Case Studies

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Case Studies

Learn how high schools, community colleges, universities, and career colleges have benefited from using LabSim in on-ground, online, and hybrid classes. 

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Tarrant County College and LabSim: Teaching and Reinforcing Information Security

The Computer Science and Information Technology Department at Tarrant County College- Southeast Campus (TCC) in Arlington, Texas, helps students gain skills for the rapidly changing field of technology. Whether students are back in college to upgrade their skills or in school for the first time to gain a degree, TCC provides the skills training to prepare them for a career in technology.

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Elkhart Area Career Center and TestOut

Elkhart Area Career Center (EACC) in Elkhart, Indiana, is a regional career technical high school with about one thousand students, 43 studying computer networking. Seventeen high schools in northern Indiana and southern Michigan feed into EACC, and students spend half of every school day at their high school and half at EACC. Beth Hall, computer networking teacher in the Business Technology department, has been teaching IT for 22 years  at EACC. “Most of my students at EACC grew up with technology and like it. They like computers, and they’re curious what’s ‘under the hood,’” Hall said.  

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A Comprehensive Approach to Mastering IT Skills and Concepts

Students need to be taught IT skills using more than one approach to reinforce concepts and to make sure that every student learns in the best way for him or her. Many schools and colleges find that using just a textbook or just practice exams is not enough to fully engage students and prepare them for the skills they need in professional IT work or to pass certification exams. 

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TestOut's LabSim Improves Students' Pass Rates on IT Certification Exams

There are many reasons why IT certification is a good idea for students. An industry credential provides evidence of students’ skills and gives them confidence in their ability to succeed. Certification opens doors for students in the forms of scholarships, college credit, and job opportunities. But as students certify, they’re not the only ones who benefit; IT programs reap rewards as well. For example, IT programs where students have high pass rates on certification exams attract more students to the program, and more of those students enter the program with ambitions to excel. In some states, students who certify at the secondary education level trigger state funding for the school’s IT program.

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Blackstone Valley Tech

Students at Blackstone Valley Regional Vocational Technical High School in Upton, Massachusetts, are pursuing in-depth career and technical training at a young age. Blackstone Valley Tech has over 600 student applicants each year and accepts only 300; those who are accepted choose to attend Blackstone Valley Tech instead of their nearby high school for the opportunity to develop career-ready skills.

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Central Lakes College

Central Lakes College in Brainerd, Minnesota, has an enrollment of more than 3000 students, and nearly 200 of them are working toward an associate’s degree in the Computer Careers program. Two degrees are offered, including Network Administration with a networking emphasis, and Information Technology with a help desk emphasis. Students range in age from 18 to 80, and Central Lakes College offers technology courses both on campus and online, accommodating both traditional and non-traditional students.

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DeVry University

Throughout its history, DeVry University has strived to prepare students for the challenges they’ll face in the workplace by bringing the real world—with “active learning”—into the classroom. This emphasis on real-world training and career placement—and its proven success—has made DeVry University an ideal choice for adult learners who return to school for a career change or additional training.

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Durham Business & Computer College

Durham Business & Computer College (DBCC) in Toronto, Ontario, with extension campuses in Pickering and Oshawa, is a private career college that specializes in training students for business and computer certifications. Training is offered for Microsoft, Cisco, and CompTIA certifications in IT classes that lead to a Network Engineering or Computer Support Technician diploma in a 36-week term. Jag Gossai, a Microsoft-certified trainer, leads DBCC’s IT classes and trains and prepares students for certifications that will help them succeed in an IT career.

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Harrisburg Area Community College

Two evenings a week for over 3 hours and every other Saturday for 8 hours, adult students in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, come to class for formal IT training. The non-degree course offered by Harrisburg Area Community College (HACC) serves students who range in age from the 20s to the 60s. Some are looking for career retraining, others need instructor-led training to qualify for a job, and some simply want to learn more about troubleshooting and repairing computers.

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Focus: HOPE Information Technologies

Focus: HOPE is an adult vocation training facility serving students in the Detroit, Michigan, metro area. A non-profit organization, Focus: HOPE houses an Information Technologies Center (ITC) that extends practical training and experience to students—many of whom are displaced workers or looking for a new skill set to change the direction of their career. “Some have retired from one career and are learning new skills, while others are fresh out of high school.”

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Henderson College

Henderson College’s Chief Information Officer, Kimberley Conley, taught a theoretical networking class online but refused to teach a much-needed online A+ Essentials course, feeling it was impossible to teach the practical, hands-on course without a physical classroom where students could practice. Conley discovered TestOut’s LabSim courses in 2006—the perfect way to give her students the practical environment she’d been dreaming of—and began preparations to teach the A+ Essentials course online.
 

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Holmes High School

Holmes High School, a Title I school in inner city San Antonio, Texas, has a thriving Career and Technology Department (CATE) offering courses in computer maintenance and networking. Each course maps to the objectives of industry certifications, and juniors and seniors can take advantage of IT training to jumpstart their career preparation and certify in A+, Network+, CCNA, or Security+.

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King Career Center

At King Career Center, a career preparation school for 11th and 12th grade students, instructor Teena Calkin teaches Public Safety & Security. Students learn the roles and procedures of criminal justice professions, and Calkin needed a way to teach the subject so that students learned it correctly and developed accurate technique. LabSim’s Crime Scene Investigation course was her solution. She says, “With LabSim, they learn the exact processes they need to go through virtually. If they make a mistake, LabSim doesn’t let them continue until they get it right.

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Middleburg High School

Middleburg High School in Middleburg, Florida, offers a Career and Technical Education (CTE) program with computer technology classes for its 9th–12th graders. Charles Thompson, teacher in the CTE program, works hard to provide his CTE students with real opportunities for hands-on experience to master the skills for building and maintaining computers and networks. But Thompson takes his job a step further to combine his students’ technical knowledge with the practical advantage of becoming certified in A+ and Network+. “I take my students to a Pearson VUE testing center at Florida State College at Jacksonville after they’ve proven they’re ready to certify,” Thompson said.

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Milwaukee Area Technical College

Tony Stanislawski, instructor in the IT Networking Department at Milwaukee Area Technical College (MATC), teaches technology courses with a hands-on focus. With classes full of students of different ages and experiences, Stanislawski said his classes include students “fresh out of high school, young adults, working adults, and older adults, some displaced workers, others just looking to get a degree and certifications, and some who, out of the blue, just want to learn new skills.” It’s a wide array of technical backgrounds to bring into each classroom—a challenge of training at a technical college. 

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National College

The Youngstown, Ohio, campus of National College serves 62 students in its Information Systems Engineering (ISE) major, a two-year associate degree program. In 11-week terms, each class meets once a week for five hours, and instructors follow an in-class schedule of two hours skill development and two hours lecture, with five ten-minute breaks throughout. Skill development hours may involve hands-on labs, demonstrations by the instructor, learning tasks, or other methods for building students’ skills. 

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New Jersey Career Center

A professional environment for students, New Jersey Career Center offers a Computer Technology program with training for Microsoft, Cisco, and CompTIA certifications. When the program began in 2002, NJCC searched for a way to give students realistic, hands-on experience, and LabSim was the solution. NJCC students are passing their certifying exams at a high rate, including student Al Arena, who revitalized his career after a lay-off by completing LabSim training at NJCC and certifying for A+, Network+, and CCNA.

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Northwest Missouri State University

Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville, MO, is home to 135 undergraduate programs and 40 Master's programs. In two different programs, Professor Carolyn Hardy offers IT training that follows the objectives of well-known CompTIA certifications: Security+ training in a Network Security course required for graduate students working toward a Master's degree in Applied Computer Science, as well as for undergraduates minoring in Computer Networking, and Network+ training in an online, graduate-level course called Computers and Networks, required for the Master's degree in Instructional Technology. The majority of the Instructional Technology students work full-time as K-12 teachers while taking classes part-time toward the Master's degree. Some MBA students also take the online course as an elective toward their degree.

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Richmond Senior High School

Brian Burch, teacher, wanted to create a 21st Century classroom environment where his students—juniors and seniors—would learn technology skills that would prepare them for college and careers. He looked for an interactive A+ training curriculum that would allow him to be facilitator and his students to be problem-solvers. Burch found LabSim and called it “a dream come true.” The virtual labs keep costs low for hands-on training, and the students have become fully engaged, discovering talents that many of them didn’t know they had.

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Allen Luck, Santa Fe College

Allen Luck started out as a student in Santa Fe College’s Network Services Technology major. His coursework integrated LabSim training for A+, Network+, and Linux+, as well as Microsoft and Cisco technologies. With the practical, hands-on experience gained from LabSim, Luck was hired as a full-time Systems Admin for Santa Fe immediately after graduating. Now, part of his job is administering LabSim on campus, and he understands better than anyone the value of the training.                                            

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Schoolcraft College

A college outside Detroit, Michigan, Schoolcraft has many adult students who never thought they’d be back in school. Many have already worked in computer-related jobs, but they don’t have the degree to back up their experience. Computer Information Systems professor William Schlick works with these students and uses LabSim to supplement his instruction and train students in A+, Network+, and CCNA. Schoolcraft students learn they have skill sets they never realized, and they excel in LabSim training.

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Scottsdale Community College

One of ten community college campuses in the greater Phoenix area, Scottsdale Community College (SCC) sees up to 13,000 students each semester working toward an associate's degree or career program. In SCC's Computer Information Systems (CIS) department, for example, students complete 64 credit hours to earn an Associate of Applied Sciences. The department places emphasis on using technology to solve business problems, offering courses in Microsoft applications, computer maintenance, servers, networking, web design, and software development.

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Sno-Isle TECH Skills Center

High school students in the Computer Servers Networking program in Washington State's Mukilteo School District spend half of every day at Sno-Isle TECH Skills Center. The program accepts juniors and seniors, offering training in technical support and networking. "Most of my students love computers and always have," said Tory Klementsen, instructor in the Computer Servers Networking program.

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Southern Hills Career and Technical Center

Southern Hills Career & Technical Center (SHCTC), based in Georgetown, Ohio, is a vocational high school for juniors and seniors who already completed their freshman and sophomore years at one of six traditional high schools that feed into SHCTC. The information technology program at SHCTC focuses on the Information Services and Support (ISS) strand and covers topics such as the MS Office suite, Flash Web design, business processes and law, basic networking, hardware, and troubleshooting—including the objectives of the A+ and Network+ certifications.

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Southwest High School

Less than three years ago, Arthur Celestin came to Southwest High School in San Antonio, Texas, to teach classes in a computer maintenance program. The school had been teaching an IT certification program for almost twelve years before Celestin came on board, but not a single student had ever certified. Celestin set out to build the program from the ground up with a focus on certification, including training for A+, Network+, and Security+. Celestin incorporated TestOut’s LabSim as a hands-on tool to prepare his students to pass certification exams, and 21 students have certified since he began.

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St. Clair County Technical Education Center

St. Clair County Technical Education Center (TEC) is a vocation center in Marysville, Michigan, serving high school juniors and seniors from eleven school districts. Students attend classes at the high school in their district for half of the day and are bussed to TEC for the other half of the day, giving them the opportunity to complete coursework required by the State as well as gain a more specialized education in a technical field of their choice. With an open enrollment policy, TEC accepts all students who want to attend.

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Virginia College

Virginia College’s Online IT program offers 30 courses related to IT certifications. VC’s IT Program Director, Tommy Whitlock, needed a solution to give his distance education student real-world, hands-on training, without requiring them to purchase expensive hardware to “practice on” at home. The school discovered TestOut in 2004, with LabSim training courses that give students the practical experience VC was looking for.

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Walla Walla High School

At a rural high school where over 70 percent of students never complete college, instructor Dennis DeBroeck works hard to give his students a state-of-the-art technology education. When the cost and upkeep of a physical lab became too great, DeBroeck needed a solution to give his students real-life experiences. He discovered LabSim in 2001 and has seen hands-on learning, reduced costs, and less hardware gone to waste. Most importantly, his students come out of the program with some college credit, and they’re finding higher level IT jobs.

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Westchester Community College

Westchester Community College in Valhalla, New York, has nearly 12,000 part- and full-time students, as well as an additional 8,000 continuing education students. Almost one-half of Westchester students are over age 25, returning to college to advance their career. With more than 50 associate and certificate programs, daytime, evening, and online students have plenty of options for their education and career development. One of those options is Computer Security and Forensics.

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West LA College

At West LA College, 80% of the student body take their courses online. That means finding high-quality online course material that will give students “the equivalent or better learning experience online” than they could have in a classroom on campus. TestOut has been their answer in the IT program. Professor Marcus Butler has built his entire syllabus around the LabSim training courses, with lab simulations, instructor videos, and practice exams. The results: students are gaining hands-on experience and preparing for their careers.

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