The Academy Model
The Information Technology Academy (ITA) is modeled after the Linked Learning program developed by ConnectEd California. ITA is on El Cerrito High School John F. Kennedy High School, and De Anza High School campuses of the West Contra Costa Unified School District.
Students enrolled in the academy work as a group throughout the day. The instructors also work as a group. Course curriculum are integrated so that students see the relevance of their work in a real-world environment. For instance, math, English and history subjects are used in the web design classes so that students can create graphic and web presentations of what they do in the academic classes. Technology is emphasized in all the classes. The use of computers, white boards and a host of the latest technological devices are an integral part of theses classes.
Work-based learning is another emphasis of the model. Every summer, many students work as interns for a number of employers in the neighborhood. During the school-year, students prepare for these internships by attending workshops on how to dress for the workplace, and resume writing. They are taught 21st century job skills such as computer repair, web-design, photo manipulation, use of databases and oral and visual presentation.
When students complete the three-year experience, they are well prepared to work while attending college or professional school.
Digital Arts Web Design 1
In this class, students learn the fundamental tool set for making web pages. First, they study Photoshop. They learn basic digital photography concepts, photo composition, and photo manipulation. Next, they study Dreamweaver where they learn web page layout technique and how to integrate the photographs they made in Photoshop into a web page. They also learn Cascading Style Sheets, the technology used to control the styling of a web site. Finally, they study Flash. Here they learn basic animation skills and the art of engaging the user into the use of the web page. They learn to make animated banner advertisements for web pages. Finally, they combine all their skills to produce their own portfolio web site.
Digital Arts Web Design 2
Computer Systems Management
Information Systems Design and Management 1
ISDM 1 is designed to prepare students for employment or further study in the field of desktop support. This course challenges students to learn hardware components, system design, and hardware/software support. Students begin by learning each component of a personal computer system, then move on to designing compatible systems. Students learn to install and support operating systems and how to effectively implement wireless networking technologies. This course can lead to certification as an A+ Certified PC technician.
Information Systems Design and Management 2
Information Systems Design and Management 2 is an advanced course in information systems that adheres to State of California CTE Information Technology Standards, and to the new California Common Core Standards. Based on completion of the introductory Information Systems course (ISDM 1), students in this course will move on to topics in programming, Cloud Computing (including deploying a student-generated program in the Cloud), and assembling and programming robots. Lectures from industry professionals discuss careers in the information technology industry. The final assignment is a senior defense project that involves an oral defense of one piece of the student’s work produced each year over the three-year academy program.
Computer Systems Management 2
CSM 2 changes the focus from supporting PC systems to designing, implementing, and troubleshooting TCP/IP networks. Models of network communication are studied and students work in lab teams to perform hands-on labs where they apply the theories and protocols they have learned. CSM 2 is a fast-paced, challenging course that can lead to certification as a Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA).