A new CISCO Networking Academy – a large classroom in the G block of the UCCI, full of the most up-to-date information technology equipment, has opened up exciting new opportunities for students and member of the community to accredited CISCO qualifications and update their skills in the fast-moving world of IT. Gregg Prynn, Senior Directo for Corporate Affairs for CISCO, and Shari Slate, CISCO’s Chief Inclusion and Collaboration Officer, met with Dr. Stacy McAfee, President of the UCCI and the UCCI’s Assistant Professor, Mr. Selgin Amador, during the ceremonial opening of the new computer lab.
The new facility is accessible from everyone, from computer beginners to advanced students, whether they are full-time at the UCCI or they are already working.
“We are here today to celebrate the launching of a collaboration between UCCI and CISCO to bring to the Cayman Islands a networking academy,” said Dr. McAfee. “Through this partnership we have the opportunity to deliver cutting edge technology education from students to working adults, to open up the world of possibilities for those of our students and community members to thrive in the digital economy. This is a collaboration that resulted from a series of dreaming conversations about what is possible and how can we ensure that nobody is left behind.”
CISCO is one of the world’s leading IT training institutions, operating in 180 countries. “What we do is provide the foundation for people to learn how to work in the digital economy,” Mr. Prynn said, after handing over a giant-size cheque for 60,000 dollars, representing a grant from CISCO, to the university. “We wanted to start off with that which would be most relevant for the Cayman Islands, so we looked at outside of the public sector what areas need to be served, and you can see that finance is a huge player here and hospitality is a huge player here, and these are technologies that are using more and more things connected to the internet. Each time you connect something to the internet, if it’s not secure then it becomes an opportunity for somebody to break in.”
While teaching these courses, CISCO instructor Mr. Amador will have access to the community of educators and ongoing professional development facilities, to ensure that what is being taught is current. “It’s accessible for anyone. You could start from the basics of computer literacy and then move on to advanced. I believe this is for everybody, because now we live in an age where information technology you need to be familiar you need to make it your own. If not you are left out and that is why this initiative comes at the right time to the Cayman Islands to help,” he said.