By Anna Lardinois, Startup Storyteller
Milwaukee-based Rex Academy is leading the way in providing accessible STEM education.
The company has created a partnership with University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) that will allow Rex Academy students to transfer up to six credits of coursework toward a Bachelor of Science in Information Science & Technology degree at UWM.
Founded in 2015 by Sandhya Padala, Rex Academy provides computer science education for students from kindergarten to college. With a national customer base, the company has more than 4,000 students and the enrollment numbers climb daily.
Starting in 2021, Rex Academy has supplied curriculum to MKE Tech Hub Coalition’s FUSE Summer Bootcamp program. The award-winning program is designed to provide students with the in-demand technical skills Wisconsin employers are seeking.
Rex Academy delivered educational modules in Data Visualization and Artificial Intelligence. The curriculum was of such high quality, FUSE students who successfully completed these modules earned Higher Education Regional Alliance (HERA) tech badges, which prove basic competency in these emerging technologies.
UWM students who successfully completed the FUSE program and passed an assessment through the School of Information Studies had the opportunity to earn college credit for their work.
Seeing an opportunity to help her students manage the high cost of post-secondary education, Padala reached out to Matt Friedel, the director of the UWM Business Innovation Incubator to propose the possibility of providing college credit to all Rex Academy students, not just those already enrolled at the school.
Padala and Friedel both saw the mutual benefit in the partnership. The possibility of earning college credit for Rex Academy coursework makes the program even more appealing to students, and students who may never have considered enrolling at UWM have a six-credit incentive to take a second look at the Cream City campus.
“Getting college credit is extremely beneficial and highly sought after by the students that use our program,” Padala said.
Padala is excited to “develop and grow the partnership” between Rex Academy and UWM.
According to Rex Academy’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Ulysses Navarrete, not only does this collaboration benefit students and provide additional exposure for UW-Milwaukee’s Information Science & Technology program, but it also works to Rex Academy’s mission statement. The company strives “to end generational poverty by providing educational opportunities in Computer Science and Cybersecurity for all K-12 students.”
To watch this growth-focused startup continue its scaling efforts, follow Rex Academy here.