May 16, 2006
Cowley to offer Computer Support Specialist program in the fall
Beginning this fall, Cowley College will offer a Computer Support Specialist program. Lab classes will be held at Cowley’s Southside Education Center, while some online classes will also be offered.
The Computer Support Specialist program at Cowley College is designed to prepare students for employment in help desk, technical support, and customer support professions. Courses offered cover help desk/technical support operations, customer service and soft skills, help desk tools and technology, and help desk management. Opportunities to receive college credit through practical experience and internships are also provided. Students completing the program will be required to document their learning through an electronic portfolio.
The Associate of Applied Science degree can be completed in two years, while the Vocational certificate can be completed in two semesters.
“We are excited to be able to offer this type of program to Cowley students,” Cowley College Department Chair for the Business, Computer and Information Technology Department Beverly Grunder said.
Students must complete computer hardware/software part one and part two, which prepares them to get their A plus certification, to be able to troubleshoot and repair computers.
Supporting Windows XP and Supporting Applications XP prepare students to get a Microsoft Certified Desktop Support Technician (MCDST) certification.
“Students graduating from the program will be prepared to take the exams necessary to get A plus certification, and MCDST certification,” Cowley College help desk manager Casey Eubank said. “Students will also acquire practical experience in the Help Desk Practicum course by working on the college’s help desk, answering real-life telephone calls and web/e-mail requests. Another requirement for students graduating from the program will be to produce a portfolio documenting their learning and experience. Students will be encouraged to use the portfolio to help market themselves as they search for employment in the computer support industry.”
Several new Help Desk classes have been added to the program including Customer Service Skills for Technical Support Professionals and Help Desk Concepts.
“In today’s global economy, it is customer service that often sets apart the successful business from its competitors,” Eubank said. “More and more businesses in the computer support industry are hiring individuals that have excellent customer service skills in order to remain competitive. Customer Service Skills for Technical Support Professionals addresses skills such as how to handle irate customers, technical writing, problem solving, telephone etiquette, and working in teams. Another course, Help Desk Concepts, covers the four basic components of a help desk: people, processes, information and technology. Several cutting edge ideas and concepts will be covered in this class, including the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL), which is a set of best practices and processes for service and support in the computer support industry.”
Eubank will teach the Customer Service Skills for Technical Support Professionals class, along with the Help Desk Practicum classes. He also serves as an advisor for the Computer Support Specialist program.
Eubank has received positive feedback from local businesses that have expressed interest in possible internships and employment.
“This is a good opportunity for our students and the community,” Eubank said. “The Computer Support Specialist program will provide training and a skilled workforce to an industry that is constantly growing and expanding.”
For more information on the program, contact Eubank at (620) 441-5584 or (316) 554-2784.