Curriculum Spotlight

Self-Paced vs Immersive Courses at Code Fellows

Jess Feldman

Written By Jess Feldman

Liz Eggleston

Edited By Liz Eggleston

Last updated on November 14, 2023

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Code Fellows has launched a Self-Paced Modality for its Software Development, Ops and Cybersecurity and Web3 programs, but guided by the motto: “self-paced but not alone.” With real-time assistance from instructional staff, opportunities for collaborative project work, and comprehensive career services, find out the differences (and similarities!) between Code Fellows’ self-paced schedule versus its full-time and part-time course options. Plus, seven key tips for making the most of your self-paced learning experience at Code Fellows. 

Meet the Expert: Mitch Robertson, SVP of Business Development and Growth at Code Fellows

  • “At Code Fellows, I get the privilege of leading some of the best and brightest individuals who are tasked with growing our customer and partner experience to train up the next generation of entrepreneurs, innovators, software engineers, cybersecurity specialists and leaders who will shape our future.”

What does the Self-Paced Modality at Code Fellows look like?

The self-paced schedule is designed for students who prefer to learn at their own pace, at times most convenient to them, with the same instruction, hands-on experience, and resources as our other course schedules. This includes access to recorded lecture videos, our virtual campus, live chat with peers, real-time assistance from teaching assistants, and scheduled screen-share support from instructors. 

The self-paced option is available for our Software Development, Ops and Cybersecurity, and Web3 programs.

Is there an ideal student for the self-paced course versus the full-time or part-time courses?

The self-paced course is ideal for:

  • Working Professionals: People who have a busy schedule due to work commitments and need the flexibility to study at their own pace outside of regular working hours.
  • Students: Students who want to supplement their regular education or learn additional skills at their own pace.
  • Lifelong Learners: Individuals who have a strong desire to continuously learn and enhance their skills, but need flexibility to learn at various times and schedules in order to advance in their careers.
  • Busy Caretakers: Folks who have family responsibilities, like taking care of kids or aging parents, and need the ability to fit their studies around their familial duties.
  • Frequent Travelers: Individuals who travel frequently for work or personal reasons and need a portable and flexible learning option that can be accessed from anywhere at any time.
  • Career Changers: Those looking to transition to a new career and need to acquire new skills or knowledge at their own pace while continuing to work in their current field.
  • Individuals with Unique Schedules: People with non-traditional work schedules, irregular hours, or other commitments that make it difficult to attend scheduled classes.

What does the curriculum look like for the self-paced course? Is it any different than the full-time course?

The curriculum for self-paced courses is exactly the same as our live-online and in-person courses! The self-paced course includes a series of classes dedicated to project presentations and our Career Development Curriculum, which prepares students for their job search.

Will the self-paced version of the Ops and Cybersecurity course prepare students for certifications? 

Yes! In addition to receiving Code Fellows industry-recognized certifications, students in the Ops and Cybersecurity Program will prepare for the following certs:

  • The Ops 201: Foundations of Computer Operations course prepares students for CompTIA ITF+.
  • The Ops 301: Networking and Systems Administration prepares students for CompTIA Network+.
  • The Ops 401: Cybersecurity Engineering prepares students for CompTIA Security+.

How long does it take self-paced students to finish the course versus full-time or part-time students?

The advantage of these courses lies in the flexibility they offer to students. Learners can advance through the material at their own speed, either speeding through certain sections or dedicating more time to others. Although all courses have a maximum time limit, the schedule varies based on the course level. That said, it is calculated to require a commitment of about 10 hours every week. 

Level 102 courses span up to 4 weeks, while levels 201 and 301 extend up to 16 weeks each. Level 401 courses, on the other hand, allow for a maximum duration of 40 weeks. This grants students up to four times the length of our standard daytime courses to complete the program, empowering them to progress at a pace that suits them, provided they master the necessary skills.

What does the typical schedule look like for a full-time (daytime) or part-time (nights & weekends) learner?

The daytime schedule for 102 courses are 1 week long, 201 and 301 courses are each 4 weeks long, and 401 courses are 10 weeks long. All daytime courses are 40 hours per week, Monday through Friday, from 9am to 6pm.

  • For half of the class, students learn through lectures, in-class assignments, and live demo sessions. The other half is spent in hands-on lab time, getting specialized attention from instructors and TAs.
  • Each course has an additional 20-40 hours per week of homework.
  • Our full-time students should plan for a total time commitment of 60-80 hours per week.

The nights & weekends schedule for 102 courses are 2 weeks long, 201 and 301 courses are each 9 weeks long, and 401 courses are 23 weeks long. All nights & weekend courses are 18 hours per week, Monday through Thursday, 6:30pm - 9:30pm, and one full weekend day each week, 9am to 6pm.

  • For half of the class, students learn through lectures, in-class assignments, and live demo sessions. The other half is spent in hands-on lab time, getting specialized attention from instructors and TAs.
  • Each course has an additional ~10 hours per week of homework.
  • Our part-time students should plan for a total time commitment of 30-40 hours per week.

What does the typical schedule look like for a self-paced learner at Code Fellows?

Students have complete control in designing a schedule that suits their needs. Each class maintains the same flow as our daytime, nights, and weekend courses, incorporating a lecture and lab cycle. The lectures consist of recorded sessions featuring the latest content presented to a live classroom environment, inclusive of in-class assignments and live demonstration sessions. The remaining portion involves hands-on lab time, where students receive personalized support from our instructional team in a virtual campus environment that they can attend anywhere at any time. With the self-paced modality, campus is open 24/7! 

Can self-paced students engage in live instruction, either through live online lecture or mentorship?

Self-paced students can engage in live chat with peers, real-time assistance from teaching assistants, and scheduled screen-share support from instructors. Due to the modular nature of our courses, students have the freedom to transition to live classes upon completing each course level. This flexibility enables them to choose courses based on their schedule, opting for either live or self-paced formats.

What kinds of projects will self-paced students work on? 

Students tackle the same types of capstone projects as they would in our full-time courses.

  • In the coding program, students get the opportunity to create the app they have always wanted or brainstorm ideas with peers. They can be as creative as they want! For example, at the Code 301 level, students build AI-powered apps that leverage LLMs over an API to supercharge their capabilities. 
  • In the Ops program, students engage with a simulated work scenario, where they are responsible for building out an organization's IT infrastructure and then presenting it to a live audience. 

Will self-paced students also work on group projects? 

Yes — Thanks to our virtual campus and Slack, students have the ability to connect with peers from all classes. This allows them to choose whether they want to work in pairs, a team, or even go it alone, depending on how their schedules align. No matter the group size, all students get to show off their work to a live audience, along with other full-time or self-paced students. 

What is the community like for self-paced students? Do they have opportunities to connect with other Code Fellows students, instructors, TAs, and alumni?

Students in self-paced courses have access to Code Fellows Virtual Campus, where they can get help from TA’s, engage with students in all courses, and meet with instructors. 

What kinds of career services can self-paced students expect at Code Fellows?

In tandem with our technical education, we train our students in effective career-building strategies, so they can confidently start their job search as soon as (or even before!) they graduate.

Our career support includes in class career coaching. From 201 through 401, students get over 40 hours of instruction and assignments to help them build their personal brand, network, and professional skills. This training helps them become strong team members in the companies they join and sets them up to become strong leaders in the tech industry.

The Code Fellows’ Career Coaching curriculum has seven pillars:

  1. Professional etiquette
  2. Professional pitch
  3. Creating a network
  4. Job search readiness
  5. Targeted job search
  6. Professional materials
  7. Behavioral and technical interview questions

Throughout the entire program, students study each pillar, with assignments ranging from perfecting their professional pitch, to mastering the interview process with mock interviews, to creating a compelling resume.

What are your tips to incoming students on how to make the most of the self-paced program?

  • Embrace Flexibility: One of the primary advantages of self-paced courses is the flexibility they offer. Take full advantage of this by creating a study schedule that aligns with your daily routine and personal preferences. Whether you're a morning person or a night owl, design a study plan that suits your lifestyle.
  • Leverage the Resources: Code Fellows is committed to providing you with the necessary resources to succeed. Make sure you take advantage of the recorded class sessions, virtual campus, live chat with peers, and the availability of teaching assistants. Don't hesitate to ask questions and seek assistance when needed.
  • Stay Connected and Engaged: Even in a self-paced environment, you're not alone. Engage with the vibrant community of learners. Participate in class discussions and take advantage of opportunities for collaboration, such as pair-programming and team projects. Seek guidance and support whenever you face challenges or have questions. Code Fellows' team is there to assist you from the beginning to the end of your course.This not only enhances your learning but also fosters a sense of connection. 
  • Manage Your Time Wisely: With the freedom to set your own schedule, time management is crucial. Create a study plan that allows you to make consistent progress. Avoid procrastination by setting achievable daily or weekly goals.
  • Practice Real-World Skills: Self-paced courses at Code Fellows offer hands-on experiences and simulate real professional work environments. Use this opportunity to hone essential skills in software development, cybersecurity, and other areas. Practical knowledge is the key to success in the tech industry.
  • Review and Reflect: Periodically review what you've learned and reflect on your progress. Assess whether you are meeting your goals and adjust your study plan if necessary. Self-assessment is a valuable tool for personal growth.
  • Embrace it: Lastly, embrace the opportunity to take control of your learning journey. The self-paced courses at Code Fellows are designed for motivated individuals like you. Stay passionate, stay motivated, and make the most of this incredible learning experience.

Find out more and read Code Fellows reviews on Course Report. This article was produced by the Course Report team in partnership with Code Fellows.

About The Author

Jess Feldman

Jess Feldman

Jess Feldman is an accomplished writer and the Content Manager at Course Report, the leading platform for career changers who are exploring coding bootcamps. With a background in writing, teaching, and social media management, Jess plays a pivotal role in helping Course Report readers make informed decisions about their educational journey.

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