I just attended a very good meeting Francis Tuttle. The meetings' objective was to help direct Marc Hill and FT on what they can teach in 2 years to produce students who can then enter the workforce (or get them ready for college) and be productive.
So far it seems like they are exposed to lots of technology that they will likely be using (Mozzilla and Jira type stuff, CVS and Subversion kind of things, software development cycle, NetBeans, etc...). I believe they use the Sun Academic Initiative Program with courses designed to teach java and prepare you to pass the Sun Certified Associate and Programmer tests.
There were lots of interesting comments (especially from Brett Schuchert and Kris Vanderwater).
Kris is so passionate about drupal (http://drupal.org/) that I'm gonna check it out. It is supposed be like PHP++ and java programmers take to it like ducks to water... we'll see. So far it looks very web centric. I'm used to apps being broken into layers - web - business - dao, etc. It's gotta be easier to read/learn than Ruby & Perl!
Brett talked (a little too long maybe?) about how UML isn't all that useful. But the students should learn enough of it to be able to understand it. Of course he said lots of other good things but I don't think I'll talk about them right now.
The change to the JUG's evening meeting (focus on nerdlings) may be helpful to anyone taking the FT java course and was mentioned a couple of times. I really hope we can get some people to show up for these meetings. It's going to be very flexible (agile?) - no real topics - just what do you want or need to know.
The idea suggested last year to get the students to contribute to an open source project didn't get a very good response. I would think that this would be a very nice thing to have in your resume. Even though you weren't paid for your work, it does show initiative and the ability to apply what you have learned. It would give an interviewer another way to judge whether you will be productive or not.
There were some volunteers (Objectstream/Biju & Brett) to mentor and teach the students which should be a great help to the students.
We all got a nice calculator, a pen, and a pad of paper with the FT logo for our time. Very nice, thanks.