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Frequently Asked Questions

Top 10 TechLEAP Questions

When does TechLEAP start?
Is TechLEAP a nighttime or daytime program?
How Long does TechLEAP run?
When do the internships usually start?
What is your track record on placing interns?
How do I apply for TechLEAP?
Can I study for the Aptitude Test?
What transcripts do I need to submit?
What are the applications deadlines?
When and how do I pay for TechLEAP?

Other TechLEAP Questions

Who is eligible for TechLEAP/WebLEAP?
When are the next TechLEAP/WebLEAP sessions?
How do I apply for the program?
What is the test and when will it be given?
What specifically does the aptitude test cover?
How many students are in the program?
Who should the registration form for testing be sent to?
When is the application due?
When are the college transcripts due?
Is there a choice of programming courses?
What is covered in the WebLEAP WebMaster certificate track?
What is the time requirement?
Do you get a degree/certificate?
How do I qualify for the Internship option?
What are the costs?
Do I have to be a U.S. citizen to participate in the program?
Can an International Student participate in TechLEAP?
Is financial aid available?
Are textbooks and materials included in the price?
Who will be teaching the classes?
Should I take courses prior to enrolling in TechLEAP/WebLEAP?
Who needs to take the DAT Aptitude test?
I already have a job; I need to upgrade my technical skills for career advancement. What are my options?
Is the Internship Option available to Continuing Education students?
If I have already taken a TechLEAP course from another institution, can I substitute another course?
Do I have to take the practice aptitude test as well as the DAT test?

When Does TechLEAP Start?

TechLEAP classes start at the beginning of Montgomery College's Fall and Spring semesters. Application, testing and admissions periods occur in the months prior to the Fall and Spring semesters. See the information below.

Fall Semester Admissions for Classes Starting in September: Admissions, testing and applications for the Fall semester should be completed by August 1. A late admissions aptitude test usually is scheduled the third week in August.Students are strongly encouraged to complete the admissions and application process by August 1.

Spring Semester Admissions for Classes Starting in late January. Admissions, testing and applications for a Spring semester start should be completed by mid-December. Spring semester testing, admissions, and application periods run from November through December 15.

A late admissions aptitude test usually is scheduled for mid-January. Students are strongly encouraged to complete the admissions and application process by December for a Spring semester start.

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Is TechLEAP a nighttime or daytime program?

TechLEAP classes normally run Monday through Thursday evenings, with Saturday morning labs. There are variations in some courses. For example, some Network Administration classes run 6-10 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, with full-day Saturday labs. During the first month of introductory courses, students may take a course on Friday evenings, though this is the exception, not the rule. 

One exception is the Mobile Portofolio Building class, currently taught Wednesday mornings during the Fall and Spring semesters by Prof. Kimball.  This course is recommended, but optional.  A number of students have obtained internships and jobs in whole or in part based on their work in the Mobile Portofolio Building class.

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How Long does TechLEAP run?

TechLEAP is a three - semester program covering the Fall, Spring, and Summer semesters. Students should plan on a one-year training program based on current IT market demands for skills in database, programming, web technologies, graphics, and Linux/UNIX operating systems, for example. In a few instances, students with some marketable programming, graphics, or other skills may find marketplace interest during or after the first semester of the program.Again, this is the exception not the rule, but this often happens in a semester for one or two newly enrolled students.

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When do the internships usually start?

Internships usually start in the third semester. Some internships can start earlier depending on student skills and market interest. Internship placements depend on mastery of new skills, a students' interviewing abilities, and marketplace needs and demands.

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What is your track record on placing interns?

TechLEAP has maintained a placement record for students who complete the program of over 90% from 2000 to present.

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How do I apply for TechLEAP?

See the TechLEAP Admissions and Significant Dates pages.

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Can I study for the Aptitude Test?

Students can "study" for the Aptitude test in the following ways:

  1. You need to have a reasonably strong grasp of the English language for the TechLEAP program. You can take the Practice Aptitude Test to get an idea if your English skills are acceptable, or you may be asked to take Montgomery College's English assessment tests. Depending on your scores on the three English portions of the aptitude test (Verbal Reasoning, Spelling, Language Usage) TechLEAP often works with admitted students to improve their English skills through other courses at the college.
  2. Take the one-hour Practice Aptitude Test about a month before taking the Aptitude Test, so you know the subject covered and how the questions are presented. See the TechLEAP Admissions and Significant Dates pages for further information.
  3. Students have reported that for the Numerical Reasoning part of the test, it is helpful to obtain an Algebra/Intermediate Algebra review book, one that you understand, with practice questions and answers in the back of the book. Algebra and Intermediate Algebra review books are available at area bookstores and at some Montgomery County libraries.
  4. Algebra Tutorial:  See the Admissions Page for algebra study suggestions.
  5. For the Mechanical Reasoning portion of the Aptitude Test, one student reported success by reviewing a book in basic mechanical principles, for example, the laws of motion, gravity, friction, etc.

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What transcripts do I need to submit?

If you attended a college in the United States, you must submit an original, sealed transcript from your college or university. If you attended or earned a degree from a college or university outside the United States, you must submit your transcripts and an official degree evaluation by an evaluation service acceptable to Montgomery College. A degree evaluation is acceptable; you do not need to submit a course-by-course evaluation. See the Admissions Page for details.

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What are the application deadlines?

Students applying for a Fall semester start should submit a completed application by August 1. Students applying for a Spring semester start should submit a completed application by December 15. Usually there is a "late application" process the two weeks before the semester starts. Please check the Significant Dates page for admissions process details.

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When and how do I pay for TechLEAP?

TechLEAP reserves seats in ITI skills based classes for admitted TechLEAP students.Students enroll for all selected classes in a TechLEAP/WebLEAP sequence approved by the TechLEAP Project Manager at the beginning of the semester. You can pay for TechLEAP semester in two ways:

  1. Pay for all semester courses in full at the time of registration.
  2. Register for TechLEAP's tuition installment plan and pay your tuition/fees over four months starting August through November (Fall term) or January through April (Spring term).

See the TechLEAP Tuition page and the WDCE registration options page for details of registration and payment.

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Who is eligible for the TechLEAP/WebLEAP programs?

Students with an earned college degree and a demonstrated aptitude for technical study are eligible for the full program including the internship option. Aptitude testing in the areas of verbal, analytical, mathematical, and technical ability is a primary selection criterion for TechLEAP's/WebLEAP's internship program options.

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When are the next TechLEAP/WebLEAP sessions?

The next TechLEAP Programming Track and the new WebLEAP Webmaster Track will start in September. The application deadline is in early August . It is recommended that you apply as early as possible. Please check our web page every month or so for updates on the program and Schedule http://www.montgomerycollege.edu/iti/techleap/techleap_home.htm.

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How do I apply for the program?

You must (1) complete an admissions application form and (2) take the aptitude test. Follow this link to the Aptitude Test Registration Form. The most qualified students will be accepted into the program.

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What is the test and when will it be given?

The ITI uses the Differential Aptitude Tests (DAT), which have a standardized multiple-choice format. Testing takes place during the 3-4 months prior to admission. The testing fee is $35. There will also be an opportunity to take a Practice DAT prior to the actual DAT administration. The testing fee for the Practice DAT is $15. See the Schedule for specific dates and times.

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How many students are in the program?

A maximum of 25 students at a time are selected for the program. At least 8-10 students must enroll for the program to be offered. Most TechLEAP/WebLEAP classes are now co-listed with Continuing Education. Co-listing brought a number of benefits to the TechLEAP and Continuing Education programs, including larger class sizes, course stability, and the ability to enlarge the range of courses offered both as required courses and electives. Continuing Education students are not eligible for the TechLEAP Internship seminar course option, or other courses designed exclusively for TechLEAP students.

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What specifically does the aptitude test cover?

The aptitude test covers verbal reasoning, numerical reasoning, abstract reasoning, perceptual speed and accuracy, mechanical reasoning, space relations, spelling and language usage. It also includes a career interest inventory.

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To whom should the registration form for testing be sent?

To Montgomery College, Gaithersburg Business Training Center, 12 South Summit Ave., Gaithersburg, Maryland, 20877, Attention: Raymond J. Kimball. 

Students are encouraged to register in person at the Gaithersburg Business Training Center.
See the Montgomery College campus maps and directions page.

You may also register at other WDCE registration offices, or via the web. For general Workforce Development and Continuing Education registration information, see the W.D.C.E. "How to Register" page.

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When is the application for the TechLEAP/WebLEAP due?

Applications for TechLEAP are due in early August for the Fall Class, or by December 15, approximately, for a Spring class start. Check the TechLEAP Schedule page for specific deadlines. Applications should be sent to Prof. Raymond J. Kimball, Information Technology Institute, Montgomery College, Gaithersburg Business Training Center, 12 South Summit Avenue, 4th Floor, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20877. Copies of the application form are on our web site at the Admissions Information Page or can be picked up during any of the DAT testing sessions.

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When are the college transcripts due?

Copies of your official college transcripts should be sent in a sealed envelope to TechLEAP directly: Attention Prof. Raymond J. Kimball, Information Technology Institute, Montgomery College, Gaithersburg Business Training Center, 12 South Summit Avenue, 4th Floor, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20877. Official transcripts are part of the required application package. The application is not considered complete until the official sealed college transcripts of any degrees you have earned are received by TechLEAP.

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Is there a choice of Programming courses to be taken or are all subjects mentioned in the Course Sequence required?

See the Course Sequences page for required courses and a listing of possible electives for all of the TechLEAP tracks.

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What is covered in the WebLEAP WebMaster certificate track?

Please see the Course Sequence page for details.

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What is the time requirement?

The schedule is three hours a night, 6:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m., Monday - Thursday nights, plus a three-hour lab most Saturday mornings from 9:30am to 12:30 p.m. There are occasional Friday night and Saturday classes, but such classes are exceptions dictated by scheduling considerations. Exact schedules are available at TechLEAP/WebLEAP orientation.

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Do you get a degree/certificate?

You will be awarded a college Continuing Education Certificate upon completion. Depending upon the specialty track a student chooses, he/she may be able to complete appropriate industry certification examinations as well.

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How do I qualify for the internship option?

Students must meet TechLEAP's admission standards, select the internship option, attend all required courses, pay all tuition and fees on time, follow syllabus and instructor requirements and College policies, and perform satisfactorily on all instructor and class assignments. Performance and eligibility for internships is evaluated based on student performance of in-class assignments, successful completion of lab assignments on time, and preparation of a portfolio and resume, and other student performance criteria. Further details are contained in the program syllabus and student handbooks.

Over 90% of TechLEAP students have obtained internships offered by company and government sponsors. Some companies and government agencies will hire students on a six-month to one-year contract trial basis. Other student interns are offered full-time employment based on their internship performance. The average internship length for the last several years was approximately 4 and 1/2 months. However, we do not track students career changes after graduation, so we do not have precise statistics of the percentage of students offered jobs following their internships.

Professor Raymond J. Kimball, TechLEAP's Project Manager, has run computer science internship programs at Montgomery College since January, 2000. His work for the college was profiled in the May, 2002 MC Alumni magazine, "Insights. See "Kimball on Technology.", page 8. For further details about the  See also Prof. Kimball's faculty web site at http://www.montgomerycollege.edu/~rkimball.

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What are the costs?

See the course sequence page for details on the courses included in the tuition and fee charges. See the TechLEAP tuition page for details of current costs.

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Do I have to be a U.S. citizen to participate in the program?

No.  You do not need to be a U.S. citizen to participate in TechLEAP. If you are not a U.S. citizen, you must have valid work permit authority to work in paid internships by the time for internship placements in the program.

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Can an International Student participate in TechLEAP?

International Students who wish to participate in TechLEAP will be issued an I-20 forms for vocational or certificate programs that will enable the student to get an M-1 student visa. The M-1 student visa is for short term programs for a maximum of 18 months.

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Is financial aid available?

See the TechLEAP financial aid page for details of financial aid and training fund sources.  Students also can take advantage of Montgomery College's Tuition Installment Program. This program allows the student to pay their tuition over time. The tuition is paid in several installments over the course of the program instead of all at once. Students also may investigate bank loans (Crestar eMax education loan is affiliated with our college). There are also programs that provide loans specifically for information technology students. Finally, students should consider that the internships in the latter two months of the program will be paid and will offset a portion of their costs. Payment for internships is approximately $10/hr.

Are textbooks and materials included in the price?

Textbooks are not included in the tuition and fees. Students also supply their own storage disks, notebooks, pens, pencils, and similar student supplies. Supplemental materials provided by the instructors are included in the prices above. Textbooks and student-supplied materials will be available at the College bookstore or from commercial sources.

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Who will be teaching the classes?

Faculty specializing in the topic areas will teach various components of the course. In all, students will likely see 5-10 different instructors. The faculty are highly skilled in their areas and have applied their talents in both academia as well as in the business environment.

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I would like to take some Computer Science/Computer Applications courses to help me prepare for TechLEAP. Can you suggest which courses would give me a good starting point for the TechLEAP program?

In general, TechLEAP and WebLEAP assume that enrolled students have some general computer proficiency but no formal computer training. Aptitude for achievement in the computer sciences is assessed through the DAT aptitude tests. For those admitted to and registering for the full TechLEAP or WebLEAP program schedule, no prerequisite training is required. The program begins with a general introduction to computers and computer architecture, and builds skill levels from this starting point.

Students enter the program with varying degrees of preparation and classroom training. Some students enroll in TechLEAP/WebLEAP to begin new careers in computer science. Others enroll to supplement existing skills or to learn more recent technologies currently required by the computer science or web technology job markets.

For example, TechLEAP students in the past have included those with no significant computer training, those with computer equipment and software sales experience, and those with BA or MS degrees in computer science or information technology from other countries.

Students selecting to take individual TechLEAP or WebLEAP courses through Continuing Education will be subject to certain prerequisites and prerequisite skills testing prior to the course. The prerequisite skills testing is designed to assist CE students to find the right courses for their skill levels, and to enable the TechLEAP/WebLEAP class to cover the planned course material.If you are interested in taking credit courses prior to joining TechLEAP or WebLEAP, you should consult a member of the Computer Science, Computer Applications, or Networking Administration faculty for appropriate course selection.

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Who needs to take the DAT Aptitude test?

All students applying for the TechLEAP/ WebLEAP program with the internship option must take the Aptitude test. If you are not looking for an internship from the TechLEAP program, you would not need to take the aptitude test. However, we encourage people to take the aptitude test because it gives both prospective students, enrolled students, and the Program Director a baseline from which to advise students on their career options, and to make class schedule and career decisions.

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I already have a job; I need to upgrade my technical skills for career advancement. What are my options?

In the past few years those working in the Engineering, IT and Computer Science fields increasingly have enrolled in TechLEAP for a robust skills upgrade program.

TechLEAP is an intensive retraining program in the object oriented programming languages and modern web design. TechLEAP's courses are designed for adults dedicated to seeking rapid retraining in computer programming for advancement in their current careers or to make a career change.

Classes run for a period of about seven to nine months, depending on electives selection-- from September through April or May. During the first four months, students attend classes four (4) nights per week Monday-Thursday from 6:30 – 9:30pm and Saturday mornings from about 9:00a.m.-noon. Upon completion of the required course schedule students then choose a series of elective classes. Electives are offered over a three- to four-month period. The electives semester coincides with the internship option where qualified students interview for placement with local employers to gain valuable real world job experience.

If you already have a job, and do not need the internship option, you can apply for the TechLEAP Program without the internship option. In this case you still have to apply for the program, but taking the DAT aptitude test is optional, although highly recommended.

If you already have a job, need to upgrade your technical skills, but don’t think that you have the time to commit to the whole program—You may find that taking individual classes through our Continuing Education Department is best. Many Continuing Education (CE) classes are the same as the TechLEAP classes, in the same classroom, with the same instructors. The Continuing Education classes usually are scheduled over a period of two weeks, two evenings a week, Monday and Wednesday or Tuesday and Thursday, from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., plus a Saturday morning lab from 9:30a.m to 12:30 p.m. The nighttime and Saturday class scheduling provides you with more daytime flexibility while still giving you the opportunity to update your technical skills.

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Is the Internship Option available to Continuing Education students?

The Internship Option is not available to Continuing Education students. You must be enrolled in the entire TechLEAP program to be eligible for the internship option.

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If I have already taken a TechLEAP course from another institution, can I substitute another course?

Not routinely. You will have to demonstrate your proficiency in a language or computer skill to the satisfaction of the TechLEAP Project Manager in order to be exempted from a course in a TechLEAP/WebLEAP sequence. See the TechLEAP Project Manager if you wish to request a waiver for taking a course in the TechLEAP sequence.

TechLEAP offers a carefully structured course sequence designed both to present new skill sets and “fill in the holes” in existing skill sets for “self-taught” students or those previously exposed to a programming language or applications software.

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Do I have to take the practice aptitude test as well as the DAT test?

I you have never taken the U.S. Scholastic Aptitude Tests (SATs) or equivalent tests, we recommend that you take the Practice DAT test. The Practice DAT is available as an option, to familiarize you with the DAT test format and types of questions which are asked in the actual DAT test. See the TechLEAP Significant Dates page for the current schedule of Practice Tests and Aptitude tests.

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