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.
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
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.
Exploratory & 1st year
2nd & 3rd year
- Jacob Galarza gets an internship
Jacob Galarza is a junior in our Cisco program that dreams of being among the first to colonize Mars. But, on a more down to earth note, he has just landed an internship in his chosen field of computer networking. Jacob has successfully completed his first A Plus test and is now just one test away from full A Plus certification. He is a good student that wanted to get an early taste of the working world. Jacob asked to be a candidate for internship and I’m excited he was chosen for this honor. His internship is done after school hours, so he has plenty of time to hit the books and finish his computer and networking certifications. Well done Jacob.
- Drew Hardy Hired
Drew Hardy, a senior who will be graduating this May, has been hired by a local technical support firm in Agawam. Drew is currently training with them to do on-site technical support calls for their customer base. This is an after school position that will grow into a full time job after he graduates. Congratulations Drew.
- ISSN/Cisco – Our Latest COOP Student
Timothy Bednarzyk is one of our advanced senior students who has landed his first paying tech job. He is working for an industrial instruments company writing the programs needed for testing. He has his A Plus certification and will shortly be completing his Cisco Exploration ONE (Cisco Certified Network Associate) CCNA Certification. He has had a long time interest in programming and robotics and it looks like that has paid off well for him. We wish him all the best with the start of his new career.
- Landon Cannizzaro takes the Gold at the March District Skills USA
Landon Cannizzaro is a Senior who will be graduating this May. This was his first Skills USA competition entry and he walked away with the gold medal. We are very proud of him and see a great future for him in the world of computer networking.
- Massachusetts Tech Jobs
The job report for network technicians in Massachusetts is very in encouraging!
You can download or view the whole report by clicking on this link: