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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 four students from Collin College and El Centro in person and Lansing Community College via webchat.

jesus

“I have a career in IT in publishing, and we’ve had a major reduction in our workforce. In 2015 I looked at my options and realized that I was going to have to go out and get more education so that I could match up to current standards; or if needed, make a career change. I encountered Ms. Miraval and had a fortunate experience with the El Centro Cisco program. The program focused on developing soft skills and gave an overview of the specialties in Cisco technology. It opened my eyes to networking and socializing in one’s field. The program has provided me with options, to grow and develop, and allowed me to be prepared to change jobs with the ultimate goal of becoming a Network Engineer.”

– Jesus Ortiz, El Centro College

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“I like that the faculty and staff here really encourage students to take advantage of the opportunities the school has to offer. I actually started at Collin as a continuing education student in efforts to secure a CCNA certification, however, during my CCNA 1 class, I was encouraged to get more involved. Immediately, I switched to being a credit student so that I could indeed take advantage of these opportunities. Since then, I’m now finishing CCNA 4, I’m involved in student organizations and I desire to take my path much further and possibly pursue a Masters in Computer Networking!”

– Comfort Benton, Collin College

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“Faculty are always so willing to listen to all my questions and to not only take the time to answer but also make sure that I got it. Cisco and networking classes sometimes are very challenging so having the opportunity to ask multiple and sometimes very complicated questions and having people being patient enough to explain has made a tremendous difference.”

– Alfredo Arredondo-Cervantes, Lansing Community College

divya

“I chose computer networking as a major because I was always fascinated and intrigued by how computer network works and wanted to understand it. There is ever increasing demand for computer network professionals as in today’s time instant information sharing and communication are two most important strategic factors determining the success of an enterprise and both of them are possible because of computer networks.  I think the Network and Convergence Technology Program at El Centro College has given me the right career path to pursue my dreams.”

– Divya Tomar, El Centro College

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“I encountered several students that would come back and do peer-mentoring after they’d successfully completed the course.  The accomplished students talked about advancements in their own careers and that motivated a lot of students that’d just started the program.  It definitely motivated me to persevere, because the initial classes that you take for the Cisco program, they’re not easy; they’re not for the faint of heart.  But seeing those students come back and say ‘stick with it, in the end, you’re going to see some reward,’ that helped out a lot.”

– Jesus Ortiz, El Centro College

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