Partner Spotlight – Cisco
NPower’s partnership with Cisco began nearly 10 years ago with their initial contribution to our program. Since then, our partnership has expanded, with Cisco providing NPower with support in various ways:
Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins speaks to NPower California veteran students and alumni at a 2017 site visit to Cisco headquarters in San Jose.
Annual Contributions and Equipment Donations
Along with annual support of our programs across the country, Cisco has been an invaluable resource for NPower during our expansions to new regions. Beginning with our launch of NPower Texas, Cisco has provided equipment to meet the needs of our classrooms and staff for every major expansion effort, including: NPower California, NPower New Jersey, NPower Maryland and NPower Missouri.
In 2018, with great appreciation for his service and dedication, NPower bid farewell to long-time board member, Woody Sessoms, who served 8 years on the national board of directors.
We were also pleased to welcome military veteran, long time supporter of NPower and Cisco Senior Account Executive, Michael Barsella, to NPower’s National Advisory Council. Michael has been a guest lecturer for nearly four years and has been an active advocate for our students and our program.
GUILLERMO DIAZ JR.
In the latter part of 2018, NPower welcomed the expertise of Cisco Chief Information Officer, Guillermo Diaz Jr., to the national board. As the lead for Cisco’s global information technology, Mr. Diaz Jr. focuses on driving the business outcomes critical to the secure digital transformation of Cisco, its customers and partners.
Since 2013, Tim Adams, Director of IOT at Cisco, has volunteered with the Texas region in support of our mission. As a veteran, himself, he was eager to help out other veterans and later became one of the founding members of our Texas regional advisory board.
An Important Curriculum Partner
Cisco has contributed to the curriculum of NPower for some time, leading up to the official education partnership in 2018, with the inclusion of Cisco’s Networking Academy (NetAcad) in all our programs.
These Cisco learning modules were tested in previous cohorts, showing a positive impact. The Net Academy program allows us to provide rich online learning content in a vast array of topics including Internet of Things “IoT”, cybersecurity, mobile technology, entrepreneurship, and an introduction to operating systems such as Linux. Through the LMS (Learning Management System) portal we can create courses and enroll students free of charge.
For many of our students, the NPower program is the first exposure they have to technology. It can be overwhelming with the topics that we cover in the first few weeks. Cisco allows us to provide learning materials that not only fill in the gaps with new learners, but also provide intermediate skills that allow students to enhance their skills and certification opportunities. As a result, we have integrated at least one learning module in 100% of our classes in 2018, from Tech Fundamentals to Cyber.
In addition, these modules will help us provide continuing education to alumni and instructors. The LMS comes with software to create computer networks and practice real-world skills in a controlled lab environment.
The integration will continue to roll out over the next year and into early 2019 in all our programs, giving students the advantage of real-world concepts and relevant skills utilizing Cisco Technology.
Due to the success of this module, have added the Cisco CCENT (Cisco Certified Entry Technician) certification as an option in our Tech Fundamentals program.
Ongoing Support and Advocacy
We applaud Cisco and are proud to call them a friend and partner of NPower for their own efforts in support of diversity and inclusion in the information technology workforce. “Inclusion and collaboration” as they call it, are what Cisco believes to be “essential to fueling the power of connection.”