Pfeiffer and Cisco Systems combine the power of the Internet and education at new academy

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“Jobs of the future will go where there is an educated workforce, an infrastructure and a supportive government,” said Cisco President and CEO John Chambers. “That's why it's so important that today's students get the skills needed for the jobs of the 21st century.”

Launched in 1997, the academy program has grown to more than 10,000 academies in 151 countries, with curricula taught in 9 languages. Over 400,000 students are active in academies in high schools, colleges and universities, technical schools, community-based organizations, and other educational programs around the world. The academy's blended learning model integrates face-to-face teaching with a challenging web-based curriculum, hands-on lab exercises and Internet-based assessment.

“Pfeiffer is one of the first four year colleges in the Southeastern United States to become a Cisco Academy,” said Dr. Ali Sever, chair of the Computer Information Systems Department at Pfeiffer. “It is our intention to integrate certification programs into new and existing computer science concentrations and make the university one of the top IT training facilities in the region.”

The local academy will offer courses in CIS for students to prepare for industry-recognized certification and IT careers. Pfeiffer plans to partner with local businesses seeking IT professionals who have hands-on skills with the latest technology to place graduates. In addition to networking and IT skills, the curricula also reinforces 21st century skills, IT literacy, problem solving, communication and working with others from different backgrounds.

The web-based curricula were developed by educators for simultaneous delivery to all academy sites through a Global Learning Network. Certified instructors provide face-to-face support in a specially equipped academy lab to reinforce learning and ensure student progress. Internet-based assessment provides immediate feedback to students and teachers – providing mastery, as well as measurement.

Building knowledge and skills takes time — Pfeiffer and the Cisco Networking Academy Program are investing now to build an educated, competitive and trained IT workforce.

“It has often been said that education and the Internet are two of the world's great equalizers,” Chambers said. “The academy empowers individuals to transcend the digital divide, regardless of race, gender, geography, culture or socioeconomic status.”

Cisco Systems, Inc., (NASDAQ: CSCO) is the worldwide leader in networking for the Internet. More information on the Cisco Networking Academy program can be found at http://cisco.netacad.net.