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Workforce Readiness

Industry Partnership Adds Certification Training to University Curriculum

Students at Gannon University can now receive industry certification in networking technology as they complete their coursework, thanks to a partnership with Extreme Networks. As part of the 10-year agreement, the company will establish Extreme Academy, a regional training center for both students and professionals, as well as provide the university's Institute for Health and Cyber Knowledge (I-HACK) with networking equipment, software and support. I-HACK is billed as a "global headquarters for academic, industry and business owners to design, integrate and protect cybernetic intelligence and data systems worldwide."

Gannon is working with Extreme to "embed its technical certification and training curriculum into the academic curriculum" for the university's undergraduate and graduate engineering and computing programs, according to a news announcement. Areas of study will include cybersecurity and cyber engineering. Launching this fall, the certification training modules will be available to students at no additional cost.

Starting in spring 2021, the Extreme Academy will also offer on-site training for professionals from companies in the region, as well as video-based training opportunities through the ExtremeDojo online training and certification program. Gannon faculty members will become Certified Extreme Instructors, the announcement said, and will join other Extreme instructors in teaching the on-site courses.

The Extreme Academy will also provide networking equipment for the university's high-performance computing center, as well as its Geographic Information Systems Center for Education and Engagement, serving academic, healthcare, criminal justice and environmental students, researchers and businesses across the region.

"We are thrilled to partner with Gannon University to develop the next generation of networking talent," said Dan Dulac, vice president of solutions strategy at Extreme Networks, in a statement. "The Extreme Lab will provide students and partners with valuable training and certification on the latest innovations in cloud-driven networking and security technology. Our practical curriculum will give students a true, competitive advantage when they are ready to join the workforce and create a talent stream for the local industry. And for our professional partners in the region, we are providing a central, physical location to keep up-to-date."

"Having the ability to work with Extreme Networks' level of expertise is a powerful and incredible opportunity," commented Walter Iwanenko, vice president of academic affairs at Gannon University. "We are excited for this new partnership and the valuable experiences it will bring to our students and our community. We look forward to the innovative transformation that will follow this infusion of academics and industry to shape the next generation of leaders."

About the Author

Rhea Kelly is editor in chief for Campus Technology, THE Journal, and Spaces4Learning. She can be reached at [email protected].

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