This month’s spotlight highlights Interactive Multimedia, Information Technology Academy
The ongoing pandemic has impacted the way schools in the county proceed with their normal daily activities. This means that it is uncertain when schools will be able to welcome visitors back into their buildings. The Review has partnered with The Columbiana County Career and Technical Center to showcase the career and technical programs that they offer so that incoming juniors can make an informed decision in the circumstance that the school is unable to host upcoming visitations in person. Programs will be spotlighted each month of the school year. Students who are interested in enrolling in a program for the 2021-22 school year are invited to do so by visiting the CCCTC’s webpage (https://www.ccctc.k12.oh.us) and completing the enrollment application which will be available starting January 1, 2021. Any questions about the programs or the requirements for enrollment should be directed to Sue Allison, guidance administrator, at (330) 424-9561 ext. 118 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The CCCTC programs being featured in December are our technology-based programs: Interactive Multimedia (IMM) and Information Technology Academy (ITA). While both programs teach students to use technology, they are very different in their focus. Students in ITA will get to learn the skills they need to pursue a career as an IT person including PC repair and cabling while those in IMM use technology to inspire their creativity through graphic design, photography, music, or video. Students from these programs have a choice of whether to head straight into the workforce in their chosen field or to further their education in post-secondary options.
Benefits of Being a Student in the Program
One of the greatest strengths of the IMM program is that regardless of whether a student chooses to continue to the post-secondary level or enter the workforce, when students leave the class they are given all the tools and freedom to seek out creative outlets and learn to leverage it into a rewarding and successful career. Students in this program tend to be creative, and truly creative thinkers are paving the way for our world. When enrolling in this program, students can be assured that they are gaining access to industry standard software and equipment so that a transition to the workforce or post-secondary education will be seamless. Another great benefit is that students get to explore the many avenues available in interactive multimedia including hands on application in the areas of Graphic Design, Photography, Animation, Game Design, and Video Production. Finally, those students who love to think outside the box and give in to their creativity will be given access to a wealth of creative endeavors.
Another benefit of the Interactive Multimedia program is that it has an Esports program as well. Esports fits nicely into the IMM curriculum in all aspects from learning to host live shows to graphic design pieces. Students are taught about branding strategies and some will go on to compete with teams around the nation. There are several games and multiple platforms used. While not every student might play, all students are part of the overall team in one capacity or another. The Esports program will continue to expand in order to offer more game titles and richer curricular content.
Credentials and Articulation Agreements for the Program
There is a wealth of credentials that students enrolled in the IMM program can receive upon completing the coursework. They include: Adobe Certified Associate in Visual Design using Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Certified Associate in Graphic Design using Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Certified Associate in Print & Digital Media Publication Using Adobe InDesign, Adobe Certified Associate in Digital Video using Adobe Premiere Pro, Adobe Certified Associate in Visual Effects & Motion Graphics using Adobe After Effects, and Adobe Certified Associate in Multiple Animation using Adobe Animate CC, and CompTIA+ Fundamentals. Students can also earn two Adobe Certified Associate certifications and an Adobe Certified Professional specialty certificate for Visual, Web or Video Design. There is also an articulation agreement available with Kent State University for students enrolling in the IMM program. Students can be rewarded up to 12 credits which is the equivalent of credit for 4 courses toward an Associate’s Degree of Applied Business in Computer Technology for the work they completed during high school dependent upon meeting the requirements which include completing the program with a grade point average of 3.0, submitting an application within 15 months of graduation, and having an official high school transcript.
An exemplary student from the IMM program is Kaylea Ward, a senior from East Palestine High School. At East Palestine, Kaylea is part of the marching band, science club, drama club, pep band, and pep club. She is a camp counselor for the science camp that East Palestine runs during the summer. At the CCCTC, she is a member of the CCCTC Drug Free team and is in the National Technical Honor Society. She is currently working at McDonalds during the summer and plans to attend YSU in the fall. She is in the process of starting her own photography business. Kaylea said, “Being a part of IMM has been great because I really got to discover where my passions are. I got to understand a lot more with photography and feel accomplished with my certifications. Anyone looking to enroll in IMM should definitely take the leap because you get to do such amazing things in this lab. You get to express yourself and have fun while doing it and learning. Also, you get access to such mind-blowing equipment and I would definitely take advantage of it. Not to mention Mr. Oesch is an extremely well attentive and helpful teacher. [He is] Always making sure the students are spending their time doing stuff that they want to focus on in the future while helping them accomplish their certifications. With this lab you have nothing but a good time and it is definitely worth it to anyone thinking about joining.”
William Oesch, the interactive multimedia instructor, has a lengthy and diverse teaching career. He has been an instructor at the CCCTC for over 15 years. Mr. Oesch has earned multiple degrees over his years of teaching including a master’s degree in Education from Kent State University and a Master’s in Administration from YSU. He has been recognized by Adobe as an Adobe Education Leader and an Adobe Creative Educator Level I and II. His skills in Adobe garnered him national recognition. He holds multiple professional teaching licenses in English (grades 7-12), as an intervention specialist (K-12 mild/moderate), and a career technical license in business information systems, media arts, visual design and imaging (grades 4-12). He is also an Adobe certified associate in Visual Design using Adobe Photoshop, Graphic Design using Adobe Illustrator, and Digital Video using Adobe Premiere Pro. He is an Adobe certified professional in visual design and video design.
CCCTC’s Interactive Multimedia Program Benefits Local Businesses
Students are prepared to take on any creative project that a business might need, but beyond that, students are educated to become design forward, creative thinkers with a focus on problem solving. Students leave the program ready to enter the workforce or continue their studies at the post-secondary level. While in the program, businesses do have the opportunity to work with the students on a variety of projects. In the past, students from the program have assisted in designing flyers, menus, websites, commercials, and video projects to benefit local businesses.
Technology Academy (ITA)
Benefits of Being a Student in the Program
The greatest benefit of being a student in the Information Technology Academy is that it prepares students for real world applications. It is giving them the skills and knowledge that they need to do anything they want in the field of information technology. Students who are looking to move straight into the workforce have the skills they need for an entry level IT position. Students who would like to continue their education have the basic skills they need to be ahead of their peers who enter college with no background in the field. Finally, those who choose to enlist in the military can immediately start working in an IT related field within the military.
Credentials and Articulation Agreements for the Program
There are many credentials that students who complete the two-year program can earn. They can earn credentials in CompTIA IT Fundamentals +, CompTIA Cloud Essentials, LabSim IT Fundamentals Pro, LabSim PC Pro, LabSim Network Pro, and LabSim Security Pro. In addition, the ITA program has an articulation agreement with Kent State University where students can be rewarded up to 12 credits which is the equivalent of credit for 4 courses toward an Associate’s Degree of Applied Business in Computer Technology for the work they completed during high school dependent upon meeting the requirements which include completing the program with a grade point average of 3.0, submitting an application within 15 months of graduation, and having an official high school transcript.
Gavin Whitman is an exemplary student in the current senior ITA class. A student of Wellsville High School, Gavin is a full day student who serves as the SkillsUSA Career and Technical Skills Organization president. Gavin has already earned his credentials in CompTIA IT Fundamentals + and LabSim IT Fundamentals Pro. At Wellsville High School, Gavin is involved as a member of the Tiger football team, the bowling team, and participates in track. Gavin also qualified for state competition for SkillsUSA last year in Microsoft Office Products. Unfortunately, due to COVID 19 restrictions, the state competition was canceled last year.
Mr. Bob Melczak is the instructor for the Information Technology Academy. He brings a diverse and long-standing work and education history to his position. He has a strong military background where he has served as a naval Instructor as a member of Instructor Cadre and a Lead Petty Officer in charge of training and education at the Naval Reserve Center of Cleveland. Prior to beginning his career at the CCCTC in 2003, he actively worked in the IT field from 1993-2003. In addition to his work experience, he has earned a Bachelor of Science in Education in Integrated Science grades K-12 and earned a Master of Education degree in Career Technical Teacher Education. Finally, he holds many certifications. He is a certified instructor in C-Tech Fiber Optic, C-Tech Copper Cabling, Microsoft Pro, LabSim- PC Pro, IT Fundamentals Pro, Security Pro, Network Pro, CompTIA Instructor, CompTIA IT Fundamentals +, Microsoft Instructor, Microsoft Network Fundamentals, and Microsoft Security Fundamentals.
CCCTC’s Information Technology Academy Program Benefits Local Businesses
There are so many businesses and companies that must have a qualified IT person on staff because we now live in a work world where the success of a business relies heavily on technology. Students in the Information Technology Academy are armed with the skills they need to enter the work force prepared for entry level positions. Graduates of this program will already have the certifications that many of those businesses require. Students from the program constantly prove their attainment of the knowledge necessary as they consistently advance in the career and technical skills organization competitions yearly. The ITA program has had 4 years of students placing in both the regional and state competitions who earned the right to advance to the national competition level with placement in the nation as high as 7thplace.
Any student who is interested in enrolling in the Interactive Multimedia or Information Technology Academy Programs should be prepared to complete the online application starting January 1st. Every program is limited in capacity, so do not hesitate to enroll to ensure you get into the program of your choice. Any questions about the programs can be directed to Sue Allison at extension 118 (email@example.com) or Michelle Fitzsimmons at extension 158 (firstname.lastname@example.org) at the Columbiana County Career and Technical Center.