The CTC (National Convergence Technology Center) focuses on four areas of Training, Leadership, Student Recruitment and Retention, and Community. Training involves professional development events and resources; leadership is our BILT where we work with business professionals to see the trends in needed skills and abilities they want to see in graduates and how we can implement those needs into our educational programs; student recruitment and retention leverages best practices from organization around the country and sharing them with our network. The fourth area of community, known as our CCN (Convergence College Network), is that network. It is a cohort of community colleges and universities from across the country that connects IT educators with a wealth of our resources to enhance their programs. Any school that either offers an IT/convergence degree or certificate program can join the CCN. We currently have almost 40 community colleges across 15 states.
There is no membership fee. Instead, CCN member schools receive different levels of benefits based on their level of engagement in a point system. The more involved a school is, the more benefits are accessible.
Some benefits include access to a vast online collection of resources, attend free in-depth professional development training including some travel reimbursement when applicable, enhance business relationships to help steer curriculum and deliver to your students to the skills IT businesses want, and networking with like-minded faculty to share the best practices across the nation.
Being able to network with other schools within the CCN really has no limit on what can be achieved in the ever-changing world of IT. Most recently, there has been a lively discussion on career opportunities for students who specialize in security. One idea that was brought up was cross-training or adding some security components into existing classes such as networking or programming to make that graduate a better candidate for an entry-level position than one that might have only been trained in one specialized area.
More information about the CCN as well as applications to join are available on the National CTC website. Or if you are already a CCN member and need more information on recruiting other colleges in your area, we have several CCN prospect resources on the CTC Wiki.