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Cisco computer academy gets students ready for job market

PROCTORVILLE — It’s an opportunity to become a part of the high-tech computer field while keeping up with job and family.

That’s the purpose of the Cisco Academy that will start offering classes at Ohio University Southern-Proctorville Center this fall.

Cisco is a California-based technology company that started out making routers to connect the Internet. From that they added voice-over IP telephone service and teleconferencing.

“They have all these products and all this technology and needed to have a way for others to learn how to support and configure all that technology and equipment,” said Scott Nicholas, program director of the computer science technology section at OUS.

That is how the Cisco Academy began and this fall the Proctorville Center will be the only site in the Ohio University system for the four-quarter program that can end with participants earning their CCNA or Cisco Certified Network Associate.

“If you are interested in telephony, you can work for a company that does telephone work,” Nicholas said. “You can set up networks or connect up remote networks.”

Nicholas comes to the Proctorville Center after a 10-year stint teaching the Cisco classes at the then Marshall University Community and Technical College.

“A lot of employers in our area are looking for people with those skills,” he said. “I am very familiar with the market.”

There will be one class each quarter from fall through summer sessions that meets twice a week for two hours each session in the evenings.

“They meet twice a week at the Proctorville Center on Tuesday and Thursday evenings,” he said. “We want people who have jobs to be able to attend those classes. They will be using state of the art, brand-new equipment.”

Currently the academy estimates that around 1 million students worldwide have gone through the program.

After students have taken all four classes they may take the certification exam that will give them the CCNA classification.

Students can enroll now for the fall class, which starts Sept. 7. If they have been out of the school for a year or more, the ACT is not required.

If students want to take the entire program, they must provide a high school transcript.

Students can come into the office to register Monday and Wednesday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Tuesday and Thursday from 8 a .m. to 8 p.m.; and Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Tuition is $134 per credit hour and this is four-credit hour class.

“We are pleased that Scott has decided to offer the program at Proctorville Center,” Stephanie Burcham, director of the Proctorville Center, said. “Based on the interest we have we believe this is a good location to meet the needs of people of Lawrence County, but also the surrounding areas of Huntington and Gallia County. So many people are looking for ways to transition into a new career. This provides another opportunity for an individual looking for a quicker transition into the workplace.”