Montgomery County Community College recently earned the “Be the Bridge Award” from Cisco Networking Academy for its innovative work of incorporating its Cisco Networking Academy courses into an associate degree program as part of a proposed IT apprenticeship program.
Cisco awarded MCCC with the Be the Bridge Award during the Cisco Networking Academy Partner and Instructor Conference in San Jose, CA. MCCC was one of only five global regional winners to receive this prestigious recognition. Lawrence Byron, MCCC Director of Workforce Development for Information Technology, accepted the award on behalf of the College.
“We are honored to receive this award from Cisco. MCCC has been working hard to innovate in the IT space to help our businesses, students, and partners to develop the talent in our communities to help in the national effort in Computer Networking and Cybersecurity,” Lawrence Byron said. This award is designed to celebrate the efforts of partners who have gone above-and-beyond in their dedication to student success. Each has sought new ways to grow expertise among our instructor base or cast a wider — and more diverse — net toward student enrollment.
The recipients of the Be the Bridge Award included the IFOA, Italy/Universidad of Miguel Hernandez, Spain, for the Europe-CIS region; the Department of Higher Education South Africa/African Advanced Level Telecommunications Institute, Kenya, for the Middle East and Africa region; Edutek, Guatemala/Senai – SP, Brazil, for the Latin America region; the Electrical and Information Engineering, Bachkhoa Academy, Vietnam/Universitas Gadja Mada, India, for the Asia Pacific, Japan and China region; and MCCC/Western Academy Support and Training Center for the United States and Canada region.
Cisco Networking Academy is a 25-year-old global IT and cybersecurity education program that partners with learning institutions to offer valuable networking and IT skills for students and workers. Programs are taught in 11,800 academies in more than 190 countries all over the world.
MCCC has been a Cisco Networking Academy partner since Cisco started the academy started a quarter century ago. Over the years, MCCC has expanded to serve as the regional Cisco Networking Academy Support Center, providing services to the region’s businesses, schools and communities. MCCC offers a full range of IT training from basic computer knowledge to cybersecurity professional training. For more information about MCCC’s Cisco Networking Academy or to register, contact Lawrence Byron at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“MCCC has played a significant role in the evolution of IT education through the Cisco Networking Academy Program,” Byron said. “As a member of the Cisco Academy Advisory Board, we work closely with the company to help to guide them in what our member academies need and act as a voice for Montgomery County businesses and our regional partners. Our deep expertise in IT education as a Cisco Networking Academy has enabled the college to build a strong curriculum for our upcoming IT Generalist apprenticeship program.”
MCCC’s competency as a regional center has led to the development of IT apprenticeship programs, starting with training for IT Generalists. For the proposed apprenticeship, industry partners will hire students to work 32-40 hours per week as apprentices for approximately 18 months. Employers will be responsible for the apprentices’ salaries (set by the employers) and tuition costs of approximately $8,000. MCCC will work with PA CareerLink and other private foundations to help off-set these industry costs.
“MCCC is proud to be establishing IT apprenticeships in partnership with our regional industry partners,” said Kyle Longacre, Dean of Workforce and Economic Development. “These learn-and-earn opportunities can open doors for students into family-sustaining wage jobs and help our employers fill critical roles in high-priority occupations, like IT.”
At MCCC, apprentices would receive 94 hours of training over four weeks on safety, sexual harassment prevention, CompTIA A+ coursework and training. The remaining 106 hours will be held during the balance of the year at either the Blue Bell Campus or Pottstown Campus.
Apprentices will receive Cisco Networking Academy (Netacad.com) training, including topics such as PC hardware and preventive maintenance, mobile devices, and printers, Windows operation and configuration, mobile OS, and security and networking essentials. As part of the program, apprentices will be certified in CompTIA A+ and Cisco CCST-Networking. In addition, they will develop skills that will help them to be successful in the workplace, such as teamwork and collaboration, communication, problem-solving, critical thinking, conflict management, time management, and customer service.
On-the-job training will provide a minimum of 2,880 hours of practical, real-world experience providing technical assistance for computer users. Apprentices will receive journeyworker mentoring from employers and will apply the concepts they learned during training.
MCCC will be seeking approval for the IT Apprenticeship Program from the Pennsylvania Apprenticeship Office in the near future to register the IT Generalist apprenticeship occupation.
Then, through future apprenticeship programs, students can advance to Network Technician and eventually Cyber Security Support Analyst.
For more information about the IT Apprenticeship Program, contact Lawrence Byron, Director of Workforce Development for IT programs.