Grade 12 students who complete advanced computer networkingcourses could earn a credit towards a Nova Scotia CommunityCollege (NSCC) Information Technology (IT) diploma, as they earna high school credit. The IT training is the result of an agreement signed today,Oct.20, between NSCC and the Department of Education, to givestudents career options in technology. The agreement means thatstudents in the Applied Network Technology programs will be ableto earn Cisco Systems Network certification at highercertification levels in a shorter time frame. “By studying advanced IT skills while in high school, studentsare getting a very good introduction to computer networking, anda path they may wish to choose as a career,” said Jamie Muir,Minister of Education, who met with students and NSCC presidentRay Ivany today. The Applied Network Technology 11 and 12 courses teach studentsabout networking communication including servers, routers andswitches. Students learn about the hardware operations of thesevarious devices and how they communicate via wires, fibre-opticand wireless media. Students also learn about software andcomputer applications, including the parts of a computer, theproduction and testing of cables, the analysis of e-mail networkpackets and the operations of a router. Auburn Drive High School was the first school to offer the pilotprogram in 2000. Five schools across the province now offer thecourse to high school students. The networking courses were developed by the Halifax RegionalSchool Board with the help of Auburn Drive High teacher, EdButler. They were approved by the Department of Education as alocally developed course. The Department of Education and NSCCcollaborated to train more teachers to deliver the courses. Twenty-two teachers are now qualified to teach the programsacross the province. “In addition to providing a college credit learning experience tohigh school students, every teacher who delivers this coursecompleted a 10-day professional development program, sponsored byNSCC and Department of Education,” said Ann Jones, NSCC directorof CollegePrep, and team leader for the agreement. “Students andteachers have benefited from this partnership.” Cisco Systems Network Academy was developed by Cisco to teachstudents how to design, build and maintain computer networks. High school courses based on Cisco Systems Network AcademySemester 1 and Semester 2 are offered as high school creditcourses in most other Canadian provinces.