Cisco Networking Academy Introduces Innovative Approach to Learning, Teaching and Curricula
New CCNA and CCNP Curricula Address Students Unique Needs to Prepare for Rewarding Careers in IT Networking.
SAN JOSE, Calif.- For nearly a decade, Cisco® Networking Academy® has partnered with the educational community to help people worldwide realize the dream of a better life by teaching valuable networking and IT skills. Cisco Networking Academy today announced an evolution of its core curriculum to keep pace with the swiftly changing requirements of an increasingly connected world and the growing demand for a technically skilled workforce in a competitive global marketplace. These new courses are the direct result of the Networking Academy’s increased focus on providing students the skills they need to pursue rewarding IT careers in business-critical positions and industries ranging from technology and finance to medicine and entertainment.
The newly expanded Networking Academy curriculum provides both entry-level and more advanced students with the expertise they need to succeed in a wide range of careers. The curriculum now consists of two tracks, CCNA Discovery and CCNA Exploration, which address different student segments based on their academic experience and goals. The Networking Academy CCNP curricula has also been updated to prepare entry level and advanced students for careers in enterprise networking.
“With the dramatic advancements in networking technology over the last ten years, today’s highly competitive global marketplace requires a workforce that is technically skilled,” said Amy Christen, vice president, Cisco Networking Academy and Corporate Affairs Operations. “We recognize that ’one size does not fit all’ and the Networking Academy needs to evolve to accommodate differences in student capabilities, goals, and environments around the globe. The new curricula’s segmented approach provides a solid foundation of IT skills to help prepare students for IT and networking certification. It helps open the door to rewarding careers and opportunities to improve the future for themselves and their communities.”
John Higgins from the University of Central England, Birmingham said, “The new CCNA curricula will take the Cisco Networking Academy to new heights. With relevant content and activities to meet the needs of different student segments, it will attract students and retain their attention from start to finish.”
CCNA Discovery provides students with technical skills as well as career exploration and soft skills necessary to succeed in entry level networking professions such as a network technician, help desk technician and pre-sales support. Upon entering the CCNA Discovery curriculum, students are not expected to have any particular technical ability or knowledge, beyond basic PC usage skills. CCNA Discovery maps directly to everyday experiences with networks and covers key networking concepts based on the types of practical network environments students may encounter - from small office and home office (SOHO) networking to more complex enterprise and theoretical networking models later in the curriculum. It uses easy-to-follow, extensive labs with detailed instructions and feedback to help students learn through real experience how to design, build and maintain networks. The courses use a career-oriented approach to learning networking. CCNA Discovery is designed to be offered as an independent curriculum or integrated into broader course of study at secondary schools, technical schools and colleges.
“Students will love the fresh, clean look of the new CCNA Discovery curriculum because it is dynamic and interactive with excellent graphics,” said Linda Lester, from the Chesterfield Technical Center, an organization that provides specialized training to students at Chesterfield County High Schools in Virginia.
CCNA Exploration provides students with the technical skills necessary to succeed in networking-related degree programs and a wide range of networking professions such as network technician, network administrator and network engineer. CCNA Exploration allows students to learn these skills in a more rigorous, comprehensive, theoretical and practical way reflective of degree-oriented college and university-level educational practices. The participants in CCNA Exploration are expected to have advanced problem solving and analytical skills typically associated with students pursuing a degree in engineering, math or science. The curriculum uses language that allows for integration with other engineering concepts and includes complex and challenging hands-on labs, where students must derive final solutions potentially requiring additional research and without step-by-step instructions. CCNA Exploration can be easily integrated into existing curricula or degree programs at technical schools, colleges and universities.
Dr. Gyula Feher, Budapest Tech, Faculty of Informatics, said, “The new CCNA Exploration curriculum provides an efficient and challenging learning experience. The text is demanding in its formulation and at the same time easy to understand for non-native speakers of English. The expressive graphics, interactive activities and real world labs are excellent and a great help for the learner.”
CCNA Discovery and CCNA Exploration both provide an introduction to advanced technologies such as voice, video, wireless and security. Both curricula also include embedded “e-doing”, which applies the principle that people learn best by doing. With a new graphical user interface, multimedia Flash-based activities, and embedded simulation software (Packet Tracer), students are provided with a rich and engaging interactive learning experience that increases comprehension.
“With all the labs, games and activities, the new CCNA curricula will stimulate students to explore further and deeper into networking technology”, said Ana Chupungco, from the Philippine Science High School in Quezon City, Philippines.
The new version of Packet Tracer v4.1 provides students with the ability to create a network with a virtually unlimited number of devices, encouraging open practice, discovery, and troubleshooting only limited by a student’s imagination. Beyond simulation, Packet Tracer provides a way for the visualization of internal operations and data passing in a network environment to accelerate the learning of networking concepts.
“The integration of Packet Tracer into the curriculum makes it easier to acquire the details of complex operation, which is rather difficult to present by traditional tools and methodologies,” said Dr. Feher. He continued, “It is wonderful to partner with Cisco to educate students for hi-tech careers and provide industry certifications that are highly marketable in today’s economy.”
The updated CCNP curriculum provides the knowledge and skills necessary to deploy and maintain fully integrated network infrastructure services and applications. The curriculum focuses on the advanced skills required to manage the end-to-end network infrastructure and goes beyond core routing and switching to include applications deployed on the edge of the network, such as wireless, security and voice. It includes topics such as converged networks, quality of service (QoS), virtual private networks (VPNs) and broadband technologies. CCNP integrates next-generation network devices and services engineered to provide wire-speed delivery of concurrent data, voice, video and wireless services with optimized security.
To complement the introduction of these products, a student recruitment video is being launched simultaneously to pique the interest of students considering their next steps in IT skills learning and further reinforce the notions of significant job availability and cool careers. Students can also begin to acquaint themselves with Cisco Networking Academy by exploring AcademyNetspace (www.academynetspace.com) and signing up for the NetSpace Challenge to test their IT knowledge against the global Networking Academy community.
To support the new curriculum, Cisco Learning Institute has partnered with the Networking Academy to produce a variety of instructor training materials, including the next generation of instructor resources called Interactive Course Guides (ICGs). ICGs provide customized instructional support and tools including teaching goals, critical concepts, suggestions for teaching difficult networking areas, discussion ideas, case studies, extended labs, videos on demand, and technical briefings. Cisco Learning Institute’s ICGs and other instructor training material can be accessed from the Cisco Networking Academy web portal.
On June 25, 2007, the new CCNA curricula (English versions) will be generally available: CCNA Discovery courses “Networking for Home and Small Businesses” and “Working at a Small-to-Medium Business or ISP;” and CCNA Exploration courses “Network Fundamentals” and “Routing Protocols and Concepts.” English versions of CCNA Discovery courses “Introducing Routing and Switching in the Enterprise” and “Designing and Supporting Computer Networks,” and CCNA Exploration courses “LAN Switching and Wireless” and “Accessing the WAN,” will be available by December 2007.
For self-guided preview tours of CCNA Discovery and CCNA Exploration visit:
The curricula align with the new CCENT and updated CCNA certifications. Additional information is available at:
For more information about the Cisco Networking Academy Program, visit:
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