Community Column: Supporting educational pipelines for future leaders
May 28, 2019
At Palo Alto College, our collective focus is to ensure our students have every resource to be successful throughout their educational journey and to be prepared for their future endeavors after they graduate. Our students are the future workforce of San Antonio, and we know that as our city grows, our workforce demands will increase.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) occupations across the country grew by 10.5 percent over a six-year period. In an effort to support the growing demands in STEM fields in San Antonio, Palo Alto College has spent several years strategically planning concentrated efforts to promote STEM in our community.
In 2018, a team of active duty military members formed GhostWire Academy, a non-profit organization with a mission to inspire and empower children to pursue careers in information technology (IT) and cybersecurity. GhostWire offers free courses in software, hardware, basic IT literacy, and computer systems networking that create a highly skilled and competent generation to protect our communities from cyberattacks.
Beginning on June 8, Palo Alto College will host GhostWire Academy's newest program — Network Plus — where students ages 13 to 17 will learn how computer networks are engineered, configured, and protected against cyberattacks. After completion of the 16-week course, students will be able to test and earn a CompTIA Net+ certification.
Supporting GhostWire Academy's efforts to build a generation of educated IT professionals aligns with Palo Alto College's collective focus of providing early educational access, high-caliber programs, and scholarships to increase students' access to STEM programs. With 80 percent of our graduates opting to stay in our region upon graduation, it's paramount that we analyze future growth in south San Antonio and prepare all students with resources to be successful throughout their educational journey in preparation for their future careers.
To learn more about GhostWire Academy programs, visit ghostwireacademy.org.
This column by Dr. Robert Garza, president of Palo Alto College, was originally published in the San Antonio Express-News' Southside Reporter and mysanantonio.com.