USF Student Earns Gold Badge in Coding through Smart Launch Tech

August 23, 2017

FORT WAYNE, Ind. — Independent Colleges of Indiana and Eleven Fifty Academy have partnered to create Smart Launch Tech – a coding program for liberal arts students. The first cohort of students from ICI private colleges completed the inaugural program on June 30, each earning the industry- and state-recognized Gold Badge Certification from Eleven Fifty, located at Launch Fishers.
University of Saint Francis student Nanette Ambrose, a communication major, learned the basics of HTML, CSS and Java Script in a four-week boot camp held on the campus of Marian University in June along with 14 other ICI students. They completed assignments demonstrating badge competencies and compiled an e-portfolio, presented at the end of the program.
In addition to coding, students were exposed to the wide range of career possibilities within the tech field, including project and marketing management. data analysis, compliance, security, and design.  In addition to classroom instruction, the students made field trips to Indianapolis tech businesses, speaking with their leaders and employees and gaining exposure to the tech working environment and protocols. Students also had the opportunity to interact with the Indy Tech Fellows, new grads in a two-year Tech Point program to place talent with leading companies, fast tracking careers and contributing to the Indianapolis community.
Smart Tech Launch was created to marry the technical skills of coding with the problem-solving approach of a liberal arts education. “Technology alone is not enough,” Apple founder Steve Jobs said. “It’s technology married with liberal arts, married with the humanities, that yields results that makes our hearts sing.”
ICI, a nonprofit association representing the 30 private, nonprofit colleges and universities in the Hoosier state, and Eleven Fifty Academy, a nonprofit dedicated to producing technology and talent, provided the funding and in-kind services for this summer’s proof-of-concept pilot. Sustainability planning is now underway.
Founded in 1890 in the Catholic Franciscan tradition, the University of Saint Francis offers more than 70 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral programs through the School of Health Sciences, School of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Keith Busse School of Business and Entrepreneurial Leadership and School of Creative Arts. In addition to its traditional programs, USF designs focused curricula for working adults in Fort Wayne, Crown Point and online. In 2016, the University of Saint Francis expanded its presence to downtown Fort Wayne. USF Downtown houses the university’s business and music technology programs while offering enhanced internship and networking opportunities for students. The University of Saint Francis campus experience includes 16 athletic programs boasting two individual and three team NAIA national championships, and is recognized as an NAIA Five-Star Champion of Character institution. Approximately 2,200 students from a broad geographic region attend USF.