Applications Closed for 2023– Please Check Back for 2024 Cohorts

Build a foundation for your future in tech.

Get a FREE introduction to developing and designing apps for the Apple iOS ecosystem.

  • Tuition-free beginner classes
  • After-hours classes
  • Live online instruction
  • Equipment provided at no cost
  • Open to Michigan residents
  • Must be 18 or older to participate
Individuals who are underrepresented in tech and represent the diversity of their community will be highly considered!

The program, in a nutshell.

This month-long course gives learners a unique firsthand experience on the Apple platform and an opportunity to learn about careers in the tech industry. Students will be introduced to the Swift programming language, basic app design and development principles, and will prototype an original app idea. The courses will be led remotely by a team of local Grand Circus instructors with small learner-to-mentor ratios. 


What we’ll cover in four weeks

Get a preview of the weekly course topics you'll explore:

  • Week 1: Create your app statement
  • Week 2: Design and prototype your app
  • Week 3: Explore coding with Swift for iOS
  • Week 4: Refine and present your app to the group

Program Calendar

November 27 - December 22 

Monday - Friday
6 - 10 pm EST

Your questions answered.

Who is the training for?

The training is open to anyone in the Michigan area looking to explore the start of a career in mobile design. It is primarily intended for participants who are still underrepresented in digital technology: women, non-graduates, people from priority neighborhoods or rural areas, but also people in retraining.

People of different technical levels and backgrounds will be learning alongside one another, which enhances creativity in mobile app designs and sparks a rich exchange.

Are the classes in-person or online?

All classes and group projects will take place online, with a live instructor. Class times are Eastern Standard Time.

Does the program provide equipment for free?
Yes. Apple will loan each student an equipment kit including preconfigured laptops and iOS devices. After enrollment, you'll check out your kit from the team at Grand Circus, and return it at the end of the program.
How much does it cost to participate?
It's free! The Apple Foundations Program is offered free of charge to eligible students to learn and explore app creation using Apple tools.
What are the requirements to get in?

No previous tech education or experience is needed to participate, but the following characteristics and steps are highly recommended:

  • Have a curiosity and motivation to learn
  • Possess awareness of digital culture (be very comfortable with a computer and a smartphone)
  • Research the code yourself on online learning platforms. We recommend the following free course if you haven't coded before:
    • Swift 4 Fundamentals with Sololearn
    • Learn Swift with Codeacademy
    • If you already have a Mac or an Ipad: Swift Playground
  • Learn to use the Mac (many Youtube videos exist)
  • Strong reading skills in English (This course is taught in English)
  • Want to work in a team, collaborate and help each other: all training will be done in groups (decision-making, prototype development)
How will this training help me advance my career?

While this is an introductory-level experience, you will gain many transferable and job-readiness skills that will help you advance and define your career path:

  • Acquire knowledge of UX design
  • Identify a real need and conduct an investigation of the domain
  • Design a mobile application interface that meets this need
  • Model a mobile application
  • Become familiar with mobile development and the iOS ecosystem
  • Learn the basics of the Swift programming language
  • Develop a native iOS mobile application prototype
  • Become acquainted with Apple's Human Interface Guidelines (UX design guidelines)
  • Develop soft skills that strengthen employability
  • Present in a clear and captivating way
  • Collaborate and communicate as a team
  • Strengthen creativity, curiosity and confidence
  • Learn to study independently

A Challenge-Based Curriculum

What is CBL

Challenge-based learning (CBL) is a versatile framework for identifying, investigating, and solving problems. It breaks the process down into three phases: Engage, Investigate, and Act.

What will classes be like?

Classes will consist of instruction sessions, lab time, interactive workshops, and consultations. Each class will be taught through live instruction, online. You'll be collaborating during class and lab time with a small number of students.

What is it like day-to-day?

Classes run five days per week. Each day will have a structured agenda, which you'll receive along with your kit at the start of the program. You'll be guided through the challenge framework to complete all coursework. At the end of the program each student will present their work for feedback.