Last week, Udacity announced that it will take its blended learning program, Udacity Connect, to the Reno-Tahoe region in Nevada. The program will consist of online courses mixed with in-person sessions at The Innevation Center, University of Nevada, Reno. Udacity is working together with the state, local governments, and economic development entity EDAWN (Economic Development Agency of Western Nevada) to train the local workforce for tech jobs.
The program will initially train local residents to become full stack developers. Udacity Connect Reno-Tahoe applications are now being accepted on Udacity’s site until June 2, and the first session will begin June 17. More details about this specific program can be found in Udacity’s blog post.
Udacity Connect and Connect Intensive
With this latest expansion to Reno-Nevada, Udacity Connect and Connect Intensive will be in fourteen different cities across nine countries. Udacity Connect was first piloted in Egypt last year, where it achieved a 76% completion rate. Since then it has gone through many different iterations. Class Central spoke with Salwa Muhammad, VP of Udacity Connect, to learn more about this program. You can watch the short seven minute interview below.
The Udacity Connect program is offered in two different flavors. The vanilla program is a $100/month addon to a Nanodegree. It consists of weekly face-to-face sessions, which are managed by a trained session lead.
The other “flavor,” Udacity Connect Intensive (like the Reno-Tahoe program), is structured like a part-time bootcamp. It has a start date and an end date. Every week students meet in a physical classroom for five hours, and they are expected to spend ten hours per week learning on their own using Udacity’s online courses.
Udacity’s focus on an offline strategy is unique amongst MOOC providers. According to Salwa, Udacity Connect is no longer an experiment. Udacity is convinced that the blended learning model is good for students, and we will see more of it in the future.
Dhawal is the CEO of Class Central, the most popular search engine and review site for online courses and MOOCs. He has completed over a dozen MOOCs and has written over 200 articles about the MOOC space, including contributions to TechCrunch, EdSurge, Quartz, and VentureBeat.