Grant to Support New Courses in Mobile App Design
A series of “boot camp”-style summer courses in mobile app creation are being developed at the University of Hartford thanks to a new grant from the State of Connecticut, with expectations that they will benefit students as well as the local workforce.
Gov. Ned Lamont recently announced the funding as part of an effort to meet a growing need for tech workers in the state and enhance offerings at area colleges and universities. UHart’s course is one of seven new technology education programs that will launch through the initiative, dubbed the Tech Talent Accelerator.
“It’s a great combination of what we do best, and what the region’s economy needs,” said Christopher Standish, UHart’s director of the Office of Sponsored Programs. “Our mission is to educate students, but we also want them to be employed, so we definitely want to develop a synergy between the University and local companies.”
The grant funding was awarded through the New England Board of Higher Education and the Business-Higher Education Forum, in partnership with the Office of Workforce Strategy and the Department of Economic and Community Development.
UHart will be developing the two- or three-course accelerated module over the next several months, with plans to operate it virtually in summer 2023 for area professionals interested in learning coding and other in-demand skills.
The courses will also be evaluated by academic oversight committees at the University, laying the groundwork for them to be included in existing programs as a minor and offered to UHart undergraduates.
From best engineering practices and user experience to Apple’s modern Swift programming language, the coursework will educate students in all modern and necessary skills to create mobile applications for iOS devices, such as iPhones and iPads.
InfoSys, a Hartford-based technology firm, supported Assistant Professor Roy Vanegas’ grant proposal, and may also partner with UHart through internship opportunities, entry-level employment for program participants, and guest lectures by its engineers. Vanegas says other business partnerships may also arise as the courses operate, and that the skills learned in mobile app creation can also be used in web development.
“By offering iOS development courses, UHart’s Department of Computing Sciences joins myriad top-tier universities throughout the U.S. in training engineering students on modern technologies used the world over,” Vanegas said. “We plan to extend our offerings to include Android in the future, completing coverage for all smart phone devices used worldwide.”