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CCN Impacts

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Part of the annual reporting season for the National Convergence Technology Center (CTC) involves gathering success stories, best practices, and impacts from the colleges and universities of its Convergence College Network (CCN) community.

* Wharton County Junior College purchased cardboard virtual reality glasses with information printed on them about the school’s Computer Science program. The glasses were passed out at all recruiting events so that prospective students could view 360-degree recordings of computer science classrooms, allowing them to “visit” the campus virtually.

* Waukesha County Technical College is developing a “flexible classroom environment” which will allow students to choose how they attend class. Their options include traditional “butt-in-seat” model, remotely connected live connection with Blackboard Collaborate, or a recorded session.

* Based on training received at Working Connections, South Plains College is discussing the possibility of not just adding Internet of Things” and “CSA+” content to existing classes, but creating brand new classes that focus exclusively on those topics.

* Renton Technical College continues to have success with students achieving certifications with TestOut LabSims and using TestOut as a prep tool for CompTIA Exams. During 2017 Renton certified 40 students with certifications (TestOut SecurityPro, LinuxPro, ServerPro, CompTIA A+ and Network+).

* IT faculty at Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College are collaborating with general studies instructors to create joint, interdisciplinary assignments for students.

* With input from its Business and Industry Leadership Team (BILT), Sinclair Community College’s CIS department recently removed high-level math classes from all seven degree programs. Sinclair believes removing those math barriers will help CIS students succeed.

* Georgia Southern University started a weekly “Women’s Get TogetHER” female support group/advising session. The meetings were created to support women in the I.T. department, but word has gotten out to the other STEM departments and now it’s starting to “build momentum across campus.” The hope is that this will help recruit more students into the IT program from other STEM programs.

* Calhoun Community College offers a unique “grab a seat” program to high school students that allows them to sit in a class as many times as they wish without cost.

* Seminole State College – Students in the Bachelor of Science in Information Systems Technology (BSIST) program that are taking classes online have the option to come to an in person session of that same class if they are having trouble.  If they’re not having trouble or have no questions, they can just keep taking it all online. Faculty internally calls this model a “have it your way” delivery of the class. Attending the campus class is optional. Retention rates in these online courses are the best of the college.

* El Centro College continued a YearUp partnership that offers an intensive one-year program for low-income students, combining professional coaching, hands-on skill development, and internships at some of America’s top companies.  Participants – over 200 were enrolled in 2017 – earn a Level 1 certificate in Networking.

* San Jacinto College includes current student in all CIT and STEM outreach events to make the program more relatable to younger student prospects. San Jacinto also invites former students now working in the industry to join its program advisory (BILT) groups.

* North Arkansas College employs a dedicated advisor to provide “wrap around” support for new IT students. The school also works with Zogotech, a data analytics provider, to measure student progress and make sure students are on track to complete their degree and provide support if they fall behind.

* Lone Star College’s University Park campus opened an Innovation Room in 2017 that includes many emerging technologies. Students are allowed to have direct, hands-on experience with a variety of emerging technologies including 3-D printing and scanning, virtual and augmented reality, robotics, and Raspberry Pis.

* Volunteer State Community College hosted three CIT open houses in May 2017 for students who had applied to a Health Science program but were not selected, a strategy known as “in reach” that seeks to recruit current students rather than pursuing those not yet enrolled. Those students received information on CIT degrees as an alternative career pathway.

* Houston Community College enjoys an ongoing five-year program with JPMorgan Chase for 25 IT student apprentice positions.

* The University of Bridgeport works with local high schools in shaping their technology curriculum. This positions the university to better recruit those high school students into its own IT programs.

Click here to learn more about your IT program joining the Convergence College Network. Membership is free.



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