LearnOur Plan to Open-Source the Treehouse Apprenticeship Program

Emily Schweiss
writes on August 14, 2020

Back in June, as protests were erupting across the country, we made a promise to open source our Apprenticeship Framework. Now more than ever, it is important to be firmly anti-racist and use our power and privilege to open doors for folx who are all too often cast aside. Our Apprenticeship Framework does just that.

By having Employers fund education, we were able to open up learning access at no cost to students. By connecting with Non-Profit Organizations in their metro area, we had the opportunity to amplify their efforts and connect under-represented folx to paid apprenticeships in a new tech career. By fully supporting our students through their journey and preparing their new employers to be more inclusive and equitable, we are seeing doors open.

It’s time for us at Treehouse to remove another barrier and share how we built an intentional, effective, and impactful apprenticeship program. 

Why now?

The systems of oppression are firmly implanted into the fabric of our country. It is on each of us to use our strengths to make the world more equitable. We knew that this framework we built would address the racial generational wealth gap, and the results were stunning. Graduates of the Treehouse Apprenticeship Program saw:

  • Family incomes triple in less than 12 months
  • 100% of families get covered with high-quality healthcare
  • 401(k) annual contributions increase by 870%

We want to empower other employers, in tech and beyond, to leverage apprenticeships as an on-ramp into their company. We wrote the resources in a way that can be applied to a variety of curriculums and roles, with concrete examples from our work within the tech industry and using our Treehouse Techdegree programs. (If you are interested in discussing curriculum options, please reach out to us at success@teamtreehouse.com to learn more about our Techdegree programs.)

Is my organization ready?

The success of this program requires each employer to proactively and intentionally build a space where folx of all backgrounds and identities can flourish. This is a time for self-reflection, at a personal level and as a company. Form a team who is ready and willing to champion a cultural change. This could include Diversity training, changes to hiring policies, or updating facilities to make them more inclusive and accessible. Our Discovery Workshop resources linked in the framework will help you find the questions to ask so you can gauge your readiness and prepare. 

How it Works

When it’s time to dig in, you’ll need to identify and vet nonprofits in your area who are able to assist with student outreach and support. We often partnered with Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Dress for Success, Salvation Army, as well as smaller local organizations enacting change. Work with them to develop a plan to identify students who are ready for this learning journey. And determine what types of wrap around services you can provide to the students: 

  • Do they each have access to stable wifi?
  • Do they all have a device or can the company supply students with laptops?
  • Can childcare be provided for study time?
  • What 21st Century Skills training is needed to set them up for success?
  • Is housing or food insecurity a concern for any cohort members?

As a part of learning, reinforce strong habits.  Have the team and students leverage a project management tool to keep track of deadlines and commitments.  Introduce the cohort to daily standups (consider asynchronous if needed) so they can get into the habit of sharing updates.  Incorporate code reviews so they can support each other in their learning, and see how the same skills and tools can solve a problem in multiple ways. 

As you move into the apprenticeship, transparently set objectives with each apprentice.  Ensure your mentors have the bandwidth and support they need to be effective.  Give consistent and concrete feedback so the apprentices have a robust opportunity for growth.  Each member of the cohort should know their standing in the program at all times as you work towards the shared goal of hiring them full-time.  

Be the change.

When you get to the end of this apprenticeship journey, know that it is really just the beginning of a long and successful career.  Our graduates have continued to grow and impress us with the impacts they make on this world.  We see the ripple effect that happens when one person in a community is empowered.  

Now is the time to step up. Visit our landing page to download the resources or get in contact with us.

3 Responses to “Our Plan to Open-Source the Treehouse Apprenticeship Program”

  1. Thank you for doing this! I’m looking forward to it!

  2. Hey Emily, I like this plan,, I want to buy a subscription and learn more.

  3. I am currently enrolled into the $25 a month Treehouse course. I am curious if there is a difference between the $25 a month and $199 a month courses. Also, I am currently not working at the moment due to COVID-19 and was wondering if Treehouse offers any scholarship programs? I don’t have the funds to pay $199 a month but I am very interested in this program. I understand that there aren’t much woman of color in the tech industry and want to be apart of the change.

    Thank you,
    Fana Habtemariam

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