DIAD Program Runs for 30 Weeks

 

Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) and a group of central Iowa employers are working together to address a critical shortage of Information Technology (IT) application developers. A group of 14 women began a 30-week, one-half day per week, accelerated program on Friday, Sept. 11 at the DMACC West Campus.  The Diversity in Application Development (DIAD) program is designed to close the diversity gap in the IT talent of Central Iowa by training women to become JAVA application programmers.

The 14 women enrolled in DIAD are all full-time employees of Central Iowa businesses who were identified as having potential for increased responsibility.  Key aspects of the program include:

 Instruction will be eight hours each week.  Four hours will be online assignments around technical concepts and four hours will be accelerated classroom instruction each Friday afternoon from 1 to 5 p.m. at DMACC’s West Campus

  • Upon successful completion of the program, each student will be awarded a Java Application Developer Certificate from DMACC
  • Exam preparation will be provided for each student to take the Oracle Certified Associate, Java SE Programmer designation with one day of class allotted to sit for the exam
  • By making necessary arrangements with their employers, all students can continue working full-time while completing the program

Most Central Iowa Chief Information Officers (CIO’s) have had difficulties finding qualified application developers to staff their growing backlog of projects.  Because of this, DIAD was created specifically to help fill the programming gap with qualified, diverse candidates. The companies who have partnered and are committed to supporting/mentoring the women by sending them through the course include:

  • Nationwide Insurance
  • Principal Financial Group
  • Farm Bureau Financial Services
  • Workiva
  • GuideOne Insurance
  • Farmers Mutual Hail Insurance
  • Dyscovery Learning
  • Grinnell Mutual

 The majority of the eligible partners have students enrolled in the first cohort.

 “The IT Industry Partnership is committed to working with DMACC to develop in-demand technology training programs for the local community,” said Dan Greteman, CIO of Farm Bureau Financial Services and IT Industry Partnership Chairman.

 “The DIAD program will provide a unique opportunity for individuals interested in expanding their technical skills to advance in their careers,” said Lori Smith, Assistant Vice President with Principal Financial Group. “DMACC has designed this program to prepare students to take the industry standard Oracle Java developer exam. The goal is to help prepare more IT professionals in the local market to meet the growing demand for IT skills.”

 Erin Harris is a Business Analyst for GuideOne Insurance and one of the selected students to enroll in the pilot program.

 “Learning about Java will provide me with an understanding of the technical possibilities and challenges associated with the various systems we use every day,” said Harris.  “I feel so fortunate to work for a company that recognizes the importance of women in technology and who is willing to convey that importance by taking action and joining forces with DMACC to create an amazing technical program for women.” 

 Katie Sullivan with Workiva is also taking the Java classes.

 “When I started as a Quality Assurance Analyst at Workiva, I was able to use my domain knowledge as a CPA to immediately provide value in a technical role without having software development experience,” said Sullivan.  “The DIAD program is a key component in my professional development plan to become more skilled and provide the most value to my team.”

 Nationwide Insurance is one of the Central Iowa companies who has been very supportive of this partnership.

 “I am very thankful that my company, Nationwide, is supporting me in my career goals to learn Java,” said Sophy Yang, Specialist, IT Application Development at Nationwide.  “This program offers the right mix of work/life balance to help me do this.”  

 As of 2012, the last year for which the National Science Foundation has published data, only 18 percent of degrees in the computer science field were obtained by women. That is the lowest percentage of any STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) discipline.

 A national initiative, the “Million Women Mentors” supports the engagement of one million science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) mentors (both male and female) to increase the interest and confidence of girls and women to persist and succeed in STEM programs and careers.

 “Million Women Mentors – Iowa” is a collaboration led by Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds among Iowa’s business, government and educational sectors to provide STEM education and career development opportunities for women and girls within the state.

 “Our goal here in Iowa is to get at least 5,000 volunteers—women and men—to serve as mentors in all 99 counties,” said Reynolds.

 Many Iowa companies already have mentoring programs in place and should register these initiatives on the Million Women Mentors – Iowa website as part of this national effort to support females in STEM careers.  

 “This DMACC program, guided by its IT Industry Partnership Board, opens new opportunities for Iowa companies to participate in the “Million Women Mentors” campaign (www.mwmia.org),” said Reynolds.  “It is another great example of how Iowa is moving forward on meaningful, job creating Science-­Technology-­Engineering-­Math initiatives. I ask that all Iowa companies make a pledge to mentor and encourage girls and young women to pursue STEM classes and STEM-­related careers.”

 “Based on the conversations I’m having with area businesses about this concept, we expect the program to be in very high demand,” said Rob Denson, President of DMACC.  “We are already planning on ways to expand the training to help meet the IT needs of area businesses. Responding to industry needs like this is a core competency of DMACC."

 For more information about this program, visit the web site http://www.dmacc-diad.com

and enter your contact information or send an email to .

 To become involved in the Million Women Mentors program, individuals and company representatives can sign up and pledge at http://mwmia.org.

 About DMACC

Des Moines Area Community College, a public institution serving the educational and career training needs of Iowans, is committed to the lifelong success of its students. As Iowa’s largest two-year college, DMACC offers 222 programs, certificates and transfer degrees, annually serving more than 70,000 credit and noncredit students on six campuses and six learning centers. Thanks to college-wide innovation, new programs and affordable tuition, DMACC continues to experience solid growth. For more information, please visit www.dmacc.edu.

Powered by liveSite Get your free site!