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Information Support Systems & Networking

The Information Support Services and Networking program is a Chapter 74 competency based program designed to provide students with entry-level skills in personal computer maintenance and repair, data communications and networking. The curriculum is aligned with the Massachusetts Department of Education Vocational Technical Education Frameworks – Information Technology Services Cluster- Information Support Services and Networking. Students are taught the basic skills needed to install, troubleshoot, and repair computer system hardware and operating systems as it prepares students for the Comp-TIA A+ technician certification.
The technical support section will develop awareness of work opportunities for technically prepared individuals and help each student focus on directions for further training and meaningful work in the field. Included in the program are some fabrication skills along with electro-mechanical troubleshooting and repair. Students will have practical knowledge of analog and digital electronics, as well as competencies with tools and test equipment.
The Cisco Networking Academy component provides students with a solid background in the field of data communications, which includes network design, routing and switching, and network maintenance and operation. Topics include the OSI model, internetworking devices, IP addressing, LAN media and topologies, structured cabling, PC hardware and software, patch cables, installation of structured cabling, cable management techniques, and the use of test equipment. In addition, students develop the critical skills needed to succeed in a changing economy: math, science, problem solving, reading, and writing. Additionally, instruction and training are provided in the proper care, maintenance, and use of networking software, tools and equipment, as well as all local, state, and federal safety, building, and environmental codes and regulations.
The Cisco Networking curriculum delivers Web-based content, online assessment, student performance tracking, hands-on labs, instructor training, and support. The program’s curriculum gives students in-demand Internet technology skills for designing, building, and maintaining networks. Combining instructor-led, online education with hands-on laboratory exercises, the curriculum enables students to apply what they learn in class while working on actual networks. The Cisco Networking Academy Curriculum™ prepares students for industry standard, as well as vendor neutral certification exams.
Assignments and projects will require students to draw upon and develop their academic skills (language arts, science, and mathematics.) The curriculum emphasizes hands-on work, both individually and as a member of a team. Theory and practice are combined in order to prepare individuals to be valued assets in the technically- oriented workplace.

Course Objectives:
Using industry standards students will learn the following competencies:
♦ Integrate academics through project based learning
♦ Create a portfolio
♦ Recognize career pathway opportunities
♦ Interact safely in a shop environment
♦ Incorporate the use of industry standard technology and software
♦ Read, understand, and communicate in the language of the field
♦ Research and organize information
♦ Develop a professional appearance, exemplary work ethic and superior communication skills
♦ Demonstrate customer relationship skills
♦ Determine customers’ needs and process technical work orders
♦ Use technology to seek diagnostic techniques and repair procedures, parts information and labor rates

Program benefits:
Employers expect new computer professionals to be familiar with various computer software, hardware, and networking standards. Computer professionals must continually keep up to date with the development of new software and introduction of new hardware, usually through self-paced study guides or professional training programs. Students completing the Information Support Services and Networking program become adept with the following industry standards though the program’s CISCO and Comp TIA academy affiliations as well as the Microsoft Dream Spark software program (formerly Microsoft Academic Alliance). Students will be exposed to various Linux operating systems, utilizing their server applications and recovery utilities.
Students have the opportunity to earn certificates in the following areas:
♦ CISCO IT Essentials PC Technician Certificate
♦ OSHA 10 hour training card
♦ 101 Comp TIA A+ Certification
♦ 201 CCNA CISCO Introduction to Networks Certificate
♦ 202 CCNA CISCO Routing and Switching Certificate

Looking toward the future:
The Information Support Services and Networking program has an articulation agreement with Holyoke Community College and Springfield Technical Community College.

Through the articulation agreement with Holyoke Community College students have the opportunity to earn college credit in the Computer Information Systems program if they meet the criteria as outlined in the agreement. The student must complete the program with a grade of B or higher and/or attain certain certifications such as the Comp TIA A+. Computer Concepts w/Applications (CSI111) – 4 credits, or in Computer Concepts (CSI- 101) – 3 credits.

Through the articulation agreement with Springfield Technical Community College, students have the opportunity to earn 3 credits in each of the following in the computer Information Technology program: CIT-225 A+, CIT-120 Window 1, and CIT-160 Networks 1, CIT-161 Networks 3. In the Computer Systems Engineering program 3 credits CSE-110/ into to Computer Systems. In addition, in the Cisco Networking program 4 credits each in CSO-105 Cisco Intro to Networks and CSO-155 Cisco Routing & Switching.

<<< Student Files >>>



Mike Zaikowski
Exploratory & 1st year


Greg Anderson
2nd & 3rd year
  • ISSN-1 Fall 2015

    With 10th grade exploratory commencing, ISSN-1 now has 14 first year Full-time 10th grade students within the program. They are beginning their venture towards Cisco IT Essentials and CompTIA A+ certification via the curriculum and hands on labs within the program. Previously the program was limited to 12 students due to workstation availability.

    The afternoon 10th grade students were able to help a recent widow the ability to access and recover her husband’s computer files (Family pictures) by resetting his password to allow her access to his account and files.
    The first year 11th grade students just finished upgrading the ISSN-1 room from 10/100 Ethernet to 1000 (1 Gigabit) Ethernet connectivity within the classroom. This upgrade now enables the ISSN-1 students to perform Virtualization Operating Systems installations over the network from the file server to their virtual machine without using DVD or CD media. Thus saving costs in the long run. This upgrade also enables faster installation processes of applications stored on the server.
    The ISSN program now has the capabilities and tools to copy old home made VHS tapes to MPEG videos that maybe also copied to DVD. This enables people to save their old home movies and archive them. Also along with archiving VHS tapes, ISSN-1 also now has the capability to convert old vinyl albums, records, and 45’s to MP3 files for archival purposes as well. This includes 78’s, 33’s, and 45’s.
  • CTEC NEWS – September and October 2015 Information Support Services and Networking:

    CTEC NEWS – September and October 2015 Information Support Services and Networking:

    • The new students have begun working on the first of many CISCO certifications (CISCO IT Essentials) they hope to achieve.
  • Successful STEM Summer Program
    This is an email I received from Felicia.  She is the Director or the STEM Starter Academy for Springfield Technical Community College.  We had a number of our students attend from our ISSN/Cisco class this past summer!  I look forward to our 2016 class attending next summer.

    Good day, Greg

    It was great to meet you during our poster session for our second STEM Starter Academy summer bridge program at Springfield Technical Community College.
    Thank you for recommending Timothy Bednarzyk, Dalton Drummond, Jesse Giroux-Buchanan, and Drew Hardy. They are such a talented group of students.  They impressed us a great deal while participating in our summer bridge.
    I do hope that you inform students of STEM Starter Academy who you think might be interested in participating in the program for summer 2016.  Applications for the upcoming summer bridge program at STCC will be available for distribution later in the year.  If possible, I would also like to visit your school later in the academic year to meet with any interested students.
    Thank you.
    Felicia D. Griffin-Fennell, Ph.D.
    Director, STEM Starter Academy
    Springfield Technical Community College
  • Two Students Begin Their COOP Internships


    Cameron Schmidt and Jared Mabel, both from Southwick have already begun internships as IT techs for their high school. More to come about this exciting development.

  • Jacob Galarza volunteering at Agawam Public Library.

    Jacob Galarza will be participating as a  technical aid in a volunteer opportunity Tuesday September 15 at Agawam Public Library.  More on this when he returns.