"I am having trouble connecting to Wi-Fi," says a student approaching the CRAM (Computer Repair and Maintenance) help window at McCutcheon High School. Wireless connectivity problems are among several issues that students who work in the Computer Tech Support and Network Fundamentals program can troubleshoot.
Students operate the helpdesk using an inventory and trouble-ticket system just like they would in an actual Information Technology department.
"CRAM has taught me a lot about the ins and outs of a computer, along with real-life situations and opportunities to further my education," says junior Gibson Spencer. "I've seen how cables, chips, and lots other components are made. Companies like Metronet came to school to show us what they do when out in the field repairing cables and helping customers."
Teacher Christina Bennett says CRAM gives students at both high schools the opportunity to earn industry-recognized certifications that make them more hirable. The first year is focused on PC hardware/software. Students work toward the CompTIA A+ certification. They also earn six college credits from Vincennes University. In the second year, students focus on networking and work toward the Network+ certification, earning additional college credit.
"It's a great opportunity for students with an interest in Information Technology to explore the field before graduating high school," says Bennett. "There is not a career out there today that doesn't include some technology."