MIT ReACT Enables Students to Become the CEOs of their Own Lives
MIT ReACTAuthor: MIT ReACT - CLCC Member
When MIT ReACT celebrated the graduation of our second cohort of students in the Computer and Data Science Certificate Program with an entirely virtual commencement ceremony in January of this year, we were unaware of how incredibly meaningful this moment would be for our community in the face of the current global pandemic. We came together in a way which has now become the norm, via video conference, with students in Jordan, Germany, Rwanda, and Kenya celebrating from their own homes or workplaces. Meanwhile, from the MIT campus in Cambridge, MA, Faculty Founder Admir Masic conferred digital diplomas upon 28 graduates while MIT’s Vice President for Open Learning Sanjay Sarma shared words of congratulations and reminded students that they are “the CEOs of their own lives.”
As we at MIT ReACT continue to adjust to the realities of social distancing, we have much to learn from our students, for whom finding alternative ways to learn and succeed has been the norm for some time. In our blended learning program, which combines online content with interactive boot camps and paid professional internships, we have witnessed our students outperform in the online education world with a 95% rate of retention and an average grade of 90% on MITx core curriculum. Despite public labor policies that may bar refugees from permanent employment, ReACT students as a whole reported a 50% rate of internship to job conversion and 75% of newly employed alumni attributed their job opportunity to ReACT.
With the successes and lessons in tow from two years of using innovative technologies to bring educational opportunities to communities in need, ReACT is exploring new ways to expand our reach. By building upon our network of on the ground partners, launching virtual boot camps to promote entrepreneurship, and collaborating with other refugee education initiatives, we will continue to share the potential value which lies within these opportunities for learners who are displaced, impoverished, or otherwise unable to access standard pathways to education and employment.
To read other stories from the 2019 CLCC Yearbook, click here.