Southern New Hampshire University has added Kenzie Academy, a coding boot camp, to its growing arsenal of providers offering short-term credentials and alternatives to the traditional college degree.
The acquisition, announced Tuesday, is a natural fit for Southern New Hampshire, said the university's president and CEO, Paul LeBlanc, in a news release.
“We share a mission to help bring higher education to learners who have often been left behind by traditional higher education,” LeBlanc said. “As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to displace workers, these shorter bursts of learning at affordable price points will be critical for learners to advance their careers and improve their lives in the new economy.”
The deal means Kenzie Academy will be able to expand access to its alternative degree programs, said Chok Ooi, the boot camp's CEO. As a condition of the acquisition, Kenzie Academy will become a nonprofit operating as a division of the university.
Southern New Hampshire will take on all Kenzie’s software engineering and user experience design programs, as well as its business-to-business programs, a Southern New Hampshire spokeswoman said in an email. She said Kenzie currently has over 600 active learners but declined to share the purchase price of the company.
In 2019, Kenzie Academy raised $7.8 million in venture funds and created a $100 million investor-backed fund to cover student tuition fees. Tuition for the full-time software engineering program is $20,000 for nine months. Tuition for the part-time UX design program is $10,900 for six months. Both programs can be paid for up front or through income-sharing agreements.
“There are flaws in higher education, but it’s not like the whole thing is fully broken,” Ooi told Inside Higher Ed in November 2019. “There are people who are being priced out of it and we’re creating a new pathway to give a certain demographic of learner what they need to be successful in their first few jobs.”