BMCC Partners With Cisco to Offer Computer Training in Upper Manhattan

September 9, 1999


College wins competitive grant to fund networking program

Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC) and Cisco Systems, Inc., the world leader in networking for the Internet, are partnering in a program to bring more residents of upper Manhattan into the information economy.

The college is establishing a Cisco Networking Academy in the Northern Manhattan Empowerment Zone to help residents there develop technology skills and secure jobs as networking specialists. The program is the first by Cisco in an empowerment zone in the U.S., and is the first training program by Cisco to target an immigrant population for whom English is a second language.

Beginning in November, BMCC’s Office of Adult and Continuing Education will train primarily bilingual students in upper Manhattan to maintain computer networks. The equipment and curriculum is supplied by Cisco as part of a nationwide program to create a skilled workforce in the field of networking.

ActÉ Maldonado, Dean of Adult and Continuing Education at BMCC, says the program has the potential to immediately impact students’ lives.

“This is the kind of training program that can catapult anyone into the middle class in terms of earnings,” Dean Maldonado says. “With this certification and a high school diploma, a network specialist can earn up to forty-thousand dollars a year. With some experience and more certificate training, that person’s salary could actually double in a few years.”

BMCC will begin recruiting students for the program in September. Training will take place on the campus of the City College of New York for eight hours a day, five days a week. Training prepares students for the Cisco Certified Networking Associate exam. If certified, students will then be qualified for positions in the computer networking field.

According to BMCC President Antonio PÉrez, this program is another example of how the college is partnering with private industry to give New York City residents “access to success.”

“The Cisco/BMCC training program reflects the philosophy of our institution that education can positively transform a person’s quality of life,” says President PÉrez. “This program also will provide entry into a high-paying, high-tech field for Manhattan residents who might not otherwise have this kind of opportunity.”

The college has been awarded a $379,776 grant from the Department of Education’s Fund for the Improvement of Post Secondary Education (FIPSE) to help fund the program. Competition for that funding is extremely competitive with only 24 colleges in the country receiving FIPSE grants. BMCC was awarded two such grants.

“BMCC has identified internship opportunities for students enrolled in the Cisco Networking Academy. Enrollment in the program this year will be limited to fifteen. Those interested in applying may contact BMCC’s Office of Adult and Continuing Education at (212) 220-8350.

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