Over a decade ago, I had the extreme pleasure of meeting Woody Robertson.
At the time, Woody was in charge of coordinating the Apprenticeship Track at the Advanced Training Institute’s annual conference. He had sought me out to have me speak into the lives of a bunch of youthful homeschoolers trying to seek the Lord’s direction in life and exploring the possibilities of Information Technology. I remember speaking to him about how this was a great track to get a bunch of young people exposed to the world of software development but it was far short of what apprenticeship was about. I also remember how impressed I was with the maturity, insight, and teachability of this young man.
We talked then about how colleges weren’t the best place to prepare young people for a career in software development, and how there were many reasons that it was generally not a great place to spend four years of life. We spoke about our disappointment that there were not many good alternatives. I pointed out that, the way RoleModel Software was set up at the time, I could only take on one apprentice at a time, and I was unsure how to improve that. I shared that men couldn’t just bemoan this fact, but needed to rise up and pioneer ways to provide, not just alternatives, but superior alternatives.
Around the same time, I had an apprentice named Matthew Bass. Matthew was another impressive young man and one of the pioneers trying to figure out similar things. He earned his Bachelor’s degree without leaving home while working on his own entrepreneurial ventures, seeking to serve in various capacities, and gain wisdom from those who had gone before him.
A few years later, I found out that Woody had teamed up with Brad Voeller (another impressive young man with whom I was acquainted) and Ryan Yamane to found CollegePlus!. They leveraged their unique talents and collective experience in navigating the waters of the accelerated learning techniques they used to get their Bachelor Degrees in between 6 years and 18 months. Over the last several years, I’ve kept in touch with these individuals and observed the fruit of CollegePlus! in several young friends of mine. Not only is CollegePlus! a great program, but I’ve come to further appreciate the vision that the founders have, their integrity, their ability to execute, and their attitude toward lifelong learning. This was exhibited a few years ago when they had grown and were seeking someone to head up their internal IT organization. They sought me out and, though I couldn’t provide a direct candidate, I was impressed with their desire to not only find someone well qualified for the job, but also someone who shared their vision.
God provided Kevin Bridges as their IT Director, who quickly followed up with me to seek some assistance in helping them move along. When I challenged him on some of the technology choices they were making, he was also quite teachable. Kevin has done an incredible job in taking a few seeds I scattered, planting and watering them to the point that they have now have an IT shop that is quite impressive and practices what CollegePlus! preaches.
I could go on about CollegePlus! and how true they are to their Mission Statement, but instead, I’m just going to make an announcement.
CollegePlus! and the Craftsmanship Academy are partnering.
CollegePlus! enrollees who have completed at least their Intro to Computer Science requirements are eligible for a 50% scholarship to the Craftsmanship Academy. Additionally, they will be guided toward material that will help them earn additional credits toward their degree. This partnership of CollegePlus! and the Craftsmanship Academy is, in many ways, the fruition of those conversations Woody and I had over a decade ago.
We are thrilled to provide a path that combines the training in both theory and best practices to launch young people to a fruitful life of integrity in serving and providing great value for those they will serve in the future.