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Arkansas Coding Academy celebrates five years

Gov. Hutchinson and Congressman Hill in attendance

ArCA student Michael Allen (middle) demonstrates his final project for Congressman French Hill and Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson

The Arkansas Coding Academy (ArCA) at the University of Central Arkansas celebrated its five-year anniversary during Demo Day and added 12 individuals to the total number of full-stack graduates of the program. 

Family members of ArCA graduates and community leaders, as well as Arkansas Gov. Hutchinson and Congressman French Hill joined the celebration held Friday, Oct. 15. 

Hutchinson delivered the keynote address before a crowd of approximately 75. “I love the style of the program here. The fact that you can teach a skill quickly, thoroughly with a variety of teaching methods that can lead quickly to a job,” he told the audience. “Arkansas Coding Academy is essential to what we’re trying to accomplish.”

In making brief remarks during Demo Day, Hill congratulated ArCA for their milestone success. 

“This fits perfectly with Governor Hutchinson’s objective of teaching coding across the state,” Hill said. “So let me add my congratulations to you, Alison, and your team and to all those who have been certified. And what a great record than 200 people running a role for building a better economy here in central Arkansas.”

ArCA introduced its new Advisory Board which includes technology, academic and community leaders who will provide strategic guidance, insight and support to shape the future of ArCA.

“This is an important milestone for ArCA,” said Alison Wish, ArCA director. “Each member of this inaugural advisory board brings a wealth of experience and a unique perspective that is key to our growth and success as we continue our mission of creating qualified technical talent to fuel Arkansas jobs.”

Members of the board include the following: 

  • Stephen Addison University of Central Arkansas
  • Sonny Bradley Acxiom
  • Jay Callaway First Orion
  • GB Cazes Emory Group
  • Shaneil Ealy University of Central Arkansas
  • Michael Hargis University of Central Arkansas
  • Kenny Kinley Edafio
  • Corey Parks Conway Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Grace Rains Conductor
  • Josh Smith Metova
  • Jeff Standridge Innovation Junkie
  • Sandra Swindle Merkle Inc.
  • Cody Waits Arkansas Department of Commerce
  • Bill Yoder Arkansas Center for Data Sciences

ArCA hires expert software engineers as instructors to teach an industry-driven curriculum. Partnerships with technical hiring managers from around the state ensure a relevant curriculum. Students learn to be full-stack developers in as little as 24 weeks, have access to personalized career services and complete the program with an opportunity to present their work to the community during Demo Day events. Through instruction, hands-on training and mentoring, students graduate with the skills and portfolio to become entry-level computer programmers. Learning from experts in the industry enables students to contribute quickly in their new careers. ArCA alumni go on to careers in the technology industry, and many attend Demo Day to “give back” and support newer graduates.

ArCA is currently accepting applications for full-stack development cohorts beginning in January 2022. For ArCA enrollment information, visit uca.edu/arcoding or email arcoding@uca.edu.

Established in 2016, ArCA strives to create a talent pipeline from the classroom to the workforce for individuals seeking careers in programming and information technology. ArCA is part of the UCA Division of Outreach and Community Engagement.