• Community Relief Scholarship, which reduces tuition costs by 50%, offered to help those whose livelihoods are threatened by global pandemic
  • Scheduled bootcamps will proceed online; will resume in-person when “zero risk” is established


March 19, 2020 [DETROIT] — Grand Circus today announced that it has created a Community Relief scholarship for its coding bootcamp training programs to specifically help community members impacted by the global COVID-19 pandemic. 

The scholarship is designed for anyone whose livelihood, job, or income is affected due to impacts of the pandemic, and covers half the cost of tuition of the April or July bootcamp sessions. Grand Circus has also reduced the bootcamp deposit from $800 to $200 to improve access to its career-changing bootcamps, with additional flexibility for those to whom that cost is still prohibitive.

With this fund, Grand Circus joins the growing community of Detroit businesses and nonprofit organizations that are responding proactively to minimize the economic impacts of the outbreak on the community. Its affiliates, the Quicken Loans Community Fund and Gilbert Family Foundation, pledged Monday a combined $1.2 million to local nonprofits and other organizations amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This is a uniquely trying time for our community, and we all have been forced to find creative solutions to complex problems,” said Damien Rocchi, CEO of Grand Circus. “Our mission has always been to increase options for Michiganders and offer skill-based training for anyone interested in a tech career. Now more than ever, we’re committed to supporting the community and lowering the barrier of entry to the tech industry for anyone who is experiencing undue hardship.”

In addition to the fund, Grand Circus has transitioned its current catalog of in-person coding bootcamp classes and preparatory learn-to-code workshops to instructor-led remote offerings. The institute has been preparing to conduct online bootcamps taught by local instructors since last year, and accelerated their release to respond to the crisis. The institute worked throughout 2019 to select the right software tools for online teaching, as well as training their teaching staff in January 2020 on evidence-based online teaching methodologies to ensure the quality of education is equivalent to that of an in-person class. Since beginning operations in 2013, Grand Circus has conducted more than 100 bootcamps and graduated more than 1600 alumni, and the team is prepared to bring that experience to bear via remote platform.

“We are fortunate to have the capacity to move to a remote bootcamp offering,” said Peter Guenther, Director of Learning at Grand Circus. “Our teachers have been trained, our current bootcamps are already up and running online, and we are prepared to host future programs remotely as long as it is necessary. Our first focus is on keeping our communities and Grand Circus family safe and healthy, and we will not be hosting in-person courses until there is zero risk in doing so.”

Students who participate in remote classes have access to a team of instructors, teaching assistants, program managers, community partners and Grand Circus’s network of 350+ employers. Admissions interviews are running remotely, and the admissions team is in direct contact with current applicants. 

To apply for the Grand Circus Community Relief Scholarship, and for more information on the program, visit https://www.grandcircus.co/communityrelief/.