DSUSD Student Ready Network Systems

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Students who complete the Network Systems Pathway at IHS are about to be prepared for tech jobs, one of the country’s most in-demand jobs.

The Desert Sands Unified School District CTE (Vocational and Technical Education) programs introduce students to careers in the rapidly growing computer industry. Both Indio and La Quinta High Schools have programs that prepare students for careers in tech by teaching them the science and business of this growing industry. Students learn basic computer skills such as coding, cybersecurity, technology development, computer basics, and more.

This article concludes the series on CTE programs at Desert Sands Unified School District. The new Palm Desert High School Aztec Academy of Arts is not included in the series, as featured in this post in May 2021. For more information on this program, contact [email protected] . Questions regarding any of the programs mentioned in this summer series should be directed to each of the secondary schools or to [email protected] Remember, we continue to seek support and help from the community. Internships, job shadowing, field trips, participation in our support teams and committees – all help strengthen the programs.

IHS Network Systems

By Mark Brenner, teacher

Welcome to an introduction to the Network Systems Pathway at Indio High School. This path prepares students for the vast possibilities of technological careers.

Students can become network administrators and design and implement their own networks. There has been a surge in cybersecurity jobs to protect against external network hackers. We teach students how to code if they want to pursue a career as a front-end, back-end, or full stack programmer.

Tech jobs are one of the most in-demand jobs in the country. There are over 500,000 open IT jobs just waiting to be filled, but the point is, there are more openings than qualified applicants. Students who complete the Network Systems Pathway at IHS are about to be prepared for these positions.

The great thing about the Network Systems Pathway is that it is a double registration. This means that students earn college credits and high school credits at the same time. This is a three year course and upon completion they will earn 16 college credits which equates to one semester in college.

Here are some examples of how we learn in our classes. We use a simulation program to learn how to install computer hardware, such as a video card to improve graphics on a PC system. We create 3D models to gain experience in material design and print them on our 3D printers. We also learn to code with Python.

In the first year you will take a one year course, the second year students take two courses, one for each semester. In the last year there are two more courses, one for each semester as well. All classes include high school honor credits.

Students have the opportunity to take four industry-recognized certifications. Normally, these certifications cost $ 300 or more per test. Thanks to the program, they are offered free of charge. Certifications validate acquired technological skills and are required by most employers.

Our students were very successful at the end of the course. Many have secured tech jobs on their college campuses. Two of the biggest highlights include a student who interned at Google for three summers while attending UCR and a young man who recently graduated from UC Davis and currently works at Intel.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at [email protected]

LQHS Technology – Path to the Future

By Kevin Bibo, Director of College and Career Preparation at DSUSD, with assistance from Frank Ceja, teacher

The Academy of Information Technology (ITA) at La Quinta High School has one clear goal: to be the best CTE program in the Coachella Valley. Today more than ever, there is a need for highly skilled technical labor. The ITA at La Quinta High School prepares students to enter the industry with certifications in various disciplines.

DSUSD Student Ready Network Systems

La Quinta High School students working in their classroom in May 2021.

Parents and students can expect a rigorous and fun learning environment, exploration of technology careers, inclusion of current technology news and developments, and industry accepted technology certifications. In addition, students participate in tech organizations and clubs, travel the field to various tech-focused destinations, participate in workplace learning opportunities with local employers, take courses offered by College of the Desert and become members of an elite tech program in Coachella Valley.

Instructor Frank Ceja, or “Mr. C,” as the students call him. He is a native of the Coachella Valley and has ties to education, business, and a university degree in telecommunications management. He brings over 20 years of industry experience as a Network Manager, Network Administrator, IT Manager and CTO. Coming from industry, Mr. C is able to provide a unique and relevant perspective to educate this academy on computer literacy, information and communications, essentials of networks and cybersecurity.

Mr Ceja said: “My purpose has been revealed: I have to share my love and appreciation for technology, technology education and real world experiences with my students. Technology changes daily and my job is to prepare them for jobs that haven’t been created yet.

Graduate Matthew Callahan explained, “The ITA program has given me the opportunity to hone my technological skills and develop the confidence to consider pursuing a career in information technology. I would strongly promote the program to anyone with even a slight passion for technology as it is becoming an increasingly important part of our daily life. “

Graduate Jonathan Gomez said: “The IT Academy in La Quinta led by Mr. Ceja offers students interested in technology the opportunity to learn and test the basics of computing, networks and systems. For someone who has been interested in technology all their life, this academy was perfect for me. I have met other people with the same passion and have created many memories with them through the course. I have also had the opportunity to prepare for certifications that will help me land future jobs in the industry. You learn about the IT industry for free and have the opportunity to earn college credit. This is perfect if you are considering a career in tech.

Industry partner Richard G. D’Souza, Information Security Officer for the Riverside County Office of Education, said, “Frank Ceja has a group of interested and motivated students who can strive to fill the gap in information technology / information technology jobs. security arenas. The curious mind and attention to detail that these students will bring to the job market are a plus.

Jeanne Thorton, Industry Partner, Education Account Manager, State / Local Government for Tanium, explained, “The industry has a great need for IT professionals. Last year there were over 60,000 job openings in California alone. Frank’s Academy of Information Technology plays a vital role in engaging students early on, encouraging their interest in computing, and helping them grow in their endeavors after high school. In my interaction with Frank’s class, the students were very engaged, asking thoughtful questions, and listening to the information shared.

For more information on the La Quinta High School Computer Science and Technical Education Career Program, please contact Ashley Schantz, Ed.D. at 760-772-4150 or [email protected]

Image sources

  • Network systems: DSUSD
  • The Network Systems Classroom: DSUSD


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