Students in all WCCC Information Technology programs have the opportunity to complete their freshman year of college in high school, thanks to a partnership that began in 2017. WCCC’s partnership with the Early IT Program and University of Cincinnati School of Information Technology allows students to complete their six IT courses in high school in addition to CCP/AP English, Math and Humanities credits. With all of these courses completed, students can start their IT degree at UC at the Sophomore level. If students are interested in entering a Co-Op after high school to earn money before starting their Sophomore year, they also take the PD 1010 class 1st semester their senior year as a CCP course through UC.
For the past two years, the WCCC/Springboro satellite program, with Instructor Jenifer Conard, sent several students to UC's School of Information Technology starting as a sophomore or further based on their transferring credits. Last year was the first year with students who were eligible to work a Co-Op their summer after high school.
In May 2020, three Springboro students graduated with the first year of the UC Bachelor of Science in Information Technology degree under their belt and were automatically admitted into UC’s School of Information Technology. With their hard work in high school taking these Early IT courses, these students were also able to complete their first paid co-op experience following high school graduation with the UC IT Solutions Center.
The UC School of Information Technology recognized students who have achieved this landmark with a Facebook event that featured the students, school administrators and teachers. WCCC IT satellite students from Springboro Chris Brady, AJ Pugh and Alex Black were celebrated at the event by Springboro Superintendent Dr. Larry Hook, Principal Mr. Kyle Martin, and Teacher Mrs. Jenifer Conard.
ITSC Director Ahmed ElQuosey said his department has had much success with the co-op students, and that it helps develop staff for the department, which is 80 percent student workers. He said that this summer’s group was very successful, completed their projects and four of the seven continue to work at ITSC. “It enables us to discover talent very early on and deliver great service to our clients,” he said.
Chris Brady said that he, Alex Black and AJ Pugh worked together this summer on a project for the Information Technology Solutions Center at UC and it was a great experience. Alex added that he learned new skills every week from figuring out the workflow and tools, and going into real development work with the team.
“It has been great to see Chris, Alex and AJ accomplish what they have so far,” Mrs. Conard said. “I have been teaching this course for 10 years, and am pleased to be able to share my passion for the field with my students. It has been great to add this UC partnership, and then take it a step further and add students able to do co-ops. I had Chris, Alex and AJ in class for three years, and we built a sense of community in that time. I am proud of their accomplishments.”
UC Professor Dr. Hazem Said commented, “It takes a village to bring the Early IT program together, and to elevate the quantity, quality, and diversity of the IT talent in our region, state, and nation. I am very grateful to all our partners. The level of innovation and support that organizations like Cincinnati Insurance Companies and ITSC is giving opportunities to students, and makes a significant contribution to providing advancing both their academic and professional careers.”