About I-Stem training program
I-Stem Advanced Technical Training program is a virtual accelerated and thorough computer science training program for blind or visually impaired students who already have basic programming skills such as basic diploma courses or college computer science classes. The program attempts to prepare candidates for the tech industry and provides various tracks such as software engineering, machine learning, web development etc. The tracks are determined keeping mind the evolving trends in the industry, student interest and availability of technical coaches. The objective of the program is to arm students with an in-depth understanding of core computer science concepts so that they are able to compete for technical positions or are prepared to take other more advanced classes that may be of interest to them.
For the 2019 program, I-Stem will offer four program tracks-Introduction to Python, Data Structures and Algorithms, Web Development and machine Learning. We are currently looking for mentors with experience in any of these fields to help students complete these courses. All of these tracks follow a flipped classroom model, i.e. students watch and complete online courses in these topics from top universities, while the mentor provides the necessary guidance and answers any questions that they may have.
Here is how the program works.
the course content has been integrated with leading MOOCs. I-Stem facilitates students to complete these courses by providing support, mentorship and a community of other students taking the same courses at the same time. The group also provides supplementary material wherever these MOOCs are inaccessible. By completing these courses, students get certificates from some of the best universities and companies in the world such as Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Microsoft, among others at no cost to them contingent on getting at least a B grade in the course. In the process, the mentor also solidifies their technical concepts by taking the same course as the students.
Every two students are assigned a coach who is either a student at a top technical university or a professional in the tech industry. This coach helps these students understand the concepts presented in the moocs, answers any questions and provides guidance.
Students and the mentors join the I-Stem community which is already 100 members strong. As part of the community, there are several opportunities to network with other members with varied interests and expertise.
I-Stem provides an interview preparation package to help students prepare for technical interviews and also conducts mock interviews to give them a feel for the actual interviews.
Invitation to the I-Stem annual event
The annual I-Stem event brings together developers with disabilities, tech professionals from various corporates and computer science students without disabilities. We have organised two such events in 2018 and 2019 with over 140 participants, 5 universities and 11 companies, with many of our participants securing job opportunities immediately after the event. On successful completion of the I-Stem Advanced Technical Training Program, students and mentors are automatically eligible to participate in the hackathon which provides for a great opportunity to network with other developers with disabilities and technology professionals from across the country.
Connections with company partners
I-Stem works closely with several corporate partners, and while it is impossible to guarantee placement on the completion of the program, the group strives to facilitate introductions.
Internship opportunities with I-Stem
During and after the course, students will be eligible to work closely with the core I-Stem team and our community on some very interesting technical projects depending on an appropriate skill match.
Who are we looking for in a mentor?
We are looking for professionals who have expertise in any of the four tracks being offered this year-introduction to Python, data structures and algorithms, web development or machine learning. We do not have requirements around minimum work experience. This is a 12-week virtual program, and we expect the mentors to be able to commit to at least 2 Hrs./week.
The course uses a flipped classroom model. This means that students spend some time reviewing mooc videos ahead of their meeting with their technical coach and use the meeting to ask any questions, clarify doubts and work on hands-on examples. They work on mooc assignments, and get certificates from the world's leading universities and companies if they are able to get at least a B grade in the course.
We are currently accepting mentor applications for this program, and you can apply through our common application. We will reach out to you soon after you apply.Apply here
The course will run from early August 2019 to late October 2019.