The National Science Foundation requires that all Advanced Technological Education (ATE) centers like the National Convergence Technology Center (CTC) host annual program reviews led by what’s called an “NVC” – National Visiting Committee. These yearly NVC meetings look at the work of the center over the previous 12 months to make sure grant goals are being appropriately pursued. As a result of this intensive review, the NVC – comprised of community college educators and experts in the center’s field of student – then advises, assesses, and advocates for the ATE center for the next year. The National CTC’s annual NVC meetings often feature a panel discussion from IT students in the program. Because the purpose of the National CTC is to impact students in the classroom, NVC members always enjoy hearing the perspective of successful students. At the most recent NVC, we had a student panel of three students from Collin College, El Centro and University of North Texas.
“There’s a saying ‘pick a job that you like and you’ll never work a day in your life,’ so my thing was that I was always into computers and electronics. I’m pretty much the help desk technician for my friends and family. I decided that I wanted to take the plunge into the IT career field, so I took the initiative to challenge myself to see if I was able to take a course and be successful in the IT program at El Centro. So far, it’s been so good.”
– Robert Cazares, El Centro College
“After several years of barely being able support myself, and being extremely unhappy, I decided that I needed a change. I had learned about the cybersecurity program when I had looked online to see what computer degrees were available since that was always an interest of mine and that’s when I found out about Collin… I can honestly say I’ve never been happier doing what I do now.”
– Michael Cyrus, Collin College
“For me, it matters what I’m doing. I don’t want to have to go to a job where I dread going to work. I want a job where on wake up on Monday morning and I’m like ‘yeah, I’m ready to go to work!’ So it’s more about being in something you enjoy and then when you go and see the average salary for IT and security, it’s just a really nice bonus.”
– Olivia Hughes, University of North Texas