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The Hack Reactor curriculum requires extraordinary commitments of time and energy with a minimum of 66 hours of classes and coding, every week for 12 weeks. Many students say they have never worked so hard or learned so much, as they did at Hack Reactor. At this level, it is important to have an infrastructure to make sure that students are keeping up with their technical skills, staying physically healthy and not getting emotionally overwhelmed. At Hack Reactor, we have a team devoted to students’ well-being from the technical to the emotional, led by Jerod Rubalcava, a coaching and mental health professional.
Rubalcava has a Masters Degree in Counseling Psychology. He has worked in various agencies devoted to helping people with severe and chronic mental illness and chemical dependency. From 2012-2013 he chaired the San Francisco Mayor's Committee for Employment of Persons with Disabilities, finding education and employment opportunities for people with disabilities. Most recently, Rubalcava taught classes at Guangxi University in China, including "Industrial and Organizational Psychology” and “Globalization, Cultural and Social Psychology”.
Now at Hack Reactor, Rubalcava oversees all aspects of student life.
“I ensure that the students' day-to-day experience is incredible,” he says. Rubalcava oversees our Class Leads, who meet with students in large and small groups every week. Rubalcava meets individually with students, especially if they are struggling with any aspect of the program.
“I work on any student issues from accountability to biopsychosocial needs,” he explains.
Whenever he’s working with a student, Rubalcava describes his approach of giving the student space to explain themselves fully before providing advice:
“I start with empathy and work to understand what a student is thinking and feeling, and how they’re processing and expressing emotions. I put myself in their place with compassion by listening before I make any recommendations or give feedback.”
Being part of a coding school is a new chapter in Rubalcava’s career, and he recognizes how Hack Reactor and the needs of our students are unique:
“I love how we’re changing the education game,” says Rubalcava. “I’ve really shifted my understanding of the education paradigm. Traditional education has a time and place--I’m obviously a student of it myself--but I think what we’re doing is progressive and really exciting.”
Interested in joining future Hack Reactor classes? Apply to our program onsite or online (the online course also has dedicated support staff) today!