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03-10-1999

Clarkson University Will Bring Computer Networking Skills To North Country High-school Students As "cisco Systems Regional Networking Academy"

This summer, Clarkson University will embark on a program to begin the training of northern New York high-school students and teachers in valuable computer networking skills. As a "Cisco Systems Regional Networking Academy," Clarkson will provide training programs to address the current national shortage of information technology workers by teaching the installation and maintenance of computer networks. Clarkson was recently named a Regional Networking Academy by Cisco Systems, the worldwide leader in networking for the Internet.

At the Academy, Clarkson computer information professionals will teach high-school teachers how to design, build, and maintain the computer networks of local, national and global businesses. The teachers will in turn transfer these techniques to their students, giving them the skills necessary to fill some of the estimated 450,000 high-technology jobs vacant in the United States today.

"This partnership is evidence of Clarkson University's commitment to students and to the community to provide facilities and training on the leading edge of computer network technology," says Dr. Elizabeth A. Rivet, Clarkson chief information officer. As a Regional Cisco Networking Academy, Clarkson University will be a hub supporting Local Academy sites in area high schools through a state-of-the-art training facility being constructed on the Clarkson University campus.

Over 80 percent of public schools have Internet access, but they don't have the resources to design, build and maintain their own networks. Most students do not receive exposure to the benefits of networked technology. As 80 percent of the Internet today runs on Cisco Systems equipment, students will complete their Academy training with the skills necessary to work on most network equipment.

"Local Academy instructors will receive the training, mentoring and support at Clarkson's facility needed to instruct high-school and college students," says Rivet. The Local Academy curriculum consists of a 280-hour program of coursework where students learn the information and hands-on skills needed to prepare them for the Cisco Certified Networking Associate (CCNA) exam.

"The curriculum covers a complete range of basic through advanced networking concepts – from pulling cable, through complex concepts such as subnet masking rules and strategies," continues Rivet. "CCNA certification has proven to be a valuable benefit to students as they enter the job market as networking technicians or as they continue their studies in engineering and science."

Clarkson University’s Campus Information Services area plans to begin operation as a Cisco Systems Regional Academy this summer. The construction of the training facility is underway and the training of Regional Academy instructors has been scheduled.  Local Academy instructors must attend four training sessions over a two-year period. The program is structured so that instructors are prepared to teach students immediately after successfully completing each session’s training.  The first session of instructor training, scheduled for this summer, consists of eight days at Clarkson University’s facility. Each of the other three sessions are four training days.

High school teachers and administrators interested in the Academy should contact Charles Cameron, Clarkson's manager of systems and networks, at 315-268-2292 or by e-mail at cameron@clarkson.edu.

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Michael P. Griffin, director of News & Digital Content Services, at 315-268-6716 or mgriffin@clarkson.edu.]

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