Collins College Introduces Updated Network Technology Curriculum to Prepare Students for Advances in Technology

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Few industries evolve as rapidly as technology. To remain competitive and prepare students for current and emerging trends in the industry, Collins College has updated its Information Technology (IT) curriculum for both its Bachelor of Science and Associate of Science Degrees.

Ideally instructors lecture for the first half of the period. The second half of class is typically dedicated to hands-on activities where students have an opportunity to work with the instructor as needed.

    "Schools and business alike continually need to adapt to new technology. Our IT instructors worked for two years researching, evaluating and rewriting courses to ensure students are equipped to meet present as well as upcoming industry demand. The new curriculum is designed to prepare students to enter entry-level positions," said Scott Burrell, IT department chair for Collins College.

In addition to researching industry trends from experts and companies, Collins collaborated with an advisory committee comprised of executives from different businesses and organizations on the technical skills IT professionals need to possess, current software and hardware used by large and small organizations, developing trends in the industry, as well as the qualities executives are looking for in an IT professional.

"In addition to rewriting technical courses, a new class we offer at the recommendation of our advisory committee is IT in the Organization, which focuses on the role of the IT professional in business. Through our research we found that business executives are looking for more than just skilled technicians, rather they want individuals who have the ability to evaluate how a business operates. They are looking for people who are able to integrate technology to support business operations and improve efficiency and communication within an organization. Today's IT professional needs to be able to design and integrate systems that support the people who use it," said Burrell.

Collins also offers classes in emerging technologies. A class just developed is Server Virtualization. IT industry trends indicate that server virtualization is the next generation technology. In Arizona, it is already being used in some of the state's largest businesses. Server Virtualization is a type of software that allows three to four servers to run off of one computer. The software decreases costs because of less hardware components and software licensing. The system is also more stable. If a computer fails, virtual servers can be moved to another computer without losing data.

"In addition to our strong technology curriculum, the size of our IT department and our ability to provide students with one-on-one instructor time is one of Collins' greatest strengths," stated Burrell.

Collins' IT department has approximately 200 students and averages 12 to 15 students per class. Classes range in length from two to five hours. According to Burrell, "Ideally instructors lecture for the first half of the period. The second half of class is typically dedicated to hands-on activities where students have an opportunity to work with the instructor as needed."

In 2007, The Phoenix Business Journal ranked Collins College as the number one computer training school in the publication's annual list of top computer training schools in the metropolitan Phoenix area. The list ranked 17 private and public schools based on 2006 number of instructor hours.

About Collins College

Collins College, a school of design and technology, provides students with a career-focused education. Approximately 2,000 students from across the nation attend Collins College. Collins offers Bachelor of Arts degrees in game design, visual arts with a major in game art, graphic design, interior design, film & video production, and a Bachelor of Science in information technology. Associate degrees are offered in information technology, digital video production and graphic design. For more information, visit http://www.collinscollege.edu.

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Ann Papagalos
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