If you know me you know that my morning reads include a visit over to avc.com, Today, Fred's post talked about development and progress, evolution, if you would, in the city. Although not directly related, it got me thinking about gentrification.
To me, gentrification all too often seems to result in pushing out people and business that were there during the hard times.
We don't need to force out long time residents that can no longer make rent - we need to uplift communities with pathways to towards greater economic opportunity.
Those of us in CS Education, each in our own way, are trying to help build those pathways.
Return readers know that I've ranted about some of the popular magic bullets. I've periodically talked about my concerns over code schools but even at their best they represent a workforce program for the well to do. I've also talked about efforts like P-Tech which sound good, but besides the fact that the emperor has no clothes, is the school really preparing kids for opportunities in their own neighborhoods or in data centers far from home?
There are some workforce programs like Per Scholas that I really like and respect but they're limited in what they can do.
What does that leave us with? The traditional path – college.
In terms of tech, New York City has some amazing colleges. You ask most people, they'll come back with NYU, Columbia. Great institutions but very expensive. Not everyone can afford $75,000 a year and not everyone can afford to go into hundreds of thousands of debt.
This is why Hunter CS is so important. Actually CUNY but I can only affect my little corner of the world.
Hunter College has a really nice CS program and department. It's small and has flown under the radar but it's one of the reasons I came over to Hunter.
One of my responsibilities at Hunter is to develop our new honors CS program and to connect all of Hunter CS to the tech sector in NY.
I haven't written much about what's been going on but that will change int the months to come. Suffice it to say that to uplift our communities we need real, affordable educational opportunities and in terms of tech, education that leads to real opportunities in our city's tech sector.
I'm convinced that Hunter College can be a game changer for the wealth of young talent we have in New York and for our tech sector.