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UC, Warren County School Districts Partner to Tackle Region’s IT Talent Deficit

Novel agreement gives students opportunity to enter college as sophomores, earn debt-free education and two years professional work experience.

Date: 12/11/2017 3:00:00 PM
By: Matt Koesters
Phone: (513) 556-5279
Photos By: Peg Allen, Warren County Career Center

UC ingot  
UC and Warren County school leadership pose for a photo

Students at five more Greater Cincinnati area high schools will have the opportunity to finish their first year of the University of Cincinnati’s bachelor’s degree program in information technology by the time they complete high school.

UC College of Education, Criminal Justice & Human Services Dean Lawrence Johnson signed bilateral agreements with the superintendents of Kings Local Schools, Lebanon City Schools, Little Miami Local Schools, Springboro Community City Schools, and the Warren County Career Center on Monday. The agreements give high school students in each school system the opportunity to participate in Early College IT programs. 

“By beginning this process while in high school, students will enter college at a sophomore level and immediately be eligible for the co- op experience where they can earn an income that can be used to help pay for the remainder of college,” said Kim Gambill, the Warren County Career Center’s director of curriculum and student development. “We are all so excited to help students get an early and meaningful start on their college experience responsibly while also working within our community to help fill the estimated 2,000 unfilled jobs in the region due to a lack of qualified candidates. It is clearly a win-win for all involved!”

These agreements are similar to the Early College IT program UC partnered with Cincinnati Public Schools to create in September. Participants in the ECIT must take a combination of advanced-placement and college-level classes such as Computer Networking, Web Development and System administration. All classes must be completed with a C- or better to qualify for automatic acceptance to UC and sophomore status in UC’s baccalaureate IT program. 

Dean Larry Johnson shakes hands with WCCC Superintendent Rick Smith

Students who complete their freshman year of the IT bachelor’s degree program will become eligible to participate in co-op upon graduation, the income from which can then be used to pay for college tuition and books. IT majors are required to complete five semesters of co-op to graduate and earn an average of about $45,000 during the 20 months of professional experience, which makes it possible for students to graduate with little or no debt.

Areas of study within the bachelor's IT program include software development, cybersecurity, IT infrastructure and game development.