MALTA – The Google IT Support Professional Certificate will be available to students in 100 community colleges, including Kishwaukee College, through a $3.5 million grant from Google.org to Jobs for the Future (JFF), an organization dedicated to promoting the economic advancement of all. Hosted on Coursera and developed by Google, the IT Support Professional Certificate helps people prepare for entry-level jobs in IT support in less than six months. The program is part of Grow with Google, the tech company’s initiative to create economic opportunities for all. Kishwaukee College is working on incorporating the courses into the Spring 2020 offerings with plans for the certificate to be offered as a standalone program in Fall 2020, pending approval.
“At Google, our goal is to make sure that the opportunities created by technology are truly available to everyone,” said Google CEO Sundar Pichai. “Grow with Google’s IT Support Professional Certificate is one way we are equipping people with the digital skills for future careers. I’m proud that we’re expanding the program to more students in community colleges across the country.”
Last year, Google.org supported JFF to bring the program to U.S. community colleges through a $2.3 million grant to integrate the certificate into community colleges in California, Illinois, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Texas, Colorado and Wisconsin. The certificate is currently being taught at Oakton Community College, Parkland College, Prairie State College and Waubonsee Community College in Illinois. The recent $3.5 million grant will support implementation among 100 community colleges across the U.S.
“Kishwaukee College is looking forward to offering our students and local businesses with the training needed to earn Google’s IT Support Professional certification,” states Dr. Joanne Kantner, vice president of instruction at Kish.
The College is currently working on incorporating the program’s lessons into its existing CIS 106 and CIS 206 courses for the upcoming spring semester, beginning on January 13, 2020. The courses will be offered in a hybrid-online format, allowing students the flexibility to complete lectures and labs at home while providing the availability of an on-campus instructor. By the start of the Fall 2020 semester, the College hopes to have the Google IT Support Professional Certificate running as a standalone program. Following College approval, the certificate will seek approval from the Illinois Community College Board. Students will be able to earn up to six college credit hours along with the certificate upon successful completion.
“This initiative reflects JFF and Google’s belief in the transformative—and often untapped—potential of community colleges across the nation,” said Maria Flynn, president and CEO, JFF. “It’s about building powerful connections between educators and employers—and leveraging technology in targeted ways—to build a stronger workforce.”
IT support is one of the fastest growing fields in the U.S. with an estimated 215,000 open positions. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the field is projected to grow 10 percent between 2018 and 2028—faster than the average of all other occupations. Moreover, the median salary for an IT support specialist is $53,470.
For more information about the Google IT Support Professional Certificate at Kish, contact dean of instruction Chase Budziak at [email protected] or (815) 825-1708.