Expanding Access to Adult Education, Code/IT Academy 2023 Recap

by Jan 11, 2024

In 2023, Code/IT Academy outgrew its walls in The Mill classroom and started to
blossom further in the Uplands region.

Code/IT Academy is a free 10-week training program run by The Mill in partnership with
Ivy Tech and Regional Opportunities Initiative (ROI). The program is designed to help
individuals with a desire to grow in or join the tech industry up-skill.

The program ran three cohorts this year, up-skilling 125 students in Crawford, Monroe,
and Washington counties. Topics that the cohort covered were web development,
Amazon Web Services, and CompTIA Security +.

The class lived in Monroe County and streamed in the Washington and Crawford
Community Foundation classrooms. In each county, a facilitator led the cohort.
Most students who join Code/IT Academy have been out of school for more than ten
years and they have jobs, families, and lives. Entering the classroom, and or the workforce
again, is no easy task.

The Mill and Ivy Tech partnered to offer career services to students. Students were given
access to the CareerLink team at Ivy Tech for career coaching, as well as invited to
“Career Chats”. The chats were weekly sessions in which students were focused on a
personal/professional development module, and connecting. Some topics included were: DISC personality tests, value identifiers, personal branding, LinkedIN, networking, resume building, and more. At the end of the fall cohort, The Mill put on a networking night and invited students from all three counties. Five local employers were
present and students mingled with them.

“It was amazing to watch the students come together to support, encourage and basically
help one another to be successful,” Karen Barry Washington Co CLC Community &
Career Coordinator said.

In Crawford and Monroe counties, facilitators would echo Karen’s praises for their
students. Haley Pritchett, Code/IT Academy Manager at The Mill and facilitator for Monroe
County, says that she has watched so much growth happen in individuals who enroll in
the academy.

Jeremy Martin is one of them. Jeremy is a retired marine who claims before Code/IT, he was unhappy. After being retired for a couple of years, he came to the conclusion that retirement was not for him.

“I craved growth and progress and a purpose,” he said. “But I wasn’t entirely sure what I
was craving yet, nor what direction to go in.”

By chance he says, he stumbled across Code/IT Academy. Now, Jeremy has
completed all three programs that Code/IT Academy has offered, and is working at a
local tech company, Warrant Technologies.

“To go along with these valuable hard skills and quantifiable accomplishments, the
Code/IT academy has helped me to overcome my entry-level/beginner Impostor
Syndrome fears through the study and application of soft skills and career transition skills
that are provided along with the technical aspects of this program,” Jeremy said. “I have
finally successfully transitioned from the military, into a successful and budding civilian
career, and I would credit this to the combined forces of the Code/IT Academy and Ivy
Tech Community College. I am living my dream through the connections made,
confidence gained, knowledge accrued, and resources provided by the Code/IT
academy.

Jeremey is one of many students, all of whose life stories look a lot different, who invested
in himself and the Code/IT Academy in the year 2023 and is now reaping the benefits.

Check out our website to learn more, and add earning tech certifications to your new
years goals for 2024!