Santa Barbara City College’s Department of Computer Information Systems has been designated the first Citrix Information Technology (IT) Academy in Southern California, school officials announced last week. In partnership with Citrix — a vendor of cloud, networking, and virtualization technologies — SBCC will offer courses on XenApp and XenDesktop, two different “virtualization” products the company offers.

Tech companies like Citrix commonly use the IT Academy model to increase the number of professionals trained in their products, explained Esther Frankel, a professor of Computer Information Systems at SBCC. The school already has several IT Academies, including ones for Microsoft, VMware, and Oracle, Frankel went on.

Citrix will provide SBCC with its software, access to official course materials for both students and instructors, and discounts on certification exams, explained Frankel. She noted that taking a similar course directly from Citrix would be more expensive, and that the instructors will be local IT professionals already certified in Citrix products. The Citrix XenApp course will start this fall, and there are plans to develop a XenDesktop certification course in the near future.

The Computer Information Systems department is designed to train individuals for jobs in information technology and provide workforce training and development for local employers, Frankel elaborated, pointing out that the majority of IT courses are offered online or in the evenings for the sake of convenience. Frankel continued, “Working professionals can take these courses to determine whether these technologies might be appropriate technologies to implement in their organizations.”

The department offers up-to-date curriculum, which adjusts according to the ever-changing information technology landscape, in order to give students an edge when looking for employment, said Frankel. “We offer a variety of degrees and certificates, composed of highly sequenced courses preparing local students for careers in help desk, system administration, and enterprise database technologies,” she described.

Currently, several hundred students take career- or product-specific IT courses each semester. While many of the courses offered are certification-oriented, their primary focus is to provide students practical job skills. “We believe that our success lies in fulfilling our students’ dreams of working in the information technology field,” Frankel pointed out, noting that the department has been very successful in achieving this goal.


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