West Virginia University at Parkersburg now offers students the opportunity to gain work experience while completing their Computer Information Technology (CIT) associate degree. Currently, three students enrolled in the CIT program work at Chemours and Woodcraft while completing their studies through a state-funded program called Learn and Earn.
Sponsored by the Community and Technical College System of West Virginia, the Learn and Earn program is part of the Workforce Development Initiative Program created by the West Virginia legislature in 2011. It is designed to foster and encourage partnerships between industry and community and technical colleges.
During their second year of the CIT associate degree program, selected students are given flexible work rotations at Chemours allowing them to complete their degree and have part-time employment. Students receive hourly compensation for their work at these partner companies and can work up to 1200 hours. The State of West Virginia reimburses partner companies for half of the students’ wages during the internship period.
“This partnership allows students to get experience they don’t get in the classroom,” said Dr. Jared Gump, WVU Parkersburg Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Division chair. “Our industry partners have the benefit of gaining employees who can be trained at a lower cost than regular employees. The Learn and Earn program provides a year-long interview process. At the end of the program, these companies can choose whether they want to hire our graduates as permanent employees.”
WVU Parkersburg’s CIT program prepares students for careers in networking, computer technology, software administration and other related fields. The college offers a career pathway with an associate of applied science degree that leads into a bachelor of applied technology in computer networking and security.
To learn more, contact WVU Parkersburg’s Center for Student Services at ude.puvwnull@snoissimda or 304-424-8310.