Technology instructor pushes students to excel

Clearfield County Career & Tech Ctr  |  Posted on

Jerome Mick, CCCTC Information Technology instructor, demonstrates and expects high-quality work from his students.

Educators’ dedication and high expectations can play a big part in students’ success — something that Jerome Mick, Information Technology (IT) instructor at Clearfield County Career and Technology Center (CCCTC) understands well. Mick has always had a love of technology starting at a young age, and says being an instructor at CCCTC gives him great pride in watching students grow. He says he has the best job in the world.

At the end of this hands-on, two-year program, Information Technology students will have earned 1,250 hours of training, which includes 10 hours of OSHA, TestOut IT Fundamentals Pro, TestOut PC Pro, CompTIA IT Fundamentals+, CompTIA A+, and, this fall, the Red Hat Certified System Administrator. Mick researched and developed the IT curriculum off of CompTIA A+, which is an industry standard certification that certifies a computer technician in the subject area. The program has since evolved and now the TestOut certification is offered with the Linux Red Hat certification being offered this fall.

Students in the program have the opportunity to build a custom personal computer (PC). Students must identify computer hardware and choose the parts to build with, which helps them understand how it all works. Students also work on setting up a server and a local network inside the classroom. They learn productivity software, computer maintenance and troubleshooting, computer fundamentals, networking, computer repair, and more.

“Every student has a different story to tell,” Mick says. “Sometimes they come in not knowing their abilities but once they gain the confidence, they understand they can do anything they set their mind to. That is the most important thing I want my students to get out of my program.”

CCCTC Information Technology graduates have achieved many different careers from the program, such as software developers, system administrators, PC technicians, cellular store managers, nuclear engineers, and go on to further their education at a postsecondary institution. There are many high-demand jobs available in the IT field and not enough skilled workers to fill them. For example, the need for cybersecurity is at an all-time high, Mick says. In today’s world, technology is becoming part of our everyday lives and we will need men and women to take care of the technology that is out now, and in the future, not only in the physical but also in the digital world.