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Summer Academy

Dear Summer Academy alumni and community,

We’re writing to you with a bittersweet announcement. After 7 straight years of running our Summer Academy, we’ve decided not to run the Summer Academy in 2019. Simultaneous to the Summer Academy, we’ve spent the past few years building a new college in San Francisco, starting with a Bachelor in Applied Computer Science degree program.

The degree program was built in partnership with top tech employers — many of whom successfully hired Summer Academy alumni — and is the first Bachelor’s degree where students pay no tuition until they get a job. Given our recent momentum and milestones in building our college — including strong student outcomes and increased attention from both media and higher ed leaders—we’ve decided to focus our organization on this initiative.

We founded the Summer Academy to empower students to learn to build real world software and use it to create new experiences or solve problems in their lives. The program fostered a warm community of students in a collaborative and supportive learning environment. For many of our students, this was the first time they felt a deep sense of belonging. And for others, it was the first time they felt agency to build a better future.

Over 1500 students from 50 countries attended the Summer Academy since 2012. Alumni have gone on to start the earliest college hackathons, work at every major tech company, publish key papers on AI research, and be hired as early employees of a billion dollar startup. Many have formed lifelong friendships and continue to support our community to this day.

This same ethos drove the creation of our college— an inclusive community of makers empowered to shape the world through technology. We decided to build a college to institutionalize and create an enduring container for this ethos. This new format has even deeper impact on student lives and the potential to expand our reach far further in the long term. Impressively, we’re already seeing other higher education institutions adopting our principles.

We’ve been thoughtfully building our college since 2014, but the past year proved to greatly accelerate our vision. We moved into a new building, grew our team to 30 people, and our Bachelor’s degree in Applied Computer Science has been fully accredited. We’re now fortunate to have the remarkable opportunity to reinvent higher education to better serve students as we enter an unprecedented era of technological change.

As a young organization, focus is essential in enabling us to serve students in a thoughtful manner. Our recent momentum makes it harder for us to simultaneously design and run our Summer Academy. As a result, we’ve decided to pause our Summer Academy for a year or two until we’re able to dedicate more focus and resources to delivering a top quality educational experience.

This decision is not one we made lightly. The Summer Academy has been dear to our hearts for the past 7 years. We owe a huge thank you to all of our students and instructors for believing in us and helping make the program such a wonderful and life changing experience for everyone involved.

Finally, we’d love to hear your thoughts on our Bachelor’s degree program and vision to build a new model of college. Don’t hesitate to reach out with your ideas and feedback!

Ashu and Jeremy
Founders, Make School

Read this post on Medium.

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