29 Jun 2018

High School Students Gain IT Skills and Certifications through NuPaths

May 31st 2018 – Students, parents and invited guests gathered at Harrisburg University of Science & Technology to recognize the achievements of the students who participated in a pilot program with NuPaths.    NuPaths, co-founded by Harrisburg University, is focused on preparing students to perform specific entry-level roles in Information Technology (IT) for well paying and in-demand jobs within 6 months.  The pilot focused on developing skills to become a Technical Support Specialist.

Reps from Appalachia Tech speak at the student recognition event

Brian Stone (left) and Mike Romano (right) from Appalachia Tech talk about the need for skilled IT professionals during the NuPaths student recognition event on May 31.

Technical support specialists are in high-demand and are at the forefront of computer and technology operations.  They troubleshoot software, fix operating system issues, rebuild computers, and perform general maintenance on computer devices.  Technical support specialists work in corporate offices, or as independent consultants and business owners, or in big electronics stores (think Best Buy’s Geek Squad).

The 3-month pilot included 9 high school students from 6 area high schools.  Students from Big Spring HS, Boiling Springs HS, Cumberland Valley HS, Harrisburg HS and Mechanicsburg HS were nominated by their school districts to participate in the pilot program.  Funding for the pilot program was supported by Capital Blue Cross, Geneia and Harrisburg University.

The students completed 4 courses and took 5 IT certification exams in an accelerated and compressed format in the pilot.  The students took courses in Foundations in Information Technology, The Fundamentals of Communication Software, The Fundamentals of Productivity Software, and Technical Support for the Modern Enterprise.  They sat for industry-recognized IT certification exams from CompTIA (IT Fundamentals, and A+) and Microsoft.  The Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) exams included in the pilot focused on Word, Outlook and Excel.

Students in the NuPaths pilot work with online resources

9 high school students from 6 area high school participated in the NuPaths pilot.

Overall, the students earned 20 IT certifications and 73 college credits.  There were 5 students who received a certificate of completion for the Technical Support Specialist program by passing all four courses and receiving at least 50% of the associated industry certifications.

Levi Potteiger, a NuPaths student from Boiling Springs HS, feels “NuPaths has helped me qualify, through knowledge and certifications, for the IT positions I’d like to pursue.”

“I learned that IT Tech Support isn’t just about troubleshooting technology.  It also includes the need for people skills,” says Matthew Montgomery, a Junior at Cumberland Valley HS.  Matt also feels, “My technology knowledge is more defined and I’m more confident about how to solve technology problems.”

Drew Mancuso, a NuPaths student from Big Spring HS, says “The certifications are going to help me stand out among other [candidates].”

In addition to the employers who attended the student recognition event on May 31st to talk with the students, there were technical support positions and internships opportunities presented to the students throughout the NuPaths pilot program.  And, the students also have the opportunity to pursue an IT apprenticeship through a recent partnership between NuPaths and TranZed.

Educational partnerships with River Rock Academy and a high school consortium led by Cumberland Valley High School will allow high school students to participate in a NuPaths program as part of the school day starting in the fall 2018.

For more information contact NuPaths at info@nupaths.org or 717-901-5100 Ext. 1682.

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