This post is sponsored by Devmountain.
Devmountain was recently approved by the American Council on Education and now has ACE recommendations for up to 18 semester credits. We talked to Jason Poole, Director of Operations at Devmountain about the process of getting their bootcamps' approval from ACE and how students should use the credit that can be transferred to universities and programs for those students who want to keep learning. Jason shares how attending an ACE-recommended bootcamp like Devmountain can help boost your education and career!
What is your role at Devmountain and how do you help students?
My role as the Director of Operations for Devmountain comes with many hats of responsibility, but my favorite is leadership over the student experience. I have an open-door policy for students and I encourage the students to reach out to me. I take a lot of pride in supporting students and improving their experience here on campus and virtually to our remote learners.
I’ve been working in higher education for a little over a decade, most of which has been with Strayer University. I started in the admissions field and moved into operations.
What is the American Council on Education (ACE)?
The American Council on Education is a member organization, and they’re specifically focused on improving the quality and standards of innovation, practices, and education policies. ACE includes a diverse membership of about 1,700 colleges, universities, and related organizations in America and abroad. ACE is the only major higher education association that represents all types of US accredited or degree institutions, which means they represent two-year, four-year, public, and private institutions. And now, Devmountain has courses recommended by ACE for college credit!
Does ACE give accreditation to schools?
ACE is not an accrediting body, but through their evaluation process, they provide a stamp of approval that accredited colleges rely on to recognize quality programs. ACE issues recommendations of equivalent college credit that includes the number of semester hours, education level of the program, and the subject area equivalent for the program. These credits are represented on an ACE transcript that students can request through an affiliation that ACE has with Credly. This way the credits can then be sent to other colleges and universities.
How might a Devmountain student use the ACE credit recommendation?
The ACE credit recommendation is a way for us to connect our programs with accredited degree programs at colleges and universities. It’s a statement of approval from ACE, which is a well-recognized educational organization, that our programs meet the criteria for their credit recommendation. This means our programs are equivalent to college credits.
How does offering ACE credit validate a coding bootcamp like Devmountain?
Validation comes with affiliation with an organization like ACE. It shows that we take the quality of our education seriously, so much so that we decided to seek external validation from a well-known and respected organization within higher education.
In addition, we’re always looking for new ways to deliver value to our students and their educational journeys. By enrolling at Devmountain, our students are closer to employment-ready skills as well as the possibility of a degree.
What does it take for a bootcamp like Devmountain to be evaluated and accepted by ACE?
The process with ACE involves several different steps:
Has the Devmountain curriculum had to change to meet the ACE credit standards?
There were some slight adjustments in terms of grading, but nothing significantly changed in the Devmountain program. The process with ACE has been invaluable as it allows our team to look at and consider our course development for the future.
How can a Devmountain student receive ACE credit for the bootcamp? Do they need to complete any paperwork?
There isn’t any paperwork needed prior to enrolling; students just need to complete the course to receive the credit hours. Once they’re done with the program, a student would create a Credly profile where they can obtain a social media badge and request an ACE-recommended transcript.
Are ACE credits applicable to any university?
There are hundreds of colleges and universities that accept ACE credits, but it’s important to check with a school about their specific policy. ACE represents two-year, four-year, public, and private institutions so there’s a large scope of programs that accept these credits. Students should double-check to make sure the institution they want to attend grants ACE-recommended credits and has a program to which they can apply.
Is ACE credit offered for all of the tracks that Devmountain teaches? Does this credit go to Hackbright Academy as well?
We have two programs we put in front of ACE, the Foundations program and Coding Basics. The Foundations program is part of our 16-week programs, both part-time and full-time formats. Coding Basics is an introductory course that students can take prior to the 16-week courses to get exposure to coding. If a student doesn't have experience, they can take this course for a test drive at a slower pace.
Foundations received 15 credit hours and Coding Basics received 3 credit hours from ACE. That means that a student that completes both of these courses is eligible for 18 credit hours.
For now, these ACE credits are just for Devmountain, but we are looking to add Hackbright Academy programs in the future.
Do you feel like an ACE credit can help a graduate's employability after Devmountain?
Absolutely! I recommend students add the ACE recommended coursework on their resumes. ACE works directly with corporate partners and is well-known in both the education industry and the employer sector. Since ACE provides that additional validation of quality and standards, I think there can be a benefit to employment beyond the course material.
Does ACE credit matter to employers?
Many employers we work with are aware of ACE. That said, ACE credit seems to matter to our specific employer partners; it gives increased credibility to these programs and the graduates within Devmountain. The credit may give employers and students peace of mind that their investment is well spent.
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