When remote, rural communities are in need of skilled IT workers, and students are in need of dual-credit vocational opportunities, why not cultivate your own IT CROP?
The IT Careers in Rural Oregon Project (CROP) is a joint venture between
Treasure Valley Community College and schools within Grant, North-Central, & Wallowa ESD regions. Its purpose is to prepare high school students for an entry-level career in IT (information technology) while getting dual credit with an accredited institution of higher learning.
The 15-month grant (administered by the Wallowa County ESD) will develop two self-paced courses for students, while connecting them with internship and / or job shadow opportunities in their local community. The curriculum prepares students to obtain the industry-recognized CompTIA A+ certification as well.
Students have started completing the first and second courses (CIS110/111). In the 2013-2014 school year, we will branch out from our pilot teachers and offer the curriculum in neighboring districts. The goal is to sustain this program beyond the life of the grant with the other courses required to complete a Pathways Certificate.
Our Superintendent, Karen Patton, is administering the grant, while the Tech Center provides support through a variety of services, including:
- Moodle Hosting, Administration, & Training
- Hands-on labs & equipment for students
- Teacher support for technical subject matter
- Internship opportunities
- Digital meeting facilitation
Additionally, the Wallowa County ESD is now an authorized Pearson/VUE testing center. This allows successful students to take their CompTIA A+ exam, without driving 3 hours each way to the nearest other testing centers. Together, the Oregon Frontier ESDs hope to give their students a head-start, while helping their communities get the tech talent they need.