There’s a new General Assembly in town, and it has nothing to do with North Carolina politics.
August 10, 2016
NYC Education Innovator General Assembly Adds Raleigh to Campus List
General Assembly tests coding, design, data science & other educational courses in Raleigh as part of major global expansion.
A New York City-headquartered education startup backed by investors like Advance Publications, Wellington Management Company and some high profile angels has been making its way around the world training people in skills like digital marketing, data science, user experience design and coding.
Raleigh is one of 10 new cities to offer General Assembly programming later this year, in an announcement that also included an acquisition of a Canadian accelerator. Raleigh joins an existing lineup of mostly major metro areas—New York, Washington D.C., Atlanta, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, L.A., Seattle, London, Hong Kong, Singapore, Sydney and Melbourne—along with similar-in-size cities like Austin and Denver.
Dallas also gets its first General Assembly presence.
General Assembly was also named the No. 1 Most Innovative Company in Education by Fast Company, last year. Part of that distinction comes from doing very little like traditional higher education. There’s no accreditation (and therefore no federal student loan programs), and rarely are professors or college instructors involved as educators. That’s not what students want, Lindow says.
A lot of training goes into practitioners to teach both practical skills and theory that helps ready people for new careers or expanded roles in existing ones.
A team of instructional designers in New York work on some of the curriculum, creating “a GA point of view” on certain topics like user experience design. Employers are involved in the programming curriculum, for example, helping to tweak the languages taught based on their needs in each GA market. Data science has been a big emphasis as a result of their feedback.
Lindow explains the GA way as heavily influenced by startup culture or “bringing that sense of possibility and reinvention to everything we do.”
But the organization has been inspired by other institutions too—like certain charter schools and Teach for America, a program several staff members have participated in.
It has also expanded beyond training individuals—through customized corporate training programs, instructors work with Fortune 500 executives and other teams on building workplaces and corporate culture appealing to the next generation of talent.
Lindow says that could be a target for the corporate tech-heavy Research Triangle region as well.
“Our goal is to help bring what we offer in education as well as talent and workforce development to more companies and communities,” she says. “RTP has been on our list for quite some time, now it’s time to build community and see the response.”