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If you're a Mississippian with a strong desire to succeed and a high school diploma, you can change your life and build your career by studying computer programming for FREE.

Sound good? Get In Touch!

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  future. />

If you're a Mississippian with a strong desire to succeed and a high school diploma, you can change your life and build your career by studying computer programming for FREE.

Sound good? Get In Touch!

About the academies

Mississippi Coding Academies are part of a non-profit economic development and educational initiative sponsored by Innovate Mississippi and the Mississippi Development Authority though the Mississippi Works program, in partnership with Hinds Community College, East Mississippi Community College and the Mississippi Community College Board.

Our first class launched in October of 2017 with the goal of graduating students eleven months later who are ready for high-paying professional jobs in today's marketplace.

Our Jackson-based academy is in downtown Jackson in the center of the emerging "innovation hub" on State Street near the Old Capitol Museum.

Our Columbus-based academy launches in late November with support from the Columbus Municipal School Districts and is recruiting students now.

If you're a recent high school (or college) graduate who loves to solve problems and has the grit and determination to see this program through, we want to hear from you! No coding experience necessary.

High School graduates in Mississippi Coding Academies


Academy Overview


Full-Stack Curriculum

If you graduate, you'll have learned "full stack" computer programming, meaning you can code the "front-end" application interface that the user sees and the "back-end" code to make applications run. You'll learn to build applications directly for PCs and for the Web.

11 Month Intensive - Mississippi Coding Academies

Tuition-Free, 11 Months

We are a non-profit coding academy with support from the Governor of Mississippi, Mississippi's community college system and Innovate Mississippi, a 501(c)(3) non-profit focused on improving Mississippi's tech ecosystem. You will be backed by people who care about your success.

Business and Coding Skills

Coding & Career Skills

We teach both coding skills and business "soft skills." You'll learn how to give presentations, understand entrepreneurship, and communicate effectively. This is hard work, but it's not "school"—it's business hours in a simulated work environment. You will learn coding by coding. Bring your "A" attitude!

"“The Mississippi Coding Academies will help develop a well-trained workforce which will not only meet, but exceed, the expectations of today’s high-tech companies.”

- Governor Phil Bryant

Academy Founders

Mike Forster

Mike Forster

Mike Forster is a retired executive with more than 50 years of sales, marketing, and general management experience in the information technology industry. Most recently he served as the CEO and Chairman of CommerceQuest, Inc., a SaaS (software as a service) company located in Tampa, FL. He's currently Chairman of the Innovate Mississippi board of directors.


Deborah Bailey

Well known for her turnaround expertise, Deborah has consistently positioned businesses for accelerated growth. She has diagnosed and remedied problems for over 60 corporations plus furthered growth of nearly 30 ventures, including her own. Deborah is Vice Chairwoman the Innovate Mississippi board of directors.


Joe Donovan

Joe Donovan runs the Entrepreneur Center @ MDA, a bureau within the agency’s Minority & Small Business Division. For entrepreneurs seeking resources to start a new venture or for a seasoned business owner wishing to expand, The Entrepreneur Center is the “one-stop shop” for the Mississippi entrepreneur.


Philip Hickman

Dr. Hickman’s obsession with personalized learning fuels his partnership with the United States Department of Education on the #GoOpen movement or Openly License Educational Recourses (OER). He is an AASA Nationally Certified Superintendent and continues to be a leading authority presenting at many of the top Ed Tech and Personalized Learning conferences in the nation.

Rich Sun_175

Richard A Sun

Richard Sun has focused on start-up and high-growth companies, as a private equity investor, adviser, board member and executive. He has played a key role in nine startup companies, has invested $230 million in four early stage companies for institutional private equity investors and personally invested in thirteen others. He's the Entrepreneur in Residence at Innovate Mississippi.

Group photo of Mississippi Coding Academies Jackson coders

Mississippi Coding Academies Receive $1 Million Grant from W.K. Kellogg to Expand in Jackson

Jackson, Miss. (December 12, 2017) – The W.K. Kellogg Foundation has awarded Innovate Mississippi a three-year, $1 million grant to help …

Mississippi Coding Academies in Jackson and Columbus

Mississippi Coding Academies Kick Off in Jackson and Columbus

Jackson, Miss. (Oct. 4, 2017) – The Mississippi Development Authority and Innovate Mississippi announce the creation of Mississippi Coding Academies. …

New Teacher Announced

Mississippi Coding Academies a Public/Private Partnership

Mississippi Coding Academies is a joint public/private initiative formed under the sponsorship of Innovate Mississippi and Mississippi Development Authority to …


Ready to learn more? Classes are enrolling now—at no cost to our coders!
Fill out the form or call Herbert Brown for Jackson or Angela Bluitt for Columbus.


Ready to learn more? Classes are enrolling now—at no cost to our coders! Fill out the form or give us a call.

MSCA Contact Form
  • 601-421-3435
  • hbrown@innovate.ms
MississippiWorks sponsor of Mississippi Coding Academies
Mississippi Development Authority sponsor of Mississippi Coding Academies
Mississippi Community College Board
JFP Digital Services - MS Coding sponsor
McLaughlin PC sponsor of Mississippi Coding Academies