West Virginia University at Parkersburg offers students the opportunity to gain work experience while completing their Computer & Information Technology (CIT) associate degree through a state-funded program called Learn and Earn.
The Learn and Earn program is sponsored by the West Virginia Community and Technical College System, and is part of the Workforce Development Initiative Program. It is an opportunity to create partnerships between industry and community and technical colleges by allowing students hands-on learning experience, and employers to train ideal future employees.
During their second year of the CIT associate degree program, selected students are given flexible work rotations at The Chemours Company, Woodcraft Supply or iTech Solutions performing work such as infrastructure upgrades, technology support and troubleshooting. Students may work up to 1,200 hours at these partner companies, and receive wages during the internship period. Learn and Earn also provides a year-long interview process in which the company evaluates students as potential hires after graduation.
For the 2018-2019 academic year, four students enrolled in the CIT program were selected to work at The Chemours Company, Woodcraft Supply and iTech Solutions while completing their studies through the Learn and Earn program:
The Chemours Company
- Zoë Bookman, of Mineral Wells, W.Va.
- Lawrence Price, of Gay, W.Va.
- Dustin Gibson, of Washington, W.Va.
- Richard Mace, of Sand Ridge, W.Va.
“The Learn and Earn program is of great value to the institution, our students and regional companies,” said Dr. Jared Gump, WVU Parkersburg Science, Technology, Engineering and Math division chair and associate professor. “Students gain valuable on-the-job knowledge, and our community partners give us feedback about our programs and how to improve our curriculum with an industrial perspective.”
WVU Parkersburg’s CIT program prepares students for careers in networking, computer technology, cybersecurity and other related fields. Along with general education requirements, students take courses preparing them for Cisco, Microsoft, Linux certifications and more. Students who complete an Associate of Applied Science in Computer & Information Technology can then continue on into a Bachelor of Applied Technology with a concentration in Cybersecurity & Network Administration. The college also offers a career pathway leading from an Associate of Applied Science in Computer Science into a Bachelor of Applied Technology with a Software Engineering concentration.
To learn more, contact WVU Parkersburg’s Center for Student Services at ude.puvwnull@snoissimda or 304-424-8310.