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Flatiron School has offered an Online program since 2015, but starting August 2018, students can expect to see three new online bootcamp tiers. Depending on your availability and learning style, you’ll choose between the Self Paced, Part-Time, and Full-Time Software Engineering Online Bootcamps – so what are the differences? We sat down with Flatiron School’s General Manager for Online, Rebekah Rombom, to find out what makes each course unique  and how prospective students can figure out which option is for them.

Major Changes to Flatiron Online: Our Takeaways

  1. Previously, the only online option was self-paced; now, part-time and full-time courses are available to support students seeking additional structure.
  2. Part-time and full-time courses will have dedicated instructor resources, small class sizes, and dedicated peer groups with built-in community pairings, one-on-one technical mentorship, study sessions, and weekly expectations to keep you on pace to graduate by the end of the cohort.
  3. Part-time and full-time are “semi-synchronous,” so you’ll spend a lot of time working through curriculum independently, but at a set pace with your cohort.
  4. Self-paced options are designed more specifically to accommodate independent learners: You’ll have access to community resources, coaching, and live instructor chat, but self-drive through most of the curriculum.
  5. What’s not changing: Online Intro Courses and Bootcamp Prep will continue to exist (for free).

The New Online: Three Online Software Engineering Bootcamp Options

There are now three different ways that students can choose to learn online with Flatiron School:

#1 Full-Time Structured

Money-Back Guarantee: Yes

#2 Part-Time Structured  

#3 Self-Paced

FAQs with Rebekah of Flatiron School

Why all of these changes to the Online program?

Rebekah: We've always known that people learn in different ways. Fundamentally, the new online course offerings are about expanding our options so that students can pick the learning experience that's right for them. In 2012, we had exactly one learning experience: 12 weeks, on-campus, full-time, in New York City. In 2015, we started an online learning experience designed to increase access and allow students to do the program if they couldn't or didn't want to learn full-time on-campus in New York City.

It’s even more clear to us now: in education, one size does not fit all. So we've built a suite of new program offerings to address different kinds of learners.

What should students’ expectations be for outcomes from these programs? Will any of these paths get students jobs?

Rebekah: Nearly every Flatiron School student who graduates and looks for a job, gets a job. All of Flatiron School’s career programs (in-person immersive, self-paced online, part-time, or full-time online) are focused on getting students ready for jobs when they graduate. Regardless of the program they choose, once a student demonstrates mastery, they graduate and get access to all of the same coaching and employer network resources. All of these programs have the tools and resources for students to succeed; it just depends on how fast and intensely you want to learn. All of our career programs even offer a money-back guarantee: If you complete the program, and job-seek according to our job-search framework, we guarantee you’ll get a job offer within six months — or we’ll refund your full tuition.

What is the ideal type of student for each of these Online options?

Rebekah: I think it’s most instructive to paint a picture of particular students. Our students learn online for a number of reasons. For example:

Our full-time students are online learners who want:

Our part-time students are online learners who want:

Our self-guided students are online learners who want:

FULL-TIME DEDICATED

For the Full-Time program, how much of the day should students anticipate spending with classmates or instructors, in real-time?

Rebekah: The cool thing about the full-time program is that the way they structure their time commitment is really up to the students. We have guidance and course requirements for particular activities, like one-on-ones with your instructor, with your educational coach, and pairing sessions with fellow students.

Other than those expectations, you can be where you need to be, when you need to be in other parts of your life, as long as you're spending 40-50 hours per week on Flatiron School and completing each module on time.

How do you envision the instructor-led learning experience for students here?

Rebekah: In the study groups, instructors decide on a topic to lecture on with the group. Instructors will communicate with their cohorts about where they are on a topic and students can attend those together synchronously. Multiple study groups are happening every week for students, and each cohort has multiple choices for study groups each week.

Each program has specific expectations for completion and mastery at the end of every single week, and students have the opportunity for a one-on-one with their instructor every week as well - full-time students can meet one-on-one with their instructor for up to an hour. The student and their instructor dialogue about how the pace is working, how to catch up or add more for enrichment.

Who are those instructors going to be?

Rebekah: Our instructors are industry veterans who are trained to support and educate our students. We've added additional training during the beta phase of the program to further tailor the modules and study groups to better benefit students.

The self-paced program was always open to anyone with a computer. How will Admissions for the online programs change?

Rebekah: Because the part-time and full-time programs have rigorous pacing requirements, we'll have a technical admissions interview for both of those programs. We want to understand whether a student is ready to succeed working at that pace for five months or ten months, and we want to make sure students know they’re ready, too. Before they start the programs, students will have both a technical interview and assigned prework - we set clear expectations about what it takes to succeed in the course and what it takes to get ready for day one.

What can an applicant expect from the technical interview?

Coding bootcamps have to cover a lot of ground in a short time span, so we move through curriculum fast. A technical assessment is a way to test whether you’re ready to hit the ground running from day one. Applicants complete several coding challenges on their own in advance of a technical interview—a live coding session with an instructor—in which they will be asked questions about their prepared work and possibly to expand or change their code to solve new problems. Keep in mind: we are not trying to assess how you work under pressure; it’s more about determining your ability to learn, communicate what you’re learning, and improve in real time… much like what you’ll be doing as a bootcamp student, and later, on the job.

To learn more about Flatiron Online, check out reviews on Course Report or their website here.

About The Author

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Liz is the cofounder of Course Report, the most complete resource for students considering a coding bootcamp. She loves breakfast tacos and spending time getting to know bootcamp alumni and founders all over the world. Check out Liz & Course Report on Twitter, Quora, and YouTube

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