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Yeah. Our students are getting feedback from their professors at the Marcy Lab School every single day, written feedback and verbal feedback every single day from someone who previously got paid to write software at a competitive company.
This is really groundbreaking. But you’re not afraid to lean into… I loved how you frame this middle 50%. I think that’s what you talk talked about, which is, obviously, the vast majority of learners out there that you feel like you can serve and, essentially, take from very to little or no coding experience, to getting software engineering jobs in one year. That is incredible, that’s groundbreaking. It also shows how much instruction matters, which is what you’re talking about, and we take for granted because you and I went to some good schools, and we both had similar experiences, where we had maybe feedback a half a dozen times in an entire quarter, and we crammed for a final exam just to get by to the next step, which is not mastery of knowledge.
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Right. Yeah. I think for us, it’s such a… it’s a responsibility, because the stakes are so much higher for our students, because we’re intentionally working in communities where the safety net is not as strong, it’s more porous. And so to charge a student $30,000, and to not do everything humanly possible to sure that they make it through and reach their full potential, it shouldn’t be acceptable, but, in fact, I think that’s like par for the course, oftentimes, in our higher education system.
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The program is free of cost to students. This is our third year, and we’re been fortunate to have a network of supporters and partners who are also very curious about this experiment that we’re running. We happen to be funded largely by corporations, corporate foundations, and family foundations that want to see this model grow and learn from it, and be able to proliferate our learnings to larger players in the system.
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When we think about like the long term sustainability of the program, there’s two pathways that we’re really excited about. The first is our employer partners investing back into the program that they’re benefiting from. We have an incredible set of employer partners that have come to rely on the Marcy Lab School for a consecutive years, for the majority of their early career engineering hiring, certainly the majority of their diverse early career engineering hiring. So we’re excited for them to be able to invest in the program to offset the cost of operating. Also, we’re pursuing avenues to tap into federal and state funds that are allocated towards post-secondary and career training.
So this isn’t an outcomes-based, or an income share type agreement program. Obviously, there’s plenty of income coming down the pike for these individuals. This is free of charge, and they jump right into these jobs? Just want to make sure I’m understanding that.
That’s really incredible. So how do you think about scale? How do you think about… Because I know you’re just getting started off, you can tell us how many students are, right now, enrolled. But how do you think about this impacting thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of students in the coming years?
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Yeah. 100%. We are just getting started. Our first year, our first… our pilot class in 2019 was nine students. We saw 30 students last year, we’ll likely do 60 students this year, we’ll likely do a little more than a hundred students next year. When we think about our medium term prospects for scale, we want to be operating at this size of a small college here in New York City. The idea, I think, most kind of… So we’re incorporated as a nonprofit. Most nonprofits that exist in our sector, it seems like the standard pathway would be to get to the scale of a couple hundred in New York City, and then look up and figure out what other regional tech ecosystems could also benefit from a similar a program.