The 2nd Annual Digital Media Regional CTE Advisory and Skills Panel was held on October 26, 2018 at The Life Arts Center in Riverside. The event, led by Susanne Mata, Deputy Sector Navigator for Information & Communications Technologies and Digital Media in the Inland Empire/Desert Region, was planned as a part of the Strong Workforce Program’s Regional CTE Advisory Project.
The meeting had a true regional presence with more than 100 educators, business professionals and students in attendance, representing multiple Riverside and San Bernardino County community colleges including College of the Desert, Chaffey College, Mt. San Jacinto College, Riverside City College and San Bernardino Valley College as well as K12 District and ROP educators and administrators.
Cypress College and Long Beach City College (LBCC) recently became the second and third California Community Colleges to receive the National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education (CAE) from the National Security Agency (NSA).
The designations are valid through the 2023 academic year and were awarded following a rigorous application process. Students graduating from these colleges will receive a certificate from the NSA and Department of Homeland Security indicating that they attended a CAE institution.
The CAE designation will help further enhance California’s contribution toward filling the open cybersecurity positions throughout the U.S.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Information Communication Technologies-Digital Media Sector Navigator
California Community Colleges
ROCKLIN, Calif. — There’s never been a better time to enter the IT workforce, as thousands of high paying jobs remain unfilled across California. A new initiative at California’s Community College is making it easier than ever for people with little or no technical experience to find a pathway toward one of those jobs in just a few months.
The IT Technician Pathway, offered at 22 California community colleges, is a series of four sets of courses designed to take students from computer sales to help desk support to more specialized fields like networking and cybersecurity. Each group of courses in the pathway corresponds to industry certifications that are essential for employment in any IT job.
Google is working to educate the next generation of IT professionals, and California Community Colleges will be there every step of the way.
Following the launch of Google’s IT Support Professional Certificate Program in January, colleges in the Bay Area have launched a successful pilot program that integrates Google’s course content into the existing college curriculum. The goal is to create an environment where students can complete Google’s cutting-edge content, with support and engagement from a community college faculty member, and receive college credit.
Google’s IT Support Professional certificate is designed to help students with no prior IT training get the experience needed for an entry-level job within one year. The certificate was created to help fill the estimated 150,000 open IT support jobs in the U.S.
Small actions can add up to a big impact, and that’s the approach one instructor is taking to prepare her Business Information Worker students for success.
Amity Perry Boada, a business education instructor at Cuesta College, is utilizing some outside-the-box techniques to keep her students motivated and engaged as a cohort.
The BIW program teaches students the skills needed to obtain entry-level office positions. Many are new to higher education and the business world more broadly, and Perry Boada is helping bridge that gap through monthly professional development seminars.
We now have access to more information than at any other time in history, but it can be daunting to know where to start when trying to keep abreast of a topic like cybersecurity.
Scott Young, director of the California Cyberhub, has said that making sure the California Cyberhub efforts remain relevant and effective has been much like providing solutions as a business consultant, you must remain current and informed. Scott’s passion for lifelong learning and staying current on what’s happening in a given field has driven his reading throughout his consulting career. To make sure he has the perspective and tools to give appropriate advice he has compiled the following list of resources and recommendations for those participating in the cybersecurity ecosystem:
Susanne Mata Deputy Sector Navigator for Information Communications Technology/Digital Media in the Inland Empire/Desert Region, attended an industry skills panel at Mt. San Jacinto College on September 12 to learn more about careers in the audio industry and opportunities to create pathways from community colleges to successful employment.
The event, “Careers in Audio: Career Pathways to Success” was sponsored by the department of Audio Technology at Mt. San Jacinto College (MSJC), which invited professionals in the audio industry to speak to students and answer questions regarding skills, education requirements and provide insights into career pathways for success.
The challenges of meeting the acute workforce needs in Cybersecurity necessitates thinking out of the box, with a focus on developing scalable programs for statewide use across 114 Community Colleges. In his role as an ICT Deputy Sector Navigator for Orange County, Steve Linthicum is always searching for potential partnering opportunities that result in the promotion of a career, providing potential students with “hands-on” experience and learning that will pique their interest in considering continuing a learning pathway into cybersecurity as a profession.
Steve recently initiated and drove development of a CompTIA IT Fundamentals certification effort directed at middle school, high school, and community college students. Steve recognized the obstacles to having students obtain industry recognized certifications such as textbook costs, exam costs, inconvenience in finding a testing center and scheduling a testing time, and fears associated with taking an exam.
Industry advisory committees can provide more valuable input on courses and curriculum if committee members have more time to review the current state of affairs and provide meaningful feedback. However, the way in which many advisory committee meetings are set up (i.e., faculty present curriculum, and industry partners have a small amount of time to ask questions or make suggestions) does not typically allow for productive engagement between the faculty and their industry partners.
Markus Geissler, Deputy Sector Navigator for Information and Communication Technologies and Digital Media in the Greater Sacramento Region, is using simple cloud technology to change the process for gathering industry feedback for community colleges in his area.
Like the almond and pistachio trees in California’s Central Region, careful crop tending and patience were the keys to success in building dual enrollment in ICT courses.
Dennis Mohle, ICT-DM Deputy Sector Navigator in the Central Region, said CyberPatriot was the catalyst that sparked the increase in enrollment.
“Three years ago, we had three CyberPatriot teams in the region, today we have more than 50,” Mohle said. “The high school students in CyberPatriot are natural ICT dual enrollment candidates. If you have enthusiastic coaches (high school teachers) and supportive community college administrators, then you have the proper climate for technical articulation programs such as dual enrollment.”
As a new school year begins, more than 60 students are taking part in the Business Information Worker certificate program thanks to planning and partnerships over the past year.
The ICT-Digital Media Sector partnered with the California Hispanic Chambers of Commerce (CHCC) to recruit students for the new BIW cohort programs at Cuesta College, Golden West College, Irvine Valley College, and West Hills College Lemoore. Students will complete courses in computer skills, business communication, and other skills that are essential for entry-level office employment.
The cohort approach allows students to receive support from each other as they move through the courses. Participating colleges worked with their local Hispanic Chambers to recruit underserved minorities and adults who need to obtain foundational business technology skills needed to re-enter the workforce.
A new partnership between Google and the ICT-Digital Media sector is bringing the G-Suite to community colleges across California this fall. The suite, which includes Gmail, Google Docs, Sheets, and Forms, is on the rise as an alternative to Microsoft Office in businesses and other organizations.
Rather than merely showing students how to use these applications, Google’s Applied Digital Skills Curriculum will give students the opportunity to apply them to real-world projects like budgeting and searching for a job.
The curriculum will be implemented by 40 instructors at 28 colleges in a pilot program, which is the result of a collaboration between Google Project Manager Shahla Naimi and ICT-DM Sector Navigator Steve Wright.
Over the past four years, California Career Pathways (CCP) grants allowed for stronger pathway articulation with high schools, leading to greater community college enrollment. Grants were intended to help high school students make seamless transitions to community colleges and prepare them for high-skill, high-wage jobs in emerging and growing industry sectors in the local or regional economy.
Among the most successful was LA-HITECH, a $15 million program administered over multiple community colleges, namely LA Valley College, LA Pierce College, LA Mission College, LA City College, Pasadena City College, LA Southwest College, West LA College, Santa Monica College and their partner high schools.
As anyone who has worked in IT knows, certifications are key to a successful career. The earlier someone can obtain them, the better equipped they’ll be to meet the demands of the IT and cybersecurity workforce.
However, certifications are expensive and the process to earn them is complicated for students and instructors.
A new train the trainer program has already given more than 300 instructors the tool they need to bring CompTIA IT Fundamentals certification into their classrooms. In addition, a voucher program is providing an opportunity for 1,000 students to take those certification exams for free.
Wendy Porter is new to the world of higher education but brings decades of experience in business and technology to her role as ICT-DM Deputy Sector Navigator in the North/Far North Region.
Porter is the Managing Director of the startup incubator Chicostart and facilitator of growTECH, a technology industry partnerships in Northern California. Chicostart has launched 14 startups over the past four years and created more than 100 jobs in the process.
Porter graduated from CSU Chico and began her IT career at Hewlett-Packard, where she created processes to manage the software development lifecycle, built a web development business, and implemented change management. She transitioned into the entrepreneurial space after moving back to Chico to raise a family.