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IT Enters Hallowed Halls

College students at Washington University in St. Louis got an eight-week "crash" course in NT technology. Click the title for more. . .

College students received a "crash" course in NT technology this summer as part of a pilot project between Washington University in St. Louis and Wave Technologies International, a training company with headquarters in St. Louis.Twelve arts and sciences students attended an eight-week, full-time training program that introduced them to the concepts of computer systems, networking, Web technology, and programming.

"This IT Practicuum is an excellent way to better prepare our arts and sciences students for future careers in technology and business" said Dennis Martin, associate vice chancellor and associate dean of Arts and Sciences of Washington University.

"I was at first going to go into international business," said Vincent Ho, a junior studying Chinese and business at the university. "This is just giving me another option. It'll give me a head start."

The students started with PC technology- taking computers apart- then moved to Windows 95 administration, NT administration, TCP/IP, internetworking, Visual Basic programming, and Web development. Each week Wave provided a different instructor and self-study materials pertinent to the subject. The students also took field trips to a consulting firm, a large ISP, an automotive company running Novell in 28 factories, and Wave itself.

Although it wasn't a requirement of the program, serveral students took Microsoft certification exams in the course of their studies.Ho attempted the NT Server exam twice, but failed it both times, which he blames on the number of questions about NetWare that appeared on his versions of the test. "NetWare wasn't really touched that much in the program," he said.His next step: "I'm going sit down and study everything again."

Based on feedback from this pilot program, the two organizations plan to continue offering what is now being called IT Institute, but with some changes. "The VB stuff was pretty overwhelming for the students," said Dave Forman, the Executive V.P. of Training and Development at Wave. Subsequent version of the program may have different areas of focus, one for networking, one for application development, and a third around web development.

Wave's web site is at www.wavetech.com.

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