St. Andrew Academy Program Details






What is the St. Andrew Academy?
The St. Andrew Academy is an accessible Information Technology (IT) training and  faith enrichment training program designed and adapted for persons with disabilities.  At St. Andrew we desire to enable meaningful employment and help our candidates to encounter our Lord, grow in faith, and witness this beyond the classroom. We are a team of people committed to your success, who deeply care about you.  We structured the lessons to help you secure a meaningful job that leads to a great career, and make faith apply to you, today.  Our only focus is helping young Christians achieve their full God-given potential in their career, faith-life, and society.  

The first cohort will begin classes in June 2021 in the Archdiocese of Detroit.  This program tuition-free to qualified candidates through the generous support and partnership with Michigan Rehabilitation Services and other donors.

The IT training and certification program is modeled after very successful "Bridge Academy" programs in the US and Europe.  The curriculum and certification is provided by Cisco Systems and leads to globally recognized certification, and likely a job as an Information Technology Technician.  

The "Faith Pathways" enrichment program is being developed in partnership with the Archdiocese of Detroit, the National Catholic Partnership on Disability, and the National Catholic Education Association. 

At St. Andrew we demonstrate our Faith in action, provide hope and skills for a better life, transform lives through employment, and enable a lifetime of riches.

Challenges and Opportunity for People with Disabilities:
Employment for people with disabilities remains chronically low and too many experience hopelessness from a lack of a meaningful job.

    • Employers struggle to find capable, motivated talent in Information Technology roles while millions of people with disabilities remain chronically unemployed.
    • Many young adults with disabilities do not achieve the education and skills to qualify them for the millions of open IT jobs.
    • Many young adults with disabilities have their relationship with the Church and the Lord atrophy from their lack of meaningful opportunity.  Too often chronic unemployment leads to despair and a lack of self-esteem which further limits employment potential and undermines Faith. 
    We provide hope and a "bridge" to a better life.  The St. Andrew Academy is the first of its kind program being delivered in partnership with the US Catholic Church and Archdiocese of Detroit.  It is a holistic program which include technical skills, ready for work development, and spiritual growth delivered tuition free to qualified students.  We see this as an opportunity to demonstrate our faith and transform the lives of all we touch.
      Why Did we Create the St. Andrew Academy?
        1. High unemployment among People with Disabilities: One in five people with disabilities are employed in the US according the the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
        2. Millions of IT jobs Go Unfilled: While millions of people with disabilities are unemployed, many IT jobs are going unfilled.  A recent Zip Recruiter query showed 82,000 open IT technician jobs in the US (as of 1/8/21)
        3. The Covid-19 Pandemic is increasing the IT skills gap as companies accelerate digitization and enable remote working.  
        4. People with Disabilities are capable of many IT jobs with the right training: The chronic unemployment of people with disabilities can be traced to the lack of education and work experience as few candidates meet typical entry level IT job requirements.  We bridge this skills gap with a training and certification program that is purpose built for a specific in-demand IT job.
        5. Potential for Success:  This program is built on the solid foundation of our success in the US and Europe with over 160 candidates and a 90%+ employment rate.  190 more students are in a Bridge Academy somewhere in the world now.  This program is built on best-practices, enabled by the spirit, and inspired by the capability of our candidates.

          Program Details:
          This program creates specific and certified skills to help meet the strong demand for cybersecurity and network technician roles. We integrate the technical skills development with a faith enrichment program (Faith Pathways) to enable our graduates to achieve their full God-given potential in employment and in their Faith-life. 

          This program will be delivered on-line and in-person (Covid dependent) from an area classroom with classes starting in June 2021.  Our curriculum is the best in the industry and our instructors are world class.  the program is 20 weeks in duration and includes classroom learning, lab work, self study, and experiences.  It is open to all Detroit area candidates with disabilities who have 10th grade reading /math skills, interest in IT roles, and have an aptitude for information technology. Target jobs are high paying network security analyst, and network technician roles.  Following the formal  training program of 20 weeks, we aim to have all of our candidates transition to an employment apprenticeship or internship with an area employer.  We are actively engaging area employers to pre-plan these opportunities.

          The "Bridge Academy" program, on which St. Andrew's is based, is achieving over 90% employment rates for its candidates.  We aspire for all our candidates to achieve full employment and their full God-given potential.

          Planned Curriculum:
          We are leveraging the Cisco networking Academy curriculum and an innovative ecosystem to offer this "train to hire” IT inclusive Academy program specifically targeting people with disabilities.This innovative program is develops the employable skills for in-demand entry IT roles in less than a year. 

          The foundational Cisco certification and technical training program is 20 weeks in duration.  It is led by an experienced and certified instructor with assistance from a in-class teacher's assistant experienced in the IT education of special learners.  Candidates will be trained in information systems, networking technology, and introduced to a number of in-demand IT focus areas.  We built the program to achieve certification by Cisco Systems as a Cisco Certified Technician (CCT).  This certification is globally portable and enables our graduates to be job-ready.

          Our innovative Faith Pathways enrichment program will expand our candidate's Faith, within the Church to raise their capacity to know, love and serve the Lord.  The Faith Pathways program will have a foundational track for students that require foundational religious education and an enrichment track for those that have already achieved full Sacramental participation in the Catholic Church.  Both the foundational and enrichment programs will be delivered by skilled catechists.  The Faith Pathways curriculum and content is  being developed in partnership with the Archdiocese of Detroit, the National Catholic Partnership on Disability (NCPD) and the National Catholic Education Association (NCEA).

          The St. Andrew Academy will also include integrated ready-for-work training for our candidates to succeed in the work environment.  The ready-for-work program is being led by job coaches and guest speakers to enable our candidates to present their best self to their employers and in their workplace.

          We assist with job placement and are partnering with employers to pre-plan  internships or per-apprenticeships upon graduation. 

          After graduation we arrange mentor ships for each graduate to provide ongoing coaching, mentoring and an expert voice outside their workplace.

          Attend a Student Information Session:
          Attend one of our upcoming student information sessions to find out more.  Register at the link below:

          For more information:

          To request more information as a student candidate:  Click Here

          To apply for the program:  Click Here

          To request information on program sponsorship: Click Here

          To request information on employer partnerships:  Click Here