Illinois Reboot: A Coding Pre-Academy

Illinois Reboot

Applications are closed for the Spring 2023 Illinois Reboot 1.0 Program.

  • The application deadline was Monday,  February 27, 2023.
  • Selected applicants will be notified of their acceptance into Reboot in mid-March.
  • The Spring 2023 course will begin Monday, April 10, and run through mid-June. Instruction will be delivered via Zoom, weekdays from 6-8 PM.
  • This opportunity is geared toward upskilling working professionals in Central Illinois. Priority will be given to applicants who are not current college students.
  • Applicants must be 18 years of age or older.
  • If you have questions, email Emily Neal at [email protected].
Apply to Reboot 1.0


Illinois Reboot, a FREE part-time technology training program.

The University of Illinois Research Park and American Family Insurance have partnered together to power Illinois Reboot, a FREE coding pre-academy that exposes participants to technical skill fundamentals and provides coaching and mentoring from local tech professionals.

Illinois Reboot will provide participants with a foundation in data science literacy, through introductions to the following topics: UNIX, SQL, Python, GitHub, image processing, and statistics.  The curriculum was curated by University of Illinois Computer Science faculty based on Software Carpentry courses.

Upon successful completion of curriculum and program requirements, participants will be awarded a University of Illinois Research Park  certificate.

The program specifically seeks to encourage a more diverse and inclusive tech community in Central Illinois, and benefit those who have been adversely affected by the economic factors of COVID-19.

While programming skills and experience are not prerequisites for this course, applicants should have familiarity with technology and data.

See an overview of the program in this video below:

Program Schedule

All classes will be held virtually, via Zoom, 6-8 pm on weekdays starting on April 10, 2023. The course will conclude in mid-June.

Minimum Tech Requirements

Participants must have access to:

  • Internet-capable computer with a major operating system. Tablets, phones, and Chromebooks are not feasible for the training.
  • Reliable WiFi connection. EnterpriseWorks incubator will also be an option for onsite use for participants who need dedicated internet.
  • Ability to download and install software in advance.
  • Must have technical aptitude, previous work with technology (programming skills are not required).

Professional Development Components

Participants will receive professional development and coaching from tech experts from the Research Park and Champaign-Urbana community to help them develop technology and digital career plans and learn about job opportunities in programming and data analytics roles.

Entrepreneur-in-Residence Lori Patterson co-founded Pixo, a consulting company located in Urbana focused on custom software engineering and mobile application development. She is a mechanical engineering graduate from the University of Illinois and previously worked for Andersen Consulting, Caterpillar, and Solo Cup. Lori has mentored over 200 early-stage startups and established enterprises.

Cindy Somers is the Franchise Owner of Spherion in Champaign. Cindy has offices in Champaign, Decatur and Charleston, IL. Spherion makes placements for over 1,000 employees annually in temporary, temp-to-hire and direct hire opportunities with local businesses. Cindy is very involved in the community, and is an expert on resumes.

This program is funded by an EDA CARES Recovery Act Assistance Award and a generous sponsorship by American Family Insurance.

Other training options available now:


Parkland Computing Degree Programs (with transfer opportunities to 4-year colleges):
  • Computer Science A.S. program consists of Mathematics, English, general education courses and beginning programming classes
  • Data Systems and Development Program includes include mobile application development, systems and database programming, and web development. Coursework includes Python, C/C++, Java, JavaScript, SQL, and internship options at local employers.
  • Digital Media Program prepares students for employment in gaming, feature film, web design, video and commercial production, post-production, visual effects, and architectural design.
  • Network System Administration and Support teaches computer and network hardware and software, analyze problems, implement security measures, and monitor networks.


Discovery Partners Institute: TechReady Illinois

The Discovery Partners Institute launched TechReady Illinois in June 2020 to help Illinois residents affected by COVID-19 gain new digital skills at steeply discounted tuition rates. TechReady Illinois will provide training courses for the high-demand fields of computer science, data and engineering programs – at up to a 75 percent discount. Courses will be offered in one of four tracks, with opportunities to obtain a certificate upon completion. These include: Data and analytics, Cloud computing, Cybersecurity, and Software development. Participating institutions include the University of Chicago, the University of Illinois System, the Illinois Institute of Technology and City Colleges of Chicago. To participate, residents will complete virtual courses, some conducted by faculty from participating academic institutions. Others will be run by partners, including Coursera and i.c.stars.


Illinois Computing Accelerator For Non-Specialists (iCAN)

The Illinois Computing Accelerator for Non-specialists (iCAN) program is designed especially for people who have a bachelor’s degree in any field other than computer science. iCAN is a one-year (fall, spring, summer) program that results in a Computing Fundamentals Certificate.

iCAN’s mission is to broaden participation in computing through an accelerated program for non-computer science college graduates. Hands-on course work in computing fundamentals, individualized attention from world-class faculty, and academic and career mentoring empower iCAN students to make ground-breaking research contributions and technological innovations.

The second iCAN cohort, which will begin in August 2021, will welcome diverse college majors, such as English, business, marketing, architecture, political science, biology, creative arts, and aerospace engineering. Since iCAN students couple an additional area of expertise with computing, they bring a unique perspective that enriches computing.


Thank you to our Illinois Reboot Partners