Rhode Island expands high school tech program

Three more Rhode Island high schools will launch education programs that help prepare students for jobs in the high-tech industry. The so-called Academies of Information Technology will be launched in the fall, the Providence Journal has reported.

The Rhode Island Technology Council (RITEC) has chosen the Woonsocket Area Career and Technical Center, the Warwick Area Career and Technical Center, and the Times Squared Academy in Providence as the newest locations for the four-year training programs.

RITEC, the state’s technology trade organization, unveiled the first technology academy at the Newport Area Career and Technical center last fall. The programs train students in existing and emerging technologies and place them in internships at local high-tech businesses.

Building a high-tech work force is an important part of attracting high-growth technology companies to the state, said Louis Soares, project manager for education and training at RITEC.

The academy curriculum gives high school freshmen and sophomores a working knowledge of a variety of technologies, and it teaches students more specialized technology skills in their last two years.

Students are taught computer programming, web page design, the basics of building a computer network, and hardware systems support and maintenance. They also have the option of taking courses on advanced skills such as Java, computer-based animation, and web server administration.

The curriculum was developed by the National Academy Foundation, a 12-year-old nonprofit organization that creates academic programs to prepare high school students for specific industries. Woonsocket and Warwick are running the foundation’s travel and tourism academies.

RITEC, acting as the foundation’s local arm, is responsible for reviewing applications from schools looking to launch the program. To apply, a high school must prove that it has the resources to implement the academy and has teachers with industry knowledge and expertise, said Soares.

Want to share a great resource? Let us know at submissions@eschoolmedia.com.