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
- Previously, the only online option was self-paced; now, part-time and full-time courses are available to support students seeking additional structure.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- Teaching Style: Semi-synchronous. Just like the Part-Time Structured program, the Full-Time option brings the flexibility of an online program to the fast pace of an immersive.
- Time Commitment: 40-50 hours per week for 5 months
- Start Date: September 24th
- Perks: Similar to our part-time program, full-time students work through the program at a set pace with an established peer group and assigned cohort lead, but at an accelerated pace. Full-time students have the lowest instructor: student ratio at 1:20 and the highest level of one-on-one weekly technical mentorship. Additionally, full-time students receive two monthly Educational Coaching sessions (10 total throughout the program), a one-year WeWork Hot Desk membership, and early Career Services support to be job-ready in just 5 months.
- Price: Most expensive at $14,000 (but less than in-person immersives). Plus, Flatiron School is launching this program with the Citi Women Take Tech initiative to maximize accessibility, providing a $2,000 scholarship to every woman admitted. See full details here.
Money-Back Guarantee: Yes
#2 Part-Time Structured
- Teaching Style: Semi-synchronous. You’ll have weekly check-ins, but as Rebekah explains, “We want our structured programs to retain the flexibility of online offerings, so you won’t have to sit at your computer all day, every day.”
- Time Commitment: 20-25 hours a week for 10 months (with only some of those hours set across the cohort, and the rest on your own schedule). There will be times when you're meeting one-on-one with your educational coach or with your instructor, and times when you’re working through curriculum at your own pace.
- Start Date: First class starts September 24.
- Perks: Students in the part-time program now have access to an assigned cohort lead, dedicated peer group (average 40 students), and a set pace of curriculum, but with a high level of flexibility in their weekly schedule. Part-time students receive one Educational Coaching session per month (10 total throughout the program), weekly one-one-one technical mentorship, a 1-year WeWork Hot Desk membership, and the same access to live lectures, Career Services, and curriculum as all of our online programs.
- Price: $11,400
- Money-Back Guarantee: Yes
- Teaching Style: Asynchronous, which means you’ll learn on your own time.
- Time Commitment: 800-1,000 hours, completely self-paced
- Changes to expect: The new self-paced program is designed for more independent learners (expect fewer resources than the part/full-time programs) at a much-reduced price compared with the previous self-paced program.
Perks: Every student gets a pack of five one-on-one Educational Coaching sessions. Self-paced students will have access to the same comprehensive curriculum that has helped thousands of students start their careers as software engineers. Additionally, self-paced students have access to live lectures, a dedicated Career Services team member, and lifetime access to the curriculum.
- Note: Self-paced students will not get a 1-year WeWork Hot Desk membership.
- Start Date: Whenever you want!
- Price: Least expensive at $8,500
- Money-Back Guarantee: Yes
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:
- You have childcare responsibilities;
- You don't live in a city with a Flatiron School campus, or;
- You’re working full-time etc.
Our full-time students are online learners who want:
- assurance that they will be on pace
- a suite of resources to support them, push them and pull them to keep them learning
- an aggressive pace, with instructor support, student community support, and educational coaching support - similar to our on-campus immersive.
Our part-time students are online learners who want:
- some flexibility based on their schedule
- the same level of support and resources as our full-time program, but spread over a longer timeframe
Our self-guided students are online learners who want:
- complete freedom to learn on their own schedule and pace
- a lower up-front cost with the same curriculum, Career Services support, and money-back guarantee
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.