How to engage college students?

Which brigades have regular attendance / involvement from local college / university / community college students?

How does that work?

  • Are they involved in regular meetups?
  • And / or are they involved in more one-off events, like datathons / hackathons?
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Code for Philly has in the past had great success connecting with student-organized hacking / code for good groups. Asking around each school’s org chain for who would know of such student groups is a good way to go. We jointly organized hackathons and hack nights with them. We’ve also recruited a lot of students directly by hosting special editions of our hack nights on campuses, it was always pretty easy to find faculty at each school interested in making that happen to expose their students to civic hacking

It’s something you have to keep renewing every year though as students advance through school and into the workforce. I let the effort die out when I was handling it after the group of students I worked through for years all graduated and got jobs in other cities

Replying with some notes from a conversation about this at 2019 Summit. My takeaways from that conversation were:

  • Allying with a professor is a way to make a project sustainable
  • Project based recruiting will help get folks involved
  • Speak at coding bootcamp graduations to reach more students

Melanie - great start on the main points from the May 30 unconference session. The three leaders from had some good thoughts, too.

Here are the notes from the CfA Summit '19 discussion on this topic.

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