Thomas A. Edison Career and Technical Education High School (www.taehs.org) is a secondary school located in Jamaica, New York. The school's 2,250 students take required courses during their freshman year, then choose a Career and Technical Education (CTE) track to pursue in grades 10 to 12.
Edison has offered industry-recognized certification to enhance their CTE programs for several years. In particular, the three-year Networking IT sequence starts with the Certiport Internet and Core Computing Certification (IC3) for 10th graders; in 11th and 12th grade students take the Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician (CCENT) and Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) exams.
Moses A. Ojeda, Edison Assistant Principal of Career & Technical Education, says there was a gap in the curriculum when students tried to jump from IC3, a basic digital literacy certification, to the Cisco certifications. Students needed more networking fundamentals to succeed in 11th and 12th grade, so Ojeda was looking for a curriculum or certification that would be a fit for more than 100 students enrolling in the Networking IT sequence every year.
In addition to wanting to help students progress in the program, Ojeda saw a gap in their overall education as the networking industry evolved. “The networking industry is no longer just about maintaining a network environment or programming routers and switches. I have always tried to give students the most current skill sets needed to enter the workforce so that they will have an advantage when seeking a career. Networking now encompasses servers, storage, and cloud computing, and we need to prepare our students for these up and coming IT fields that need technicians.”
While attending the ACTE conference, Ojeda heard about the HP Accredited Technical Associate and Edison was invited by Certiport, the exam provider, to enter the pilot program. Edison was already set up as a Certiport Testing Center due to other certification offerings, so the program was up and running quickly.
Certiport provided Edison instructors with access to the entire HP ATA curriculum, practice tests, and certification exams.
“I could see that the HP ATA would address these new networking areas the industry will need from new hires, so I launched the certification and never looked back,” says Ojeda.
Edison instructors enthusiastically facilitated the new curriculum, and have used the lesson plans and presentations the HP ATA program offers.
Ojeda determined the HP ATA exam would fill the gaps he was seeing in the Networking IT sequence.
“CTE schools face a challenge in preparing students for higher education and the workforce in the rapidly changing field of technology,” says Ojeda. “Instructors rely on curriculums that are updated in a timely manner and easy to adopt or transition - Certiport and the HP ATA address these important concerns.”After a successful pilot program,Edison decided to adopt the full version of the program and purchased a full site license.A full slate of HP ATA classes began this fall at Edison as part of the Networking IT sequence.