April 18, 2018

Certification Serves as Tribute to Former IST Professor

PORTSMOUTH – Great Bay Community College has received certification from the Cisco Networking Academy for 20 years of active participation in Cisco’s global education program. The school began offering Cisco courses soon after they became available on a national scale, said Kevin Behnke, a professor of Information Systems Technology.

David Miller, an IST professor at Great Bay who died in 2013, began the partnership with Cisco, and Great Bay’s 20-year certificate is a tribute to Miller’s early work to establish the program in Portsmouth and help it thrive, Behnke said. “This is really in Dave’s honor,” he said. “He began the program, making Great Bay among the first schools in the nation to partner with Cisco and offer these programs.”

Cisco is a leading provider of information technology and networking skills. It partners with schools, governments and nonprofit agencies around the world. Great Bay is among 10,000 academies in 180 countries that offer Cisco courses.

The 20-year certificate is worth boasting about, Behnke said. “It’s a great accomplishment,” he said. “It allows us to advertise that we’re a Cisco academy and we have been for a long time.”

Known at NetAcad, the Cisco academy trains more than 1 million students annually. In any given semester, 45 to 65 of those students are from Great Bay. Every student that takes IST courses at Great Bay takes Cisco courses, said Mike Harrison, a Great Bay professor.

One of those students is 23-year-old Noah Carle of Portsmouth. As a member of Army National Guard, he’s been working on Cisco systems on the military side for five years. “Cisco has had a hand in everything I’ve done in the military,” he said. “I wanted to get more in-depth knowledge on the civilian side. Having that expanded knowledge will help me with a job.”

He enrolled at Great Bay in fall 2017, and is working toward an associate’s degree in information technology.

Students who successfully complete the Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) program are sought-after commodities, Behnke said. “It opens doors in the networking world. It’s as good as having a degree,” he said. “It’s one of the premiere programs out there.”

Great Bay offers 10 or 11 Cisco courses, more than other schools in the Community College System of New Hampshire. That’s because Great Bay’s partnership with Cisco goes back longer than the others, at 20 years and counting.

Great Bay’s 20-year milestone will be noted on the Cisco NetAcad Recognition Program webpage, and the school will receive a certificate noting the accomplishment.

Great Bay Community College is a comprehensive postsecondary institution offering quality academic and professional and technical education in support of workforce development and lifelong learning. Great Bay Community College is part of the Community College System of New Hampshire, a public system of higher education consisting of seven colleges in Berlin, Claremont, Laconia, Concord, Manchester, Nashua, and Portsmouth.  The colleges offer Associate degrees and career training in technical, professional and general fields, including transfer pathways to baccalaureate degrees. The college’s second campus, the Advanced Technology & Academic Center is now open in Rochester offering academic courses and a degree program in Advanced Composites Manufacturing.  For more information on Great Bay Community College, visit www.greatbay.edu.