General Assembly is returning to in-person classroom this Fall 2021. Adele McCarthy-Beauvais, General Assembly’s Senior Director of Community Growth & Programming, explains which campuses are reopening, what students can expect from in-person learning, and the steps General Assembly is taking to make their in-person campuses operate smoothly and safely for everyone. Find out what makes these in-person campuses unique, and how to decide between General Assembly’s online and in-person Immersives.
What can you tell us about General Assembly’s campus reopening?
We will be reopening select campuses in the middle of September, starting with software engineering immersives in Washington, DC and San Francisco. Our Los Angeles and Boston campuses will also be launching their Software Engineering Immersives on November 8th. We will then begin reopening our campuses in Chicago, Denver, and Seattle for in-person events and short-form classes in October. Our flagship New York City Campus will reopen in late November and our campuses in Atlanta and Austin will return to in-person learning in early 2022.
For this reopening, we are running our full stack Software Engineering Immersive and introducing more classes throughout the winter, such as our Data Science and UX Design Immersives. At this time we are not offering any sort of hybrid in-person/remote classes.
Why stagger these campus reopenings?
We want to make sure we can reopen safely for our Immersive students. We’re requiring vaccinations for all of our in-person staff and students. Our staff, students, and visitors will respond to a daily health & safety questionnaire through a check in portal called Envoy. Everyone is required to wear masks on campus at all times, and the study areas are set up to ensure six feet of social distancing. We’re also updating cleaning protocols to ensure the safety of all of our on-campus visitors. Students should know that we’re going to mitigate challenges and we ask that they do their part as well.
What’s the difference between learning in-person and learning remotely with General Assembly?
General Assembly has been leading live online programming long before COVID. Over the course of 2020, we were able to refine and improve how we engage and support online students. Our online programming groups students by regions and time zones so they have the ability to connect with classmates and develop a network in other cities.
Our in-person learning takes place on our campuses, so students have access to student lounges, study spaces, and kitchen spaces. In-person students have the opportunity to build relationships and friendships with what will be the base of their new professional network in their city. They also have direct rapport with the instructors and career coaches local to their region.
In-person students can benefit from short-form classes, workshops, and events that happen on campus after class or lunch. They can also benefit from in-person breakout sessions where they work with a team and use actual whiteboards. These are all welcome elements to a Zoom-weary student body.
Is there an ideal student for in-person learning vs online instruction?
General Assembly’s on-campus learning is best suited for someone who can commit to being present in a classroom during the weekdays for the full 12 weeks of the program. Students who enjoy the commitment of having to appear in person every day and connect best in person will thrive in this modality on campus.
Why should students be excited to get back to in-person learning at General Assembly?
Our campuses have a modern design and plenty of space for our students to frequently connect and do group work with peers. Our campuses are situated in office buildings and co-working spaces, so in-person students enjoy the proximity of tech startups and other business activities. We also have high-speed internet access at our campuses. Once we have all of our Immersives available again in-person, students can better understand how their tech training fits into the product life cycle by sharing campus space with students learning other disciplines.
What is the student-instructor ratio for these in-person Immersives?
The student-teacher ratio is 1:12 for a lead instructor, plus we have TA support and a career coach in each cohort. As we reopen, our Immersive programs will be held at 50% capacity to maintain adequate social distancing.
Will there be any interaction between online students and in-person students of the same career track?
There are plenty of opportunities for all the students to engage and connect online through our classes, workshops, and events. We offer student resource groups that convene for events across the various Immersive programs and that includes the online part-time programs.
Will General Assembly be hosting in-person events at these campuses again?
We’re kicking our event series off with Return to Campus Open Houses in Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington D.C., Chicago, Seattle, and Denver on October 7th. These are events for people to check out our in-person campuses as well as learn more about our programs in an info session. We’ll follow suit with other in-person events, like our Intro to Coding workshops or the Code in the Breweries series. We’re going to be engaging in the local communities later this year and we want to go out and connect by partnering with local tech conferences and festivals.
What kinds of career services can in-person students at General Assembly expect?
What differentiates us from other bootcamps is our emphasis on career coaching and outcomes work, which starts on day one of the bootcamp. Our in-person students can expect to be taught tech career fundamentals with a dedicated career coach. General Assembly career coaches support students as they learn and build tech chops while simultaneously beginning the necessary work on things like personal branding, resume-building, technical and behavioral interview preparation, and understanding the tech career landscape. Upon graduation, students will continue to partner with the same career coach to kickstart their job search and navigate the ups and downs as they move into the field.
Do you have any tips for in-person students starting this fall?
Plan to arrive on day one with a firm commitment to enter the field of study. And don’t forget to complete your pre-work! Students should look to leverage General Assembly’s classes, workshops, events, and programming before, during, and after their cohort to deepen and broaden their skill set and understanding of the tech sector.
For the latest updates on General Assembly’s in-person campus reopening, head to the GA blog. Find out more and read General Assembly reviews on Course Report. This article was produced by the Course Report team in partnership with General Assembly.
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