a business based upon a project.

ACADEMY LONG-TERM OBJECTIVES: Long term objectives are determined by the participant and a mentor and may include certifications and/or equivalent project completion, portfolio development, and / or entrepreneurial incubation. Interested entities of the products that come from meeting these objectives may include: employers, colleges, universities, investors, and end users of a particular product or service.

FUNDING: Funding for the Leominster Coding Academy is finite. It will operate only as long as it has enough funds to keep it going. The Academy will make use of fees, donations, grants, fundraisers, and project-based income as necessary and available.

ACADEMY TARGET POPULATION: The target participant for the collaboration is teens, young adults, and adults searching for educational and business opportunities. It is assumed many of these participants will have limited income. The Academy’s location, reduced or no fees, and equipment provisions, evening hours, and possible income from team projects are offered to help offset any of the constraints preventing individuals form learning to code.  Those who are prevented from participating in the Academy due to some constraint are asked to contact general@lgdor.org.

LAPTOPS: A laptop, with the proper software loaded on it, is required to participate in the Coding Academy. Those who don’t own a laptop are provided a loner by the Academy.

NEEDS: LGDOR’s Coding Academy is in need of laptops, desks, tables, whiteboards, and related equipment in order to create our computer lab(s). Your help will be appreciated (and you can write off the donation).

Further questions can be directed to LGDOR’s contacts page.