Online Data and Coding Cohort: Database Administration 105 - VAN / EveryAction Administration

Beginning in 2018, Wellstone Action is proud to introduce a set of online training cohorts. Beyond your typical webinar, these trainings are designed to match the impact of the powerful in-person trainings we’ve been offering for over 16 years.

Our cohorts meld hands-on small group facilitation and real world organizing challenges with an explicit examination of how race, class, gender, sexuality, power and privilege shape our technology and organizing spaces.

The 4-6 week cohorts will allow organizers, activists and movement technologists the chance to deepen their skills in specific areas. Each week will have a content topic and will delivered in live, interactive 90-120 minute sessions; sessions are offered three times a week to accommodate varying schedules.

Participants will be supported by an experienced team of coaches and trainers at a ratio of 10 participants per coach, ensuring regular support for each trainee and the opportunity for facilitated, small group work in each training. Between each training, participants will complete a homework assignment and have access to coaches to deepen their learning.

Participants should expect to spend 8-10 hours per week on coursework, including attending the online sessions and completing course readings and homework.

The application period for this cohort is now closed.

Database Administration 105 -  VAN / EveryAction Administration
Applications Close: May 18th
Start Date: Week of June 4th
Length: 5 Weeks
Cost: $650

Description: DBA 105 focuses on the core skills and decision making practices necessary to manage VAN and voter data for an electoral campaign or ballot initiative. Over the course of five weeks, participants will learn how to use VAN to look up and update voter records; build lists and saves searches; cut turf and launch MiniVAN campaigns; launch and administer Virtual Phone Banks; create and manage organizing regions; build and schedule counts and crosstab reports; manage the events calendar and schedule email blasts and build permission sets to support various field roles.

Session Schedule: Cohort begins, Monday, June 4th, 2018.

Mondays: 3pm ET / 2pm CT / 1pm MT / 12pm PT
Wednesdays: 7pm ET / 6pm CT / 5pm MT / 4pm PM 
Thursdays: 9pm ET / 8pm CT / 7pm MT / 6pm PT

Note: Participants only need to attend one session per week.


Frequently Asked Questions:
1. Who are these cohorts for? Are there prerequisites?
We encourage progressive organizers, activists and movement technologists to apply. The cohorts are grounded in modern campaign and organizing challenges, and it is therefore crucial that participants draw from their community and organizing experience in order to complete these cohorts and pair with other participants successfully.

In addition, participants should be comfortable working on a computer (navigation, working with a keyboard and mouse), using search engines to find answers to questions and have regular access to a computer (laptop or desktop) with a steady internet connection.

2. Are scholarships available?
Both full and partial scholarships are available. Applications are reviewed need-blind, meaning admissions decisions are made without weighing financial need.

Due to FEC law, we unfortunately cannot offer scholarships to applicants currently working on an electoral campaign.

3. Facilitation
a. How do the cohorts work? How are these different from webinars?
Cohorts are hands on, intensive workshops delivered online. Unlike traditional webinars where interaction from participants is minimal, cohorts participants are encouraged to interact with other participants, the material and their trainers throughout each session.

For a 90 min session, cohorts will open with a review of the homework and reading with participants answering questions through chat or quiz. Then, the training shifts to introducing the topic for the week (“Structuring SELECT Statements” or “Writing a For Loop”), before introducing an exercise participants will complete in small groups (5-10 participants) with their coaches. After the small group breakout, there will be a session wide debrief, followed by an introduction of the homework and reading for the week and any closing questions.

Homework assignments are due the morning on training and coaches will be available throughout the week to answer questions, including during virtual office hours.

b. What is the schedule?
In cohorts, each week has a topic (IE: “How to Cut Turf” or “Intro to GitHub”) which will be delivered in a live, interactive, online session running from 90-120 mins in length.

Each topic will be offered three times in a week. Participants are only required to attend one session per week, but are welcome to join additional sessions.

Each cohort has its own session schedule, described above.

c. How much time should I expect to spend on the cohort?
Participants should set aside 8-10  hours a week for coursework - including attending live webinar sessions, completing homework, reading and connecting with peers.

d. I can’t make a week of training, should I still apply? What are certification or attendance requirements?
We understand that participants have full and active lives and therefore, one absence is allowed for each session without jeopardizing certification or completion requirements.

In addition, participants can “make up” a missed week by viewing the recording of the session and then attending virtual office hours the following week. Only one absence can be made up this way.

If a participant has more than one absence, including “makeups”, they are still welcome to participate in the course but will no longer be eligible for certification.

Certification is dependent on a number of factors, varying with each cohort, but includes attendance, satisfactory completion of assignments and reading and participation with peers.

e. Technical Requirements
Access to a laptop or desktop computer with steady internet access, capable of running Zoom, is the minimum requirement. Windows, Macs and Unix boxes are welcome, however we discourage attendees from using chromebooks or tablets, as they won’t be able to support the software required for coursework.

We encourage participants to have a microphone and camera so they can interact with other participants and trainers during sessions.

4. What else will you teach?
Our offerings in 2019 will depend on demand, funding and the success of these initial cohorts.

We hope to offer these sessions again in 2019, as well as expanding to potentially include Javascript, Building Predictive Models, a Certification in PDI Administration and deeper dives into Python for Software Development and Data Engineering. But this will all depend on demand, the capacity of our team and the needs of the movement.

Have other questions? Email us.