The new Coding Academy program will be modeled on our current 8th Grade Academy model, which takes place during the regular Extended Learning Time schedule.

8th graders who participate in this program are assigned a volunteer coach from a corporate partnership. Every other week, students travel off campus to meet with their coaches at corporate offices and continue to work on their projects back at schools. This field component provides the student with an additional opportunity to experience a professional environment and to learn directly from their coach.

Coding Academy

We have identified several ways we wish to expand and re-imagine our 8th Grade Academy to better support students' readiness for the rigors of high school, and readiness for future STEM based careers, for the upcoming year. One way in particular is to pilot this Coding Academy program in partnership with corporate partners such as Google (and hopefully others, as well).

Our goal is that 8th graders who participate in Coding Academy will perform better on their Common Core math tests, and, ultimately, attend STEM focused high schools.

None of Citizen Schools partner schools in New York City currently offer computer programming.

Technology affects every field of commerce. In fact, By 2022, the U.S. will need more than nine million STEM professionals to fill projected job openings. With only 18% of bachelor's degrees conferred in core STEM subjects, the U.S. is not projected to graduate enough STEM professionals to meet this demand. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Quarterly, STEM 101: Intro to tomorrow’s jobs, Spring 2014)

This challenge is particularly acute for members of groups historically underrepresented in STEM, including women, people of color, and those from low-income families. The country's STEM workforce remains 74% male and 85% White/Asian. Addressing this diversity gap is not only a social justice issue, but also an economic imperative.