The Newton College and Career Academy was created to enhance academic achievement and provide today’s student with the knowledge and the skills needed to succeed throughout their post-secondary education and into the workforce. Infinity Network Solutions played a vital role in the build-out of the NCCA, helping create a solid IT foundation in which instruction and research are conducted.
21st Century Workplace Skills
Information Technology and computers are part of the 21st century student’s lifestyle and continue to play an increasingly important role in the day-to-day lives of virtually everyone throughout Middle Georgia and the world at large.
Today’s 21st century students are glowing examples of how important technology is and how connected we are. Smartphones, tablets and other computing devices are part of the life of a student today compared to how students learned ten years ago.
“Today’s students are not the same as when I went to school” says Gary Shattuck, PhD (Director of Technology and Media Services) of Newton County Schools”. “Students are accustomed to technology in their daily lives and we need the curriculum and instruction in our schools to reflect this.”
The Newton College and Career Academy is a pathway school in the Newton County School System designed to connect directly with the career interests and goals of students. NCCA helps students prepare for careers and college like many traditional schools; however, the difference is found when exploring the curriculum offered. Combining special classes not found in traditional schools with standardized Georgia requirements provides students with the tools they need to be successful after completion of high school.
It is this balance of skills today’s student needs to excel in their post-secondary education or as the launch into their new careers that makes NCCA unique amongst Georgia schools. Technology continues to be woven into the lifestyle of students and the younger generation. NCCA, along with Infinity Network Solutions recognizes the importance of technology in everyone’s daily life.
Opening Opportunities In The Local Market
This focus on special preparation of students also aids in developing new business opportunities throughout the region. Working together with the Newton County Chamber of Commerce, the community and business leaders alike, NCCA has become a vital recruiting ground for many corporations looking for the best available talent. Programs at NCCA focus on areas that have high skills, high wage and high demand occupations.
“Students require special skills. Technology is vital to the development of students.” says Infinity Network Solutions’ EVP of Sales and Marketing, Brian Betzel. “Infinity Network Solutions supports business throughout the region, and when users understand the basics of how technology works and how to best use the solutions they have invested in, it increases efficiencies and productivity for all businesses.”
Future employers have confidence in the graduates from NCCA. They have the required skills to immediately enter the workforce and add benefits to their employers and the community at large.
How Infinity Helps
Technology plays a vital role in the educational life of a student at NCCA. Across the entire curriculum, 70% of the pathways require technology. This is where Infinity Network Solutions has stepped up to support NCCA’s need for the best available technology systems.
One unique challenge presented was the need to equip students with access to school resources while keeping the administrative network secure. Students have full access to guest wireless accounts that meet the protective measures of the Child Information Protection Act (CIPA). Congress enacted CIPA in 2000 to address concerns about children’s access to obscene or harmful content over the Internet.
NCCA implemented a “Bring Your Own Technology” program where students are encouraged to bring their own mobile devices – tablets, laptops and other wireless devices to school. Deploying Aerohive high-speed wireless networking with Hive Manager Control provides the protection required by CIPA and the stability the school requires. This solution enabled the expansion of wireless technologies NCCA was looking for while providing a network that can be managed easily and supported through joint efforts with Infinity Network Solutions.
“We wanted a solution that was ‘less wire and more wireless’ because we know this is the future,” explained Shattuck.
In addition to wireless technologies, Cisco Systems played a vital role throughout the core network infrastructure as well as academically. Cisco’s Network Academy provides academic resources and educational materials, including many of the top Cisco products. This allows students in the NCCA technology programs hands on experience on many of the top IT solutions used in corporate America and the small business community.
Cisco’s technology is highly visible throughout NCCA. From edge/client connections all the way to the core of the site’s network, Cisco technologies are ever-present. In addition to Cisco switching solutions, NCCA uses Cisco’s Advanced Unified Communications platform- providing system-wide communication and messaging. The Cisco UC solution unifies all voice, video, data, and mobile applications for interactive collaboration across all faculty members and staff.
Infinity Network Solutions is honored to play a part of developing 21st century educational opportunities for students at the Newton College and Career Academy, and we look forward to seeing these students continue onward into successful career paths upon graduation from the Newton County School System.