PERRYSBURG TOWNSHIP, OH – Web pages, Second Life, 3-D animation and computer forensics are just a few of the information technology areas that over 250 girls in grades 7-10 recently explored as part of an interactive professional conference at Owens Community College’s Toledo-area and Findlay-area campuses. The event titled “We Are IT” was part of a statewide initiative involving 18 colleges and universities working together for the purpose of providing female students with a broad-based introduction to information technology applications and the array of rapidly-growing career opportunities.
For Franciss Lockett of Toledo, the opportunity to participate in a variety of information technology educational activities meant a day of “cool” exploration on computers.
“I really like to learn about technology and enjoy experimenting with new things on the computer,” said Lockett, an eighth grade student at Leverette Junior High School. “I want to become a teacher someday and really feel it’s important to incorporate technology into education.”
Aleesha Shafer of Continental, a freshman student at Continental High School, added, “I learned a lot about computers that I never knew before today. The different sessions were fun and interesting.”
Throughout the event, conference attendees had the opportunity to explore a wide variety of career paths and vocations in information technology, including 3-D animation using the ALICE Programming Language (Toledo-area and Findlay-area campuses), Second Life (Toledo-area and Findlay-area campuses), ePortfolios (Findlay-area Campus), wikis and blogs (Findlay-area Campus), Microsoft Office 2007 (Toledo-area Campus), personal web page design (Toledo-area Campus), Photoshop skills (Toledo-area Campus), computer forensics (Toledo-area Campus), computer diagnostics (Toledo-area Campus) and computer security (Toledo-area Campus).
In addition to the lecture portion of each session, the students were given a project to complete in order to further learn the concepts being taught. Sessions were taught by various members of Owens’ information technology and electronics faculty and staff, among others.
“Owens Community College is proud to participate in a statewide initiative which is focused on exposing area students to various career options within information technology,” said Lyn Snyder, Owens Professor of Information Systems and Chair of the College’s ‘We Are IT’ professional conference committee. “The demand for information technology workers continues to increase and several information technology-related occupations are recognized by the U.S. Department of Labor and the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services as the fastest-growing careers in the nation.”
Snyder added, “‘We Are IT’ affords students with a great opportunity to obtain first-hand knowledge about this ever-growing career field from Northwest Ohio’s premier information technology educators and working professionals.”
Students also had time during lunch to meet individuals from local businesses and ask them questions concerning their professions. Additionally, they received information on how to go about choosing a career within information technology after completing their education.
Among the area schools that attended “We Are IT” were Carey High School, Central Middle School (Findlay City Schools), Clay High School, Continental High School, Donnell Middle School (Findlay City Schools), Eastwood Middle School, Gateway Middle School (Maumee City Schools), Glenwood Middle School (Findlay City Schools), Leverette Junior High School (Toledo Public Schools), Libbey High School, Rogers High School and Woodward High School.
Other academic institutions that participated in the statewide initiative included Edison State Community College, University of Akron, Columbus State Community College, Hocking College, Kent State University, Lakeland Community College, North Central State College, Northwest State Community College, Sinclair Community College and Youngstown State University, among others.
Owens’ “We Are IT” professional conference was held in conjunction with the Ohio IT Business Advisory Network and the Office of Career-Technical and Adult Education of the Ohio Department of Education.
Owens offers a wide variety of academic programs within information technology through the College’s School of Business and Information Systems, and past graduates have gone on to high paying careers as computer programmers, systems analysts, Internet support specialists, network support specialists and information systems managers throughout Northwest Ohio. Information technology-specific programs offered at Owens include Computer Programming, E-Business, Information Systems, Networking and Information Systems Support, and Information Technology.
Owens Community College is one of the fastest-growing higher educational institutions in Ohio. On the Toledo-area and Findlay-area campuses, Owens serves more than 45,000 credit and non-credit students. Owens is committed to providing small classes, personal attention and unmatched affordability. Owens Community College offers associate degrees that transfer to baccalaureate degrees in the Arts and Sciences and over 130 technical program areas in Agriculture, Business, Health Sciences, Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Skilled Trades, and Engineering and Transportation Technologies. Owens students also can earn the first two years of a bachelor’s degree with a smooth transfer to any area four-year college or university. For more information, visit www.owens.edu.