Students in some schools middle and high schools will soon
have the opportunity to take courses that prepare them for jobs in technology
and earn professional certificates as part of the IT Academy created by the San
Diego County Office of Education (SDCOE).
The program launches in September at two Vista Unified
School District campuses and two Juvenile Court and Community Schools sites. Eventually,
the program is expected to expand to schools across the county.
“We saw a tremendous need and opportunity to prepare
students for exciting careers in software, hardware, and network engineering; data
and security analysis; and other rapidly growing areas,” said Steve Clemons,
assistant superintendent and chief information officer for SDCOE.
Students who complete the coursework will be prepared to
take the exams to get various certificates that will make it easier for them to
find work after high school or college. The academy represents a powerful
opportunity for students, who can get the experience they need for careers in
technology for free while still in high school instead of enrolling in trade
schools or community colleges after they graduate.
The curriculum is aligned with industry standards and is
entirely online so students will be able to access it at any time.
The IT Academy begins with a year-long course, Introduction
to IT Fundamentals, which was designed and developed by members of SDCOE's Integrated Technology Services team. After this foundational technology course,
learners choose from one of three pathways: hardware engineering, software
engineering, and network engineering.
Each of these pathways prepares students for professional certifications
that could be immediately applied in the workforce.
In 2014-2015 year, SDCOE personnel will be working with community colleges and community partners to set up
matriculation agreements and internships to enrich the learning experience and
career preparation opportunities.