The Arkansas Coding Academy announced last week the opening of a new campus in northwest Arkansas.
The academy held a grand-opening ceremony in August for its new building in Conway — originally opened in 2016 at the University of Central Arkansas as part of its Division of Outreach and Community Engagement — located at 1835 S. Donaghey Ave.
A continued partnership with Philander Smith College Workforce Innovation and Strategic Economic Public-Private Partnership was also announced recently, making it the second program that the academy has opened — the class is held on the college campus in Little Rock.
The Log Cabin Democrat spoke with Director Mary Dunlap Condit on Wednesday. She said she was on her way to Fayetteville to meet with businesses and others.
Condit said she two days to do that — she will have the opportunity to talk with them about coding, put a face to the academy, allow them to ask any questions they want to about the curriculum of the program and what the students learn while in it — in the northwest part of the state.
By meeting them, she said, employers will already know what to expect when students graduate from the program and can move forward, rather than have to look at a resume and approach it that way.
Condit said the reason behind the move, is because of the need. She said several employers reached out to the academy to see what they were doing.
“We’ve seen really incredible success with what we do and kind of the nurtured relationships with employees,” Condit said. “
“I started exploring this idea and it really all of a sudden blew up into something I realized a campus by itself would be extremely viable. They’re needing subliminal talent to what is already being put out … such a big need.”
While the location of the Fayetteville campus hasn’t been announced — everyone will find out next week — she said they will start out offering the full-time track, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. for 13 weeks with a maximum of 15 people — applications are being taken now on the website.
“We are excited,” the director said.
To be opening a third location, Condit said, was humbling.
“Overwhelmed, in the best possible way, and I am just, again, very humbled and very thankful for the support that we’ve had,” she said.
Condit also thanked the university for its support as well as the community overall for embracing the academy with “open arms.”
“We do something very non-traditional and I think a lot of these businesses and community leaders see the value in what we’re doing,” she said.