Mobile Makers Academy holds an extremely high bar for service to students. Last week, we became aware of two critical areas where we are falling short of those standards at our San Francisco campus. We've taken action to rectify the situation and in the spirit of transparency and continuous improvement, we're sharing our findings.

Problem 1: The most recent graduating class in San Francisco had an atypically bad experience.  At the start of the week, we received a letter from the class that reflected deep dissatisfaction. This was the first cohort we've ever had report an overall negative perception of their time at Mobile Makers (according to historical exit surveys at both campuses). Our team considers this an unacceptable level of program quality.

Problem 2: We have concluded that our alumni job placement rate is far lower than we believed it to be. To date, we have calculated our job placement rate based on alumni survey data -- a standard practice across most universities and coding bootcamps. In the course of onboarding to a more rigorous methodology over the last month, and prompted by our research last week, we've come to the conclusion that alumni surveys are an unreliable method of collecting job placement data due to response bias.

We hold ourselves to a high standard at Mobile Makers Academy, and as CEO of this passionate and dedicated team, this level of dissatisfaction and these placement rates are unacceptable to me personally. We must rectify the situation as expediently as possible. Here are the steps we have taken so far:

  • We've kicked off individualized remediation plans for the affected San Francisco cohort:

    • One-on-one assessments for each individual to determine educational and career support needs.

    • Personalized recommendations for appropriate next steps that meet those needs.

    • Unprecedented support from Reactor Core, including complimentary enrollment in other educational programs, extraordinary job search support, etc.

  • Improved the program offering for the incoming San Francisco students

    • Increased headcount of senior iOS staff significantly.

    • Implemented rigorous feedback processes and staff training.

    • Developing and Refining Curriculum.

    • Communicated our concerns to current students.

    • Extended full-refund period to allow students to assess program fit.

  • Removed survey-based job placement data from MMA’s website and staff messaging; developed plan to address job placement concerns by end-of-month:

    • Onboard to a more rigorous methodology for reporting outcomes and produce employment data that we can rely on to assess program quality.

    • Collect qualitative input from alumni and employers on targets for program format, graduate skill set, and job placement rates.

  • We are working closely with alumni, our staff, and employers to optimize the program and come to consensus on the best possible next steps for the program.

We’re deeply committed to living out our values during the coming weeks and emerging as a stronger institution, better-equipped to serve our students.

Jessi Chartier