Fostering Talent from Rural High Schools
As the demand for skilled technical talent continues to exceed supply across many industries and in rural areas, CoreLogic is a founding sponsor, along with other companies, including FedEx and CSpire, of Base Camp Coding Academy.
Base Camp Coding Academy (BCCA), born in Oxford, Mississippi in 2016, is a hands-on, challenging and exciting program designed to develop roughly 20 students annually into software developers in 12 months. In a small classroom setting, these students work with real world technologies to learn the fundamentals of coding, application development, and the professional skills needed to be successful in their career paths and competitive in the job market.
The application process for Base Camp Coding Academy is not like many educational institutions. Mississippi high school students must be nominated during their senior year by a teaching professional in order to be eligible for the academy. These prospective students must demonstrate excellence in their learning, hard work, and determination. Every student who is accepted into BCCA receives a full scholarship, thanks to the generous corporate, local business and personal sponsors.
Bethany Cooper, Founding Trustee of Base Camp and Senior Leader, Talent Acquisition at CoreLogic notes that Base Camp is seeking out candidates who have a strong curiosity and drive but who may not have future plans post high school. Coding is teachable but many students in the surrounding schools have not had exposure to software development as a career. You can’t dream what you can’t see – we are trying to change that!
Trey Shelton, a 2018 Base Camp graduate and currently a Professional, Software Engineer at CoreLogic, reflects on his induction into the program, “My English teacher mentioned a program she had heard about through a previous student – Base Camp Coding Academy. Mrs. Parman had mentioned that it was fully paid for and involved doing “something” with computers that I would later learn was Software Development. By the end of the first few weeks, I fell in love with the career field. I had never studied and worked as hard towards anything as I did learning to code.”
Sage Nichols, Founding Trustee of Base Camp, and Executive, Sales at CoreLogic, states, “Base Camp is about opening the door to opportunity and removing barriers. By providing a tuition free and accelerated program, Base Camp offers students fast-tracked career and professional training, and a clear path to financial stability. Not only does Base Camp impact the lives of the students, but it offers a talent pool to employers and begins to positively change the trajectory of communities.”
After Base Camp’s great success during the first two years, the small town of Water Valley, MS donated an abandoned manufacturing plant to Base Camp, called project Everest. It has undergone renovations to repurpose the plant into a regional multi-use education center. Everest, Mississippi’s first rural education and innovation hub, has officially opened and is now hosting Base Camp Class of 2021!
Glen Evans, Co-Founder and President of the Board of Trustees for Base Camp, and Executive, Valuation Technology Solutions at CoreLogic, “Anchoring the public/privately funded Everest, Base Camp will partner with the local community college to provide adult workforce training opportunities in a rural community that has never had access to post k-12 education or training. Base Camp will be able to scale its operations and expand its mission to include software development training for cohorts beyond recent high school graduates, with the community college offering complementary programs.”
Cole Anderson, a 2019 Base Camp graduate and current Professional, Software Engineer at CoreLogic reflects on his experience, “The program taught me a lot of the basics I would need to know as far as the knowledge needed to get my foot in the door, but they also taught me how to really prepare myself and to overcome obstacles. This is the biggest takeaway I had from the program because it is a skill that I can use no matter what I am doing or how much I know.”
John Marsalis, Founding Trustee of Base Camp, and Senior Leader, Software Engineering at CoreLogic states, “Since the inaugural class four years ago, I am very proud of the program. Base Camp graduates have achieved greater than a 90% employment rate. I am thankful for CoreLogic’s continued financial support of Base Camp and the job opportunities we provide these graduates.”
At CoreLogic, we believe that education is an important pathway to individual growth and success, and we are proud to support the good work of Base Camp Coding Academy in providing educational opportunities to those in our local community. To learn more about Base Camp Coding Academy, check out the program website here.