Today, Google announced a partnership with Andela and Udacity to provide 15,000 “single-course” scholarships and 500 nanodegree scholarships to aspiring developers in Nigeria, Kenya, and South Africa. The investment, which will power the growth of the Andela Learning Community, affirms Google’s commitment to developing communities of talent across Africa. We couldn’t be more thrilled to partner with them on our mission to unlock human potential at scale.
We launched the Andela Learning Community in January of 2017, in partnership with Google and Udacity, to provide aspiring technologists with the tools to become globally competitive software developers. Together, we realized that we could combine Andela’s learning science and community building with the curriculum that Udacity and Google had already developed to tackle the technical skills gap on the continent.
The success has been astounding. Through ALC 1.0 and 2.0, we’ve supported 6,000+ learners, built 8,000+ apps, hosted 300+ in-person meetups, certified 70+ Android developers, and connected 90+ graduates with career opportunities.
By far the most exciting result is the completion rate. In MOOCs, one of the biggest challenges is getting people who begin their learning to actually complete the course. The industry standard for a successful completion rate is around 5–10%. Throughout ALC 1.0 and 2.0, we’ve consistently seen over 50% completion rate.
How? By building communities where learners feel a deep sense of belonging. We have built and empowered a dedicated network of 100+ volunteers across Nigeria and Kenya that we call Learning Community Ambassadors (LCAs). The LCAs consist of regional program assistants, meetup facilitators, and community mentors who provide in-person and online support to all learners. Together with the entire ALC network, we’ve proven that the sense of belonging to a community is much more than an ancillary benefit — in fact, it’s responsible for success rates that are 10x higher than average.
The same principle accounts for the early results we’ve seen in the first ALC with Microsoft, and it’s why we’re confident that we’ll be able to achieve similarly high completion rates by partnering with any global technology company committed to driving the same impact.
Andela is a network of lifelong learners. We believe in building people up and creating inclusive communities. Today, we support 10,000 learners across the continent. Soon, through partnerships with Google, Udacity, and others, we will reach 100,000.
Today’s announcement is a big step toward achieving that goal. We’re thrilled that Google is doubling down on their investment in Africa’s tech ecosystems and honored to be working alongside them and Udacity to prove why investing in people is the best investment you can make.
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