About the team

iLEAD Academy is Kentucky’s first regional career academy. Launched in 2021 during the Rural Tech Project, iLEAD’s Virtual Computer Science Career Academy provides students with the support they need to attain in-demand careers. Through the Virtual Academy, iLEAD has created a more accessible college and career entry point in a community where only 11.6% of adults have a bachelor’s degree or higher and the median household income is $50,295 — $78,000 less than the average salary of a cloud engineer. 

The Virtual Academy helps students build fundamental skills in computer science, earn college credits and industry certifications, and participate in work-based learning opportunities. In addition to an introductory class, students in the Virtual Academy also take four college courses — Digital Literacy, Computational Thinking, Java, and Python — and can earn four industry certifications. These college courses help students earn credits toward computer science associate degrees at Jefferson Community and Technical College and computer science bachelor’s degrees at Northern Kentucky University. The INTERalliance of Greater Cincinnati provides work-based learning experiences, mentoring, and paid internships. 

During the first two years of its program, iLEAD and INTERalliance established partnerships with major employers in the region and beyond, including the Cincinnati Bengals, Procter & Gamble, and Fifth Third Bank. In 2022, the Kentucky General Assembly passed House Bill 680, legislation to scale iLEAD’s Virtual Academy across the state.

Download the builder to learn more about iLEAD’s Virtual Academy.

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See lessons learned and resources from the Rural Tech Project teams.

See lessons learned and resources from the Rural Tech Project teams.