A consortium of coding boot camps and white-collar training programs from throughout the country are collaborating to develop a unified reporting standard for graduation and job placement data.
The move comes as “accelerated learning programs” around the country vie for more institutional legitimacy — and a part of the actual state and federal funds that come with accreditation.
The Council on Integrity in Results Reporting (damn you all, that’s a mouthful.) will develop truth-in-advertising standards, as well as standardized definitions, documentation, and validation requirements for all participating organizations.
Skills Fund, an Austin-based student lending firm that has established its quality assurance process is leading the charge.
Skills Fund raised $11.5 million in 2015 and has a partnership with Iowa Student Loan, a nonprofit with $2.6 billion in active student loans. It was co-founded by chief executive Rick O’Donnell, who currently serves on the U.S. Department of Education’s advisory council (NACIQI), which oversees all college accrediting agencies.
Graduate and placement statistics will be released semi-annually by boot camps that join the CIRR. Students who study the programs at their own pace will have to be separated from students enrolled in discrete cohorts and follow a pre-determined curriculum over a given period.
Companies will publish graduation rates and time to graduation biannually, placement rates, job kinds and titles (in tech and non-tech roles), and graduate pay statistics. According to the ad rules, pay reporting will have to disclose the percentage of graduates recruited at a specific salary.
An independent third party will validate the outcomes (graduation and job data) every year.
Darrell Silver, whose self-paced, online education business, Thinkful, was the organization’s only e-learning company to sign on, adds, “Transparency fosters trust with students.” “These year, there will be two types of schools: those who publish outcomes and follow common-sense guidelines, and those that fail.”
With the threat of federal and state regulation looming, the industry’s drive to self-regulate has hidden objectives.
The Obama administration had planned to launch a coding Bootcamp accreditation scheme. And, while President Donald Trump appears to be less interested in education these days and more focused on immigration, it’s impossible to say what would happen to these schools if DeVos took over (I guarantee nothing will be done to regulate coding boot camps. or much else).
Silver replied to me in an email, “Regulation, which has been hinted at, is inevitable.” “We shouldn’t be afraid of it, but we should be prepared, and CIRR can assist. Regulators assist schools in planning for the future. Sure, they’re slow, but they aid in the development of trust among students and employers.”
The standards should also assist aspiring coders in choosing schools that are more suited to their demands. “We’ve seen numerous Bootcamp trade associations and reporting techniques arise over the last three years,” said Liz Eggleston, co-founder of Course Report, “but CIRR is the first to gather together a collection of high-quality, committed institutions to deliberate on and apply a common outcomes criterion.”
Code Fellows, Codeup, DevMountain, Epicodus, Fullstack Academy, Grand Circus, Hackbright Academy, Hack Reactor, Ironhack, RefactorU, Sabio, Thinkful, Turing School of Software & Design, Wyncode, Course Report, and Skills Fund are all CIRR members.