USC business school teams up with Girls Who Code for summer boot camp


A California business school is banking on coding to lead students to success.

The University of Southern California Marshall School of Business has teamed up with Girls Who Code, a nonprofit that works to bring gender equality to the tech industry, to host an immersion program for 40 high school girls this summer.

“We’re excited to be the first business school to host the program,” Sandra Chrystal, vice dean for online education and professor of clinical management communications at USC Marshall, told EdScoop.

Chrystal credits the School of Business dean, James Ellis, for bringing the program to their campus. She says he had a vision for USC Marshall to start a pipeline that gets young women involved in technology and business beginning in high school.

“If the young women are introduced to business at this time, in high school, they have a very a good chance of grooming and educating themselves to be leaders,” Chrystal said. “We really see that young women who have been trained in coding often go on into jobs that lead to management.”

She is excited to see a diverse group of young women getting involved in the industry at such an early age.

“The fact that they can see one another, from all of their different backgrounds, and see that they have the same interest in coding and robotics is amazing,” she added.

The seven-week program will run from June 27 to August 12. It kicks off with a reception June 23, where the sophomores and juniors and their families will meet the teachers and hosts. It’s also an opportunity to get a college experience, and take tours of the campus.

The students will engage in project-based learning to understand the fundamentals of programming, robotics, and web development and design and mobile development at the Marshall School of Business Centers of Excellence in Los Angeles.

The participants will also meet some of the tech industry’s top female engineers and entrepreneurs throughout the boot camp. The program will culminate in presentations of the girls’ final projects and a graduation ceremony.

Girls Who Code, which was founded by entrepreneur Reshma Saujani, hosts programs all over the country to foster an interest in technology and computer science in young girls each year.

“I hope that the girls feel confident that they will have a skill that will take them to professional careers, whether it’s in engineering, design or business,” Chrystal said. “We want them to know where these opportunities lie and how they can achieve them by seeing other women who have accomplished these goals.”

Reach the reporter at, and follow her on Twitter @buuukky.