Unlike trendy "bootcamps," XTOL's programs are built upon 25 years of training experience, partnerships with major universities and our proven Story-Centered Curriculum methodology.

Story-Centered Curricula

We call our mentored courses "Story-Centered Curricula" because each course centers on a rich, engaging story, which is closely analogous to situations our students experience or will soon experience in their real-world work. The students play a central role in the story, where they work as to achieve one or more significant objectives over a series of tasks. Students, often working in small groups, are given detailed information about the simulated company they are working for together with detailed and authentic projects. Supporting materials and resources are provided, and expert mentors are available to answer questions and point students in the right direction when needed.

The Best Way To Learn Is Through Experience

A story-centered curriculum gives students the experience they need to succeed in the professional workplace. The SCC methodology has shown to consistently outperform both classroom and traditional online courses in the transfer of skills from the learning environment to the work place. SCC implements true learning-by-doing, integrating all aspects of real-world tasks, as opposed to teaching skills independently without context.

Where Bootcamps Get It Wrong

Software Development and Data Science bootcamps may work for people who just want to learn the basics. What these fast-paced programs lack is the lessons and experience of delivering business value via substantial end-to-end projects. This experience can only be gained on a longer timeline. Students who desire full mastery of professional-level technical skills should look beyond bootcamps.

Problems with bootcamps:

  • They needlessly require substantial background and pre-work as prerequisites for admission
  • Many have become highly selective
  • They are too short and, thus, too intense; 10-12 weeks is simply not enough time to learn a completely new set of skills and to have multiple end-to-end project experiences
  • Their curricula are not designed by pedagogical experts; the curricula typically are composed of lectures (which are not an effective vehicle for learning) and a collection of ad hoc projects
  • Mentoring also tends to be ad hoc; a student's experience is all too often completely dependent on the quality of the mentor he or she is assigned
  • Programs tend to be very expensive, especially considered in terms of the amount students learn given what they pay.

Student Stories

Role of the Mentor

Real-World Projects

Experience-Driven Learning

"What you already know is that what you’re learning is relevant to a career."

"I found that the way the course was presented worked perfectly for me because I have a full-time job, and I was able to go at my own pace and to have a mentor who helped me all the way through."

"If you want a deep study in something then go get a master’s degree. If you want to cultivate a set of skills that makes you useful very quickly to a number of businesses, this is the type of thing you need to be looking at."

"You put yourself in the mindset of someone who has to get something done rather than someone who has to remember all this stuff and regurgitate it on a test. I think that’s really important."

"You have someone (your mentor) who’s ahead of you on the path. They’re giving you a first-person perspective of some of the pitfalls and the things to look out for, and what you need to know."

"I felt very good about being able to achieve knowledge on my own."

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