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Three UW-RF Students Receive IT Certification Training

February 5, 1999

A two-week intensive training program in information technology support was conducted in which three UW-River Falls students participated. A total of 40 UW students from all campuses participated in this pilot program funded by the University of Wisconsin System.

Receiving certification were UW-RF student Daniel Christensen of River Falls, Stacy Warren of Clear Lake, Minn., and Vasanth Bala of River Falls.

The program included comprehensive training on supporting desktop computing and was conducted at the Madison Area Technical College. As part of the program, the students were transported to Madison and housed in the UW-Madison residence halls during their two weeks of training. All of the students who participated in the pilot program successfully completed the program and were awarded certificates acknowledging their accomplishments.

Gary Smith, UW-River Falls Chief Information Officer, selected the three students who participated from the campus. These students are all current student employees of the UW-RF Information Technology Services Department. According to Mr. Smith, "The pilot training program was a huge success! All of the students involved indicated that they received a very positive experience and learned a lot. We anticipate receiving considerable benefit from their increased knowledge and experience. One of the more gratifying comments made by the students upon their return to campus was that they were surprised and impressed by how much more advanced UW-River Falls' IT services are than many of the other UW campuses. It tells me that we are doing many things the right way."

He added, "The main reason for this pilot program was to begin a process of addressing our need for trained information technology support staff by training and utilizing our own student resources. This is a win-win situation. The campuses benefit by receiving trained student help and not having to hire as many permanent staff. The students win by becoming trained, certified and more marketable once they graduate. The pilot is being viewed as such a tremendous success that plans are now being made to double the size of the program for next year and expand it considerably more in the next biennium."

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