Three Cowley County schools are working together to offer a new program that will help fill the high-tech labor shortage that in recent years has grown to more than a million jobs in the United States. Cowley, Unified School District No. 470 Arkansas City, and USD 465 Winfield each will offer computer networking technology courses beginning this fall.
The program was developed by Cisco Systems Inc. to train individuals for computer network installation, support, design, and maintenance. The program has two levels: a four-semester program and an eight-semester program. Once students complete the curriculum of the four-semester program, they can take the exam to become a Cisco Certified Network Associate. The exam is a networking-industry test administered by independent agencies. The exam is essential in landing a networking job with a national-average starting salary of $40,000. After students complete the eight-semester program, they are eligible to take the Cisco Certified Network Professional exam.
Four courses have been approved by the Kansas Board of Regents (for Cowley) and the Kansas State Board of Education (for Arkansas City and Winfield). Internetworking Fundamentals will be offered this fall, followed by Router Technologies in spring 2002, Routing and Switching in fall 2002, and Internetworking Protocols in spring 2003.
Four additional courses are expected to be approved in the future. Cisco-trained instructors will teach classes at Cowley, Arkansas City High School and Winfield High School. Coursework will be taught in a classroom, although students also may work online from home to review coursework and take exams. The course is designed to be taught over two full school years. Students can begin the program as high school juniors, seniors, or as adults.
Cowley will become a Cisco Training Academy. Wichita Area Technical College will be the regional academy, where instructors will receive their training. Cisco created the Networking Academy to meet an increasing demand for qualified workers in the information technology field. In 1993, the company initiated a program to design practical, cost-effective networks for schools. Many schools didn’t have the knowledge to maintain their own computer networks, so the company designed a program to teach school administrators how to troubleshoot networking equipment. The result was the Cisco Networking Academy Program, which as of year-end 2000, has grown to more than 5,700 Networking Academies in 50 U.S. states and more than 100 countries.
College offering Spanish course for businesses
Since last fall, the college has been offering various Spanish courses in an effort to help local and area residents improve their communication skills. In the spring, an occupational Spanish course for office personnel, utilizing Command Spanish® materials, was offered in Winfield. The course was held from April 11 to May 16. Command Spanish® is an instructional system that incorporates a number of elements and teaching techniques to present useful, meaningful Spanish to participants that can be used immediately on the job.
The curriculum utilizes work-specific language, thus eliminating wasted time learning non-applicable material. No prior knowledge of Spanish is necessary to participate. Students learn pronunciations by learning a highly effective phonetic system that makes it simple for anyone to learn to speak the phrases. A manual and complete set of audio cassette tapes is provided, which allows on-going and long-term reinforcement of material learned in the workshop. This course is highly recommended by past participants. They felt the course setting and atmosphere was comfortable, enjoyable, fun, interesting, and low stress.
Short-term Spanish courses are being offered this summer. The courses are designed to assist with the interaction with people in Spanish-speaking countries. Prospective tourists will be assisted with language and cross-cultural skills. The non-credit course will be held June 12, 14, 19, and 21 on the main campus. Office Spanish short courses are being offered in June and July. They will be June 18-22, July 10-12, and July 17-19.
For more information on any of the courses, contact Janice Stover, Cowley’s director of continuing education, at (620) 441-5247. Class sizes are limited and pre-registration is required.