Community College Pathways is focused on developing strategic partnerships and relationships with educational organizations and aligned entities (particularly those focused on computing and data) such as community college and university partners, non-profit organizations and service providers, K-12 administrators, corporations, foundations, and others in the community to collaboratively advance DPI’s goal of increasing the throughput of Black, Latinx, female, and other minoritized populations into computer science, data science, and related fields of study at Illinois institutions.
Community College Pathways is focused on developing, implementing, and managing community college pathway programming that contributes to increased capacity for Black, LatinX, female, and other minoritized populations in computer science, data science and related tech fields, as well as promoting a more coordinated pathway into tech from K-12 to community college to baccalaureate degree.
Community College Pathways programming includes summer courses, dual credit and dual enrollment efforts, bootcamps, workshops, guest speakers, field trips, work-based learning, problem-based learning, and other immersive learning experiences.
The CS Starter Academy is designed to support community college students with an interest in computer science (CS), tech, and tech-related fields, and helps mitigate the barriers students face when transferring to a 4-year university, and eventually entering CS and tech-related fields. The CS Starter Academy offers personal development opportunities intended to
Applications will be accepted until September 8, 2023
The CS Starter Academy is designed to support community college students with an interest in computer science (CS), tech and tech-related fields, and helps mitigate the barriers students face when transferring to a 4-year university, and eventually entering CS and tech-related fields. The CS Starter Academy offers personal development opportunities intended to
The CS Starter Academy offers continuous programming for a cohort of City College students, as well as discrete offerings for a broader number of students, and incorporates the existing summer Digital Bridge summer series currently offered to City Colleges of Chicago students, in partnership with City Colleges and World Business Chicago.
What are the goals of the CS Starter Academy?
The CS Starter Academy offers continuous programming for a cohort of students, as well as discrete offerings for larger numbers of students. Specifically, the goals of the Academy aim to:
How do I apply to the program?
Students can apply to the program by completing the application at this link: https://go.uillinois.edu/CSSAcademy-App or by pointing their camera at this QR Code:
Applications will be accepted until September 8, 2023.
Who is the Audience?
The CS Starter Academy is designed for community college students with an interest in Computer Science/tech and on a 4-year pathway. Students may begin participating in components of the Academy as early as the summer before they enter community college in either continuous programming as a supportive cohort or in discrete programming through their first year of community college. Participants may include:
Students participating in the CS Starter Academy cohort (continuous programming) have an opportunity to earn a stipend for consistent, committed participation throughout the academic year to offset employment opportunities they will forgo by participating in the cohort.
Why do we need programs like the CS Starter Academy?
The U.S. Government Accountability Office shared in its most recent analysis of community college transferability found that students who transfer from community colleges to four-year public universities lose more than one in five of the credits they’ve already earned and paid for, increasing time to degree, and decreasing the probability of earning the degree. Repeating courses directly impacts a student’s fiscal bottom line from reductions in financial aid to additional cost of books and materials to increased workload to cover additional tuition costs. Additionally, transfer is complex! This complexity may impact community college students’ matriculation to a 4-year school.
These barriers are primarily NON-ACADEMIC in nature, and tend to affect historically excluded populations the most, which in turn contribute to the already minimal representation of Black, Latinx and female computer science four-year graduates.
Interested in Engineering or Computer Science? Want to learn more about Chicago’s dynamic tech community and the types of careers that exist? Sign up for the Digital Bridge Program and attend workshops where you can connect with people who work in the tech community from across Chicago. You’ll meet people who work in finance, food and agriculture, healthcare, transportation, and more — each of them in tech!
Date: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Fridays | June 23 July 7, July 14, July 21, July 28
Application Deadline: June 16, 2023
Who is eligible: Incoming City Colleges of Chicago freshman and current City Colleges of Chicago students
The Digital Bridge Program is a free summer speaker series designed to support incoming and current City Colleges of Chicago students along their progression into computing and tech-related careers. Discovery Partners Institute, Wilbur Wright College and World Business Chicago’s ThinkChicago launched the Digital Bridge Program in 2021 to build a deeper and more diverse pool of Illinois students interested in pursuing technology pathways, computer science and/or engineering, as well as to introduce students to members of Chicago’s dynamic tech community and provide opportunities for students to participate in interactive talks with local entrepreneurs.
The Digital Bridge Program takes place during the summer months in Chicago and offers both in person and online participation. The series provides deep dives into Chicago’s tech community and offers students connections to technologists, entrepreneurs, business, and civic leaders with companies such as Bosch, Enzyme by Design, Inc., Petrichor Global, MHub, Nature’s Fynd, and others. Students also participate in group and reflection activities designed to help them hone in on their career interests, as well as identify the skills needed to be successful in their chosen technology field.
Registration begins in March of each year and runs through mid-June. Sign up for more information here. For more information about the program or to register for the free series, contact Dr. Stephanie DeCicco, Associate Director for Community College Pathways, Discovery Partners Institute at firstname.lastname@example.org.