Get Affordable Hands-On Training and Sought-After Certifications


“This is an employment sector where there are lots of jobs, and we are very pleased to be able to offer these stackable credentials. The certifications allow our students to get to work quickly, and to also to build upon their training, earning more certifications and ultimately more money.”

SALISBURY, N.C. – Rowan-Cabarrus Community College is launching a new PC and Networking Academy that offers affordable training for advanced technology certification programs with knowledgeable, industry-certified instructors that bring real world, hands-on experience into the classroom. Students who meet eligibility requirements for the college’s NC Back to Work grant may receive financial assistance to cover the costs of tuition, fees, books, and certification exams.

The PC and Networking Academy is an educational program that trains students to design, build, and maintain local and wide-area networks, and to provide PC software and hardware support. Students will be prepared for networking, PC support, and information technology (IT) related jobs in the public and private sectors, and for higher education in information technology, telecommunications, engineering, computer science, and other related fields.

“Certifications are extremely important in IT,” said John Brand, a networking instructor at Rowan-Cabarrus with over 20 years of industry experience.

The classes are hands-on in nature and provide immediate exposure to the various technologies, allowing students to better and more quickly gauge interest in certain areas. Students are prepared for Cisco and CompTIA certification exams at the end of the courses. The college also runs additional classes for these subsequent certifications.

“We believe that certifications and education are critical to our employees’ success, especially in the IT industry,” said Dan Ballister, Time Warner Cable director of communications. “Our education assistance program helps making continuing education possible for many of our employees. I’m thrilled that our employees are finding the training they need at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College.”

The first course in the program is the 98-hour PC Repair course that prepares students for entry-level PC repair technician jobs, as well as the CompTIA A+ certification exams. These hands-on courses are supplemented with a great deal of online content that will better prepare the student for certification.

“These certifications also have the power to open the door for interviews that a degree alone might not provide,” said Brand. “The majority of students who complete these courses are ready to take the certification tests. We also provide free resources to prepare for the exam.”

Students who successfully complete this program will be prepared for a variety of IT jobs including help-desk support positions, entry-level network support positions, PC and network repair positions, and wireless network support positions.

“The other great advantage is that these certifications transfer right into credit courses if obtaining a degree becomes appealing to you,” said Brand.

The PC Repair class will meet Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from Oct. 29-Dec. 5, 2012, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. at Goodwill Career Connections (1923 S. Main St., Salisbury).

Prerequisites include prior computer experience or the Silver Level Career Readiness Certificate (CRC). Those interested in the Career Readiness Certificate can get started at the college’s Employability labs at Goodwill Career Connections or at the Cloverleaf Extension Center in Kannapolis.

The registration fee is $175 plus a $136 textbook. Funding may be available to those who qualify. For example, individuals who have received unemployment benefits for more than 26 weeks, as certified by the Department of Commerce, or individuals who have exhausted their unemployment benefits will qualify for the college’s new Back-to-Work program which covers tuition, books, and exam fees, as well as student support and coaching.

Rowan-Cabarrus offers state-of-the-art equipment in the classroom, coupled with a hands-on introduction to networking and internet technologies, using tools and hardware commonly found in home and small business environments. Through the training, students will also develop additional skills required for computer technicians and help desk technicians. The course provides basic training in routing and switching, cabling, remote access, IP addressing, wireless configuration, network security, troubleshooting, and network services such as file sharing, e-mail services, and related ISP services.

Students are prepared for Cisco and CompTIA certification exams at the end of the course. The college also runs additional classes for these subsequent certifications.

For more information about Cisco and CompTIA certification classes, to schedule a tour of the PC and Networking Academy, or to register, please contact Donna Ludwig at 704-216-3668 or donna.ludwig@rccc.edu. Registration for spring classes is currently underway. For additional information about Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, please visit www.rccc.edu.

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