Academic journal article T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education)

Community College Consortium Provides Students with IT Skills for the Workplace

Academic journal article T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education)

Community College Consortium Provides Students with IT Skills for the Workplace

Article excerpt

In times of a lagging economy, securing jobs and retaining workers is of utmost importance to a state's economic well-being. For this reason, nearly 30 California community colleges have collaborated to help better prepare students for the workplace by teaching them technology skills that add value to their career paths.

Launched in January, the Bay Area Information Technology Consortium (BayITC) is on its way to achieving its goal of raising 10,000 students, half of whom come from low-income neighborhoods, to an industry-defined IT skill level by 2005.

Led by Cabrillo College, Bay ITC and its leaders hope that the effect of the program is far-reaching. "When we can make a difference for one college, one company, one community agency, it has a ripple effect for the future of all students in our system;' says Corey Q. Kidwell, executive director of Bay ITC and a dean at Cabrillo College.

At the heart of the goal to prepare students for technological competency in the workplace lies the International Computer Driving License (ICDL), which is the world's most recognized computer skills credential. ICDL certification (see sidebar below) is used in more than 130 countries and provides evidence of mastery of skills such as file management, word processing and information technology in general. …

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