Category Archives: Information Technology

CLRI Celebrates Fall Graduates at Networking Event

The Fall Career and Leadership Readiness Institute (CLRI) concluded on November 17 at the Woodbridge Campus (at the site of the future NOVA Data Center Training Facility). NOVA IET students put their newly enhanced career skills in action to make industry connections at a final networking session, the culminating event for students before they receive their certificates of completion. This was particularly notable this semester as it was the first in-person CLRI at NOVA since it was established in 2020.

Through an extracurricular 5-week course, CLRI students were trained how to interview, create a resume that stands out, manage interpersonal skills in a diverse workplace, and more. Students were also treated to two tours of an IET partner, STACK Infrastructure Data Center.

The final networking event kicked-off with remarks from VP of IET and College Computing Dr. Chad Knights before students and IET professionals gathered for a round table discussion and Q & A on relevant experiences and pressing needs in the tech workforce. After the discussion, Executive Director of the NOVA Foundation Kelly Persons addressed graduates and presented them with completion certificates and a leather CLRI portfolio. Graduates also receive a digital CLRI badge that they can add to their LinkedIn profiles.

Following the certificate presentation, CLRI students put their skills to the test during a catered meal where there were opportunities to network with the industry partners from the roundtable discussions. One of the major draws of CLRI and especially the final networking event is that graduates obtain immediate internship opportunities and receive priority consideration for our paid summer internships. 2-3 students from the fall CLRI cohort have been offered winter-break internships at Digital Realty and 3 CLRI students have already been extended an offer of employment from various industry partners.


Feedback from CLRI graduates included the following:

“CLRI helped me to get professional skills, to meet people, to make connections, to build my network. I really learned how to rebrand my resumé to attract hiring managers.” – Kanyin, NOVA IT Major

“I want to get better, I want to be better, I want to do better, and I want an opportunity to come my way. This gave me the opportunity. It was a lot of fun and definitely built my confidence” – Elizabeth, NOVA IT Major

“The nicest thing about CLRI is that you get to know a lot of people who are like-minded, and industry professionals who give you really good advice. It’s definitely worth joining.” – Hamid, IST Major

“I would 100% recommend CLRI. The networking aspect was what I got the most from. Tom (Tom Gerencer, CLRI’s Technical Resume Instructor), who I was able to contact via LinkedIn, turned my resume from OK to fantastic.” Tim, ET Major

“Once [NOVA students] come into the program, they will feel how impactful CLRI is on their career journey.” – Tahiba, IT Major


For the Fall 2022 cohort, 34 NOVA students are scheduled to complete CLRI (make-up sessions are due Dec 15) and 52 students attended at least one workshop. Overall, since it’s implementation, CLRI has surpassed 100 completers.

Special recognition goes to M. Andy Chaves, NOVA SySTEMic CTE Coordinator, and Sedrick Settle, IET Career Advisor for their exemplary work in running CLRI with excellence and enthusiasm from beginning to end this semester.

You can reach M. Andy at machaves@nvcc.edu and Sedrick at ssettle@nvcc.edu


Industry Partners who attended the CLRI Networking Event:

Keron Taylor, Data Center Operations Manager, Google
Troy Hill, Director of Data Center Operations, Iron Mountain Data Centers
Jay Mitchell, Operations Manager, Iron Mountain Data Centers
Scott LaCasse, Supervisor of Workstation Support, PWCS
Darlene Armenta, Director of Talent Acquisition, Red River
Koren Flint, Senior Director of Customer Experience, Red River
Christopher Lettiere, Director of Data Center Operations, Coresite
Rob Morgan, Director of Project Management, CompuDynamics
Sal Amado, Director of Learning & Development, Simple Technology Solutions


Spring CLRI Opportunities:

If you are a NOVA student and want to get ahead in your career, CLRI will continue in Spring 2023, with a kick-off event on Feb 16 and workshops beginning the following week on Feb 21. You can sign up for our Spring 2023 Interest Form at https://www.nvcc.edu/career-services/clri.html to be notified when applications are available. We will also keep you up to date through our monthly Newsletter, which you can sign up for at http://newsletter.novastem.us

Another good resource to keep up with IET and future CLRI sessions and feedback is the NOVA Engage App, which you can find on Apple and Google Play. Some CLRI students who received internships applied directly through the App.

NOVA IT Student Wins First in FOWA Upskilling

Willie Brown is a second-year student pursuing an A.S. in Information Technology, a C.S.C. for Network Engineering Specialist, and CompTIA Industry Certifications at NOVA Alexandria.

The Future of Work Academy (FOWA) is an organization that provides career prep in cybersecurity.

Willie won first place in the FOWA Innovation Incubator Challenge for his presentation addressing one of two incubator topics and then responding to questions from a panel of judges.

Willie was thrilled to place first and we caught up with him to discuss his experience:

You won first place at FOWA for Upskilling – congratulations! How did you react when you found out the news?
I was stunned! There was a moment where I could have screen-captured the college name and mine with the 1st Place label. I missed it!

Why is Upskilling is important in your field?
Upskilling, building upon what I already know, is essential in IT, especially network engineering. Specific knowledge “bits” carry from ethernet to routing protocols to automation—the primary IT knowledge and skills around grounding when learning new technologies.

How has NOVA helped you achieve your goals in Network Engineering and Information Technology?
Several studies indicate that being highly involved in college correlates with better academic performance and well-being. So, well, I am involved. I ensure I get the IET Newsletter and the weekly campus list of events and activities. I make time for essential things. So, NOVA is offering opportunities, and I am using those events and activities to broaden my experience in my Network Engineering and Information Technology classes.

You stated in your presentation that “you are never too old to start anything…” What is your experience learning new career skills later in life?
The makemebetter.net quote continued, “especially if it is going to change (improve) the rest of my life.” I will say that knowing “why” I am learning new career skills changes the game. Knowing my “why” is a pipeline to my “what.” Juggling work and school can be challenging. However, when I start to doubt, I replay Eminem’s – “Lose Yourself” –

“Look, if you had one shot or one opportunity
To seize everything you ever wanted in one moment
Would you capture it or just let it slip? Yo”.

My “why” is to have a secure future. Part of the “what” is to learn as much as possible – challenge myself to do the things that scare me.

What would you say to students who are considering IT as a career field but don’t have experience yet? How can they succeed?
Of course, they can succeed! However, the opportunities for them, the chances that could change the rest of their lives, maybe looking them directly in the face. My point is to be aware of opportunities so that they can take advantage of them because they may not come along again.

Who has been of particular help to you along your career pathway?
Two essential lessons: 1. Always ask for help, and 2. Never say no for another person. There is always someone willing to help if I would only ask. Next, it is critical to ask for what I want. If I want to stretch myself, it is my responsibility to seek it out and ask for and seek inclusion. I only sometimes get what I want. But I can tell you I am much further along than if I tried to do it alone.

What actions should our community be engaged in to take digital education of adults to the next level?
We always have to consider meeting people where they are. What skills and talents do they already possess, and how can we grow those assets. An essential “must do” is demystifying digital literacy in the modern world. Typing is a critical yet transferable skill that can empower further exploration and growth in information technology. Help those that want to make changes in their lives move forward. I suggest combining touch typing with Microsoft Office User Support certification training in my presentation.

What barriers in diversity, equity, and inclusion need to be addressed in your area of expertise?
One of the first barriers to DEI is the organizational recognition that there are barriers in IT, which must be addressed and overcome if organizations want to be sure they are getting the broadest, most capable talent onboard. For example, I have worked in organizations where no one looked like me. It was challenging when the social and relational barriers at work convinced another person who might look like me or be a woman not to speak up! As a result, good ideas may go unspoken, and profits go uncollected. But on the other hand, the IT team looks like Star Trek will win the race simply because of the openness, supportive environment, and willingness to take risks because they trust their team members.

What’s your work/life balance in this field? What do you enjoy in your spare time?
It is a balancing act, that is for sure! Working full-time and usually a full-time course load requires balancing. I eat right with room for my treat of potato chips, and I do my best to get a good night’s rest every night. Additionally, I started running a few years ago, I had never run in my life, and then I found UK’s NHS Couch to 5k. Within eight weeks, I was running a 5K in 40 minutes. I was like, “WOW, I have just run for 2.5 miles without stopping once and was not out of breath”. I was hooked! Next up, 10K and perhaps even a marathon.

NOVA Graduate Spotlight – Hispanic Heritage

Alec Vaca is a NOVA graduate who received an A.A.S. in Automotive from NOVA and later pursued a degree in HVAC before switching to an A.A.S. in Engineering Technology. He interned for Micron and worked there for 3 years. Afterward he interned for Digital Realty and is now employed full-time as an IT Manager. We caught up with him at the end of Hispanic Heritage month to ask about his experiences getting to where he is now and how NOVA helped him achieve his goals:

How did you first learn about NOVA?
I heard about NOVA during my Junior (11th) year in High School. Much of what I knew originally came from rumors of being a lesser-university experience for a much lower cost.

How were you first inspired in STEM?
My fascination with STEM originated also in my Junior year in High School when I took an automotive basics class and following my senior year in High School with a trade class for small engines. I thoroughly enjoyed understanding each component’s purpose in the overall picture of manipulating energy for a specific task.

Since joining NOVA, describe your experiences?
I have learned from industry experts who teach students, such as myself, with a passion to equip the future labor force. My experiences made in each lab have been stelar thanks to NOVA cultivating a healthy culture empowering my professors to teach to their best abilities.

How has NOVA equipped you in your career path?
NOVA has equipped me through many opportunities to advance my career, ranging from a plethora of degree-specific scholarships to unique Internship paths with global companies such as Micron Technology and Digital Realty.

How have you balanced work needs while pursuing your education?
Balancing a work life while pursuing an education is admittedly my greatest weakness. I have learned early on that it is possible but sacrifice to some “me” time is required. An effective balance usually means I cut down on recreation on my down time to finish deadlines from both work and school. I have been blessed to have considerate managers and professors, so that also is a huge weight off my shoulders!

What excites you about the technology industry?
The fact that we are in a unique time in the world where competition for the “latest & greatest” is at its peak.

You recently started a new job, Congratulations! Describe how you were able to secure the opportunity?
Thanks! I put into practice my persistence in finding opportunities that would benefit me and my goals. My first step was focusing more on my classes I was taking and to see what would suit my future aspirations in the workforce. Following this I took advantage of the Career Learning Readiness Institute (CLRI) training modules, offered by NOVA, for seeking employment and had the tremendous opportunity to tour STACK Infrastructure, which sealed the deal on which industry I would love to grow into. Finally, after discussing my aspirations to my professors, I was made aware of an opportunity to intern at a leading Data Center in Loudoun, which resulted in said company knowing who I was as an individual and vice versa.

What are your ultimate career goals?
I believe my ultimate career goal would be, as my father says, “Bloom where you’re planted”.

Are there any professors or mentors who you want to recognize along your journey?
My top three professors/mentors I have been fortunate to interact with would be Reginald Bennett for his passion to teach, Laura Garcia for her counseling and Amir Mehmood for his care for us the students.

What have you most enjoyed about your time at NOVA?
My best moments at NOVA have been struggling with other students to understand the material we must learn and the relationships that have sprouted from our conflicts. Nothing says comradery like a class of students working together to get to the next part of the lab!

How does your life in the professional world differ from life as a NOVA student? What are the expectations?
Learning a topic at NOVA, with physical labs included, is different from learning in the workforce. My classes give me a great foundational understanding of STEM concepts and the ability to test controlled sections of an area being explored. In the workplace, I can develop my skills I have learned, usually without control found in labs I have done at NOVA. As far as expectations go, at work I am expected to do my best and if I do not, then my team suffers the most. In my classes, I am expected to learn and if I fail to, then I alone suffer the most.

What would you say to current NOVA IET students who would like to follow your example? What should they do and what should they expect?
What worked for me was building relationships with my professors and classmates so I could learn more about who I was as a person and where I wanted to end up at. I would not be where I am today without pushing myself out of my comfort zone to look for opportunities, to which many professors are eager to help those seeking.

Is there anything else you want to share?
My parents often say a variation of “Cherish the good times and learn in the hard times”, which I find fitting.

 

Bridge Programs Prepare Students For College

We just completed our first series of Summer Bridge Programs in #InformationTechnology (IT), #EngineeringTechnology (ET), and #ComputerScience (CS)! These programs are intended to “bridge’ the gap between high school and college with a pathway that leads to further technology education and in-demand, well-paying technology careers.

The IT Bridge Program performed hands-on activities such as cisco packet tracer and networking, the Virginia Cyber League and cybersecurity, and web site development.

The CS Bridge Program engaged in hands on programming activities such as using recurrent neural networks to generate text based on an input model, building games in Unity, and using the Virginia Cyber League to do the “password ripper.

Students in the Engineering Tech Bridge program worked on engineering cable termination, used the Fab Lab smart factory and other mechatronics equipment, and also had the opportunity to tour Micron and STACK Infrastructure’s Data Center.

One Computer Science Bridge student concluded that the most effective experience in the program was “learning the difference between IT and Comp Sci [and] what it takes to work in the Comp Sci field.”

An IT Bridge student reflected “the greatest takeaway of the program was seeing how people like myself think and how others don’t see the world. The skills in IT will be of great benefit. The instructors were excellent and I loved how they were caring, honest and used real world knowledge…”

Another Bridge student said “the greatest learning for me was about how to be successful in college.”

Bridge Programs are made possible through and NSF DCO Tech Grant, which is geared toward expanding regional capacity for training in Engineering Technology and Data Center Operations

Learn more about these pathways at NOVA:

Information Technology: https://bit.ly/3yJhEjf

Engineering Technology: https://bit.ly/3ONHJmD

Computer Science: https://bit.ly/3ye03ym

Rising High School Juniors and Seniors can apply for next summer’s Bridge Program starting in Spring, 2023.

Sign up for our newsletter (The IET Interface) for developing info or follow us on Facebook and Twitter for updates.

#WeDoSTEM #InDemandTech #EveryProgramAchieves #EveryStudentSucceeds #CollegePrep #BoldlyNOVA

DCO Tech Grant

Bearded Black IT Engineer Standing and Posing with Crossed Arms in the Middle of a Working Data Center Server Room with Server Computers Working on a Rack.

DCO Tech: Expanding Regional Capacity for Training in Engineering Technology and Data Center Operations

Awarded in July 2021, the NSF Advanced Technological Education grant supports NOVA’s Engineering Tech Programs. DCO Tech is designed to increase regional capacity for training in Engineering Technology and Data Center Operations through expanded recruitment, employment training, and increased collaboration between industry, K-12 educators, and faculty.

NOVA’s Engineering Technology program offers 2-year Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) and 1-year Career Study Certificates (C.S.C.), as well as a Data Center Operations specialization.

Northern Virginia is the largest data center market in the United States and is forecast to continue growing. Additionally, Micron Technology has committed to a $3B expansion of its regional manufacturing capacity. DCO Tech is partnering with employers to meet the demand for engineering technicians.

What the NSF DCO Tech Grant Supports:

Bridge Programs for High School Juniors and Seniors

Through the DCO Tech Grant, NOVA IET offers FREE 2-week summer bridge programs to help juniors and seniors get ready for college. During these programs, students receive an introduction to one of three in-demand technology fields: Computer Science, Information Technology, or Engineering Technology, tour at regional employers, and meet NOVA faculty, students, and staff. Bridge students will gain critical skills and have the opportunity to receive college credit.

For more information about our Summer Bridge Programs go to: https://www.nvcc.edu/academics/divisions/it/programs.html


Externship For Secondary Educators

>> For secondary school CTE administrators, teachers, and/or counselors who are interested in guiding students into a successful tech career.

This externship equips educators to build awareness for Engineering Technology (ET) and Data Center Operations (DCO) careers in the region and the educational pathways NOVA provides to prepare students for these in-demand and high-wage careers. Educator Externship participants receive a stipend after completing the following activities:

  1. Attend an industry tour of Micron Technology, where attendees will see the daily operations and gain insight into career opportunities in Engineering Technology. 
  2. Attend an industry tour of a data center, which will provide first-hand visuals of a data center’s daily operations. There will also be a presentation on data center careers and opportunities. 
  3. Attend a tour/professional development day at the NOVA Manassas Fab Lab. The goal is to create clear pathways and provide materials to guide high school students into NOVA’s Engineering Technology and Data Center Operations programs. 

>> For more info contact Natasha Shuh-Nuhfer at nschuhnuhfer@nvcc.edu 


Externship For Industry Professionals

>> For engineering technology professionals and data center technicians to inspire the next generation of engineering technicians.

This externship engages professionals in the Engineering Technology industry to support high school students who are learning about technician careers, and equips professionals to teach NOVA’s engineering tech programs. Industry Externship participants receive a stipend after completing the following activities:

  1. An introduction to NOVA’s engineering technology programs and facilities.
  2. Learn credentials required to teach as an adjunct instructor at NOVA and explore the pathways to becoming a credentialed engineering technology or data center operations faculty member.
  3. Develop and deliver two lessons for the summer bridge program to inspire high school students to pursue careers in Engineering Technology.

Participants will attend an in-person professional development session at the NOVA Fab Lab (NOVA Manassas Trailside Building) where they will create their lesson presentation for NOVA’s Engineering Tech Summer Bridge Program.

>> For more info contact Natasha Shuh-Nuhfer at nschuhnuhfer@nvcc.edu 


Internships with the Career and Leadership Readiness Institute (CLRI)

>> More information about CLRI Internships supported by the DCO Tech Grant coming soon


Veterans

>> More information about DCO Tech Veteran Programs supported by the DCO Tech Grant coming soon


NOVA Academic Programs Supported by the DCO Tech Grant:

Click Here for more info about Engineering Technology at NOVA
Click Here for more info about Data Center Operations at NOVA

Supporting Technology Programs at NOVA

NOVA IET: NOVA’s Information and Engineering Technology Program. Learn more about Information Technology, Engineering Technology, Data Center Operations, Cybersecurity, Information Systems Technology, and Cloud Computing https://www.nvcc.edu/iet.

NOVA SySTEMic: NOVA’s STEM Program to equip students for in-demand technology careers and expand regional capacity for STEM talent. Learn more about STEM Careers, NOVA Fab Lab activities, Summer Bridge Programs (in Computer Science, Information Technology, and Engineering Technology), STEM Camps, Teacher Professional Development, STEM Competitions, Expos, and more: https://www.nvcc.edu/systemic

#WeDoSTEM #InDemandTech #HighTechHighWage

Staff Spotlight: Allison McElfresh is a 2022 NOVA Reward and Recognition Program Awardee

Congratulations to IET Advising’s Allison McElfresh for being a 2022 NOVA Reward and Recognition Program awardee!

The Reward and Recognition Program recognizes administrative and professional faculty, classified staff, teaching faculty, and adjunct faculty who have demonstrated outstanding contributions and exemplary performance.

Allison McElfresh is the strategic lead for advising for students in any of NOVA’s Seventeen Information and Engineering Technology associate degrees and career studies certificates. She brings 14 years of experience as an Advisor and Program Analyst at NOVA to her role.  According to Allison, “One of the greatest challenges of the advising position is finding a balance between responsive advising, where we provide support to students who contact us because they know they need help vs proactive advising, where we try to anticipate problems our IET students might encounter and then attempt to solve those problems before the student even becomes aware of them.”

Her vision is to use data more effectively when advising students and to create resources that help students more easily find the information they need regarding course selection and transfer planning.

So far, she has been able to combine Python programming and Excel to produce tracking sheets that show which students have completed which requirements for their degrees or certificates, so the IET Advisors could identify students who had completed a CSC without being aware of it, so they could be contacted to apply for graduation.  The sheets have also been useful in identifying students who had applied for graduation but forgotten to transfer classes in from another college, allowing those students to complete the transfer process in time.

Allison regularly takes IT classes at NOVA herself in order to acquire the skills to better solve advising problems.  She has been taking courses in Python Programming and Advanced Database Management, and will be working towards the new Data Analytics Specialist CSC which should be added to NOVA’s curriculum sometime in 2023.

“I can’t wait to see the ways in which Machine Learning and Data Analytics can help me find creative ways to advise my students better.”  If you have any advising questions for one of the IET degree or certificate programs, you can reach Allison McElfresh and the other members of the IET Advising team at iet@nvcc.edu.

NOVA IT Degree Programs Ranked Top 10 in the Country

NOVA IT Degree Programs Top 10 in the Country

According to Value Colleges.com, NOVA’s online information technology degree programs for 2022 are in the Top 10 for the country. The methodology for ranking the best online associate’s in information technology starts with the editors research of accredited, trustworthy colleges and universities known for return on investment. Then they ranked programs according to student reviews, graduate salary, and cost, according to current Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) and Niche data.

When you add that all up, they came up with the top 25 online information technology associate’s degree programs. NOVA, with its extensive online IT courses landed at number 10. The Information and Engineering Technologies Division offers nine of its thirteen IT programs (AAS and CSC) completely online. Students can complete everything from Cybersecurity to Information Systems Technology, or Application Programming to Network Administration. There are plenty of options for students seeking the flexibility of fully online programs.

“According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay for computer support specialists was $55,510 in 2020. This is representative of the average associates degree in information technology salary, but actual pay varies depending on your role. Many IT fields value experience along with education, and if you’ve combined earning an associate’s degree in information technology online with employment, you can find higher paying positions. It’s easy to discount the opportunity for higher paying jobs because you “only” have an associate’s degree, but the field of IT is one that rewards people for knowledge, education, experience, and intuition quite nicely.”

Full Article: Top 25 Best Value Online Associate’s Information Technology Degree Programs for 2022

 

 

FAIT Fellowship for IT Honors Students

The Foreign Affairs Information Technology (FAIT) Fellowship, is a two-year program funded by the U.S. Department of State and an excellent opportunity for community college honors students who are interested in pursuing an IT-related bachelor’s degree and a career in the Foreign Service.

The FAIT Fellowship provides up to $75,000 in academic funding for the junior and senior years in an IT-related bachelor’s degree, two summer internships (with stipends), professional development, and mentorship. Additionally, after successful completion of the Fellowship and the State Department’s requirements, the Fellow receives an appointment in the Foreign Service as an Information Management Specialist.

Many FAIT Fellows are community college alumni. The State Department wants to reach more community college students with this opportunity, and seeks to attract outstanding tech talent to the Foreign Service that reflects the diversity of the United States. Members of minority groups underrepresented in the Foreign Service, women and those with financial need are encouraged to apply. 

Applications for the 2022 cohort is planned to open on September 8, 2021.  Webinars and virtual info sessions will be offered throughout the fall semester. Please contact Monique.Dans@twc.edu for more info and to discuss ways to spread the word to honors students.

Here are a couple of resources to learn more:

#WeDoSTEM

VA Ranked #1 State for Tech Talent Pipeline

Virginia ranks as the “Best Business Climate” and the “Top Tech Talent Pipeline” in the nation, according to Business Facilities’ 17th Annual Rankings Report, released this week. Home to the largest concentration of data centers in the world, Virginia also tops the magazine’s “Cybersecurity Leaders” chart.

“Virginia has undertaken the most impressive effort in the U.S. to fill the national shortage of skilled workers in the data-centric sectors that are driving economic growth in the 21st century,” said Jack Rogers, editor-in-chief of Business Facilities.

“World-class universities are partnering with industry giants to add thousands of new computer science grads to Virginia’s rapidly expanding tech workforce. This combination positions Virginia to defend its tech talent pipeline leadership for years to come,” Rogers added.

California, New York, North Carolina and Maryland round out the top five, respectively, in Business Facilities’ new Tech Talent Pipeline state ranking, which evaluates each state’s tech talent investments, STEM-oriented education programs and partnerships between industry, universities and EDOs, among other weighted factors.

Business Facilities noted that Virginia is injecting more than $2 billion into a Tech Talent Investment Program that cumulatively represents the largest state commitment to computer science education, aiming to create an additional 31,000 computer science graduates in the Commonwealth while strengthening computer science programs at the elementary and secondary school levels.

Click here to download the full report.

Official Tweet from NOVA IET

#WeDoSTEM

$1.1M Grant to Build Regional Tech Talent

NOVA’s Go Virginia Grant will Support a Dual Enrollment Expansion Project for Information and Engineering Technology

Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA), was recently awarded a Go Virginia grant of $1.11 million, following Governor Northam’s announcement allocating over $11 million to help advance economic recovery efforts across the commonwealth. NOVA will apply the funds to implement the Dual Enrollment Expansion Program for Information and Engineering Technology (DEEP-IET) with a goal to develop regional workforce capacity in IET careers.

In broadening the conversation for technology opportunities and partnerships across the state, NOVA will collaborate with the Northern Virginia Economic Alliance (NOVA EDA), the Loudoun County Economic Development Authority (LCEDA) and local school districts, particularly to improve the regional capacity for producing IET talent by investing in faculty development and student support structures.

The grant allows for expanded programming to raise awareness and access for underrepresented student populations in IET fields, supporting them with mentoring services, career readiness activities, and internship opportunities with the goal of driving up graduation rates for students.

GO Virginia’s Region 7 Council has identified cybersecurity, data center operations (DCO), and cloud computing as some of the fields where the talent shortage is most acute. NOVA currently has one-year career study certificates (CSC) and two-year applied associate degree programs in these fields, which were co-developed with regional industry partners. Additionally, NOVA has CSC and two-year programs in engineering technology leading to high-demand jobs in manufacturing and critical infrastructure support services.

The DEEP-IET pilot program is structured as a block-scheduling model that combines class time, wrap-around services, and support for incoming students. Furthermore, this model will help ensure regional capacity-building for IET by developing secondary teachers into credentialed adjunct faculty who can provide dual enrollment opportunities at regional high schools. The DEEP-IET program is planned to create 288 additional graduates, 96 new internships, and expand the number of certified dual enrollment teachers in the region by summer 2024.

The program roll-out will include:

  • Two summer bridge programs designed to recruit underrepresented students into NOVA’s IET division, serving a total of 48 students per year. Bridge programs provide college credit and will help orient graduating high school students to career pathways in IET and student services on campus.
  • A structured block-schedule for first semester IET students in cybersecurity, cloud computing, or engineering technology. Block-scheduling places students in cohorts with the same sequence and schedule of classes during their first year at NOVA. Up to 48 students will be placed in cohorts each year, which will allow mentoring, career preparation, and advising to be structured in the same way as coursework, increasing student access to these services.
  • An internship and career readiness program for IET students between their first and second year of coursework in collaboration with local employers. This program will also work to further NOVA’s goal to integrate academic coursework and work experience.
  • A credentialing program to prepare regional high school teachers to teach credit-bearing dual enrollment courses in information and engineering technology. Increasing the pool of credentialed dual enrollment instructors will strengthen regional capacity for introductory education in these fields.
  • A veterans outreach program to transition NOVA veterans and military-connected students to IET programs. NOVA currently enrolls 734 military-connected students as General Studies majors. This program will coordinate veteran career workshops showcasing IET educational pathways and careers.

#WeDoSTEM

See NOVA IET website for more info about programs

Read article in Technical.ly
See News Story from WDVM