At IT-oLogy Columbia I’m proud to say we recognize the important role students will play in the future of computing and technology, and by extension, the overall economy. After all, today’s middle school, high school or college student is tomorrow’s professional, and it will happen before we know it.
Preparing these students for a possible career in IT, by either making content we develop and/or deliver available or by educating them about the profession of IT, is central to what we do and is of utmost importance.
In that spirit, I’d like to bring to your attention just a few of the programs we’ll continue, and in some cases launch, this fall. If you have children, or are perhaps a student yourself, I encourage you to take advantage of these tremendous opportunities. As many have heard me say in the past, I honestly wish they were available when I was in school.
One of our signature programs, we continue to make introductory level instruction available on the third Saturday of every month through December. Featuring a different topic/technology each time it’s offered, expert instructors from throughout the Midlands introduce middle and high school students to applicable technologies and provide take-away resources that enable the education process to continue long after sessions end. *Please note these sessions fill up fast, so early registration is encouraged.
The fall schedule:
- Saturday, September 20. Middle school from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon, High school from 1:00 to 4:00 pm.
- Saturday, October 18. Same schedule as September.
- Saturday, November 15. Same schedule.
- Saturday, December 13 (note, this is the second Saturday). Same schedule.
For more information or to register go to (website here) or contact me directly at [email protected].
Black Data Processing Associates organization (BDPA) – Student Chapter
This award-winning, nationally recognized organization meets on Saturdays at IT-oLogy and is open to any student interested in pursuing a career in programming, analysis, computer engineering, project management/management, entrepreneurship, and most other jobs in the technology field. In short, it’s a great way to improve education levels in an area you might already know, or learn more about something new. The group is led by Jamesetta James, a technologist at SCANA and a long-time champion of student technology education, who is also a tremendous instructor and mentor. More information can be found at http://www.bdpa.org/group/GC. Jamesetta can be contacted directly via email at [email protected].
As a national partner of NCWIT (National Center for Women in IT), we annually recognize high school females that have shown an interest in technology and/or are personally involved in a notable project or just learning more in school. If you know of someone worthy of recognition, or you yourself are that person, the nomination process will be open from September 15 through November 2 with award recipients being notified mid-December and officially recognized at a ceremony in early 2015 at IT-oLogy. In 2013/2014 we recognized 10 award winners from throughout South Carolina. In 2014/2015 we not only hope that number is far greater overall, but that we also have a large number of Columbia recipients. More information about Aspirations can be found at http://www.aspirations.org/aspirations-computing. Additional information is available by contacting Alicia Thibaudet at [email protected].
IT-oLogy High School Ambassador program
We are launching the High School Ambassador program this fall to provide more opportunities for high school students to get involved in IT related programming at IT-oLogy (volunteering, serving as guest instructors, working with us to make more curriculum available, etc.) and to help spread the word on campus about the importance of IT education. Kevin Rabinovich of AC Flora High School, a long time volunteer at IT-oLogy and BDPA leader, is leading this effort and needs lots of help from fellow students at local middle and high schools. Serving along with Kevin will get you perks here at IT-oLogy and will look great on your resume.
Students, teachers and parents in Columbia or the surrounding area need to be aware of the 18-hour Applied Computing minor now available at four (4) local colleges – Columbia College, USC, Benedict, and Midlands Tech. In short, this minor will enable students to learn the fundamentals of technology/computing while majoring in another field (that field can be non-technology related or can even be technology focused, like software programming). In today’s economy, having that foundational technology underpinning is extremely important, and some would say vital. So what can students do about it while in high school or middle school? They can start by taking as many currently-available technology workshops and classes as possible to become educated about the technology field (many are available at local schools and at IT-oLogy). Not only will this begin to establish the much-needed technology foundation and understanding, but it will also better enable students to understand the connection between technology and a possible chosen major. Also, students can become a Coursepower Ambassador, which will enable them to get one-on-one instruction from us at IT-ology, then help educate others and spread the word about why IT is important and a great career option. Ambassadors are very much needed and will play a large role as we expand the program. More information about the Applied Computing minor can be found at www.coursepower.org.