By: Darren DiMarco | Writer
Whether you have walked by it on your way to your car in the side parking lot, or glanced at it on your way to the yearbook room to take a club picture, the classroom P-3 remains a mystery for many students and even most staff.
Currently, room P-3 is home to the newly implemented CISCO Learning Lab, a hands-on computer workshop dealing with every aspect of computer technology and with the aim to train students in IT, along with other courses, and certify them for careers in the industry.
The CISCO Learning Lab was officially opened after the ribbon cutting ceremony on September 27th of this year. The lab was made possible from a $3.275 million Career Technical Education grant which was split to provide for the CISCO Learning Lab as well Capistrano Valley High School’s Tech-Knowledgy Lab. This grant has fully provided for the accommodations included in both labs such as new computers, multiple 3-D printers, computer software, and practice hardware for students to pick apart and study.
Capistrano Unified School District’s partnership with CISCO has allowed for San Clemente High School to offer courses in robotics, engineering, animation and multimedia design, cyber security, and computer science; advanced technological courses which would have been impossible to provide for beforehand. The partnership also allows for the courses to offer CCIE, or CISCO Certified Internetwork Expert technical certification, allowing for students to have career options with CISCO right off the bat after graduating from high school. According to an interview with CISCO lab instructor Greg Finch, conducted by a member of CUSD staff for an article in “Capo Talk,” the CCIE certification includes options for students to pursue careers that “can start anywhere from 130 to 170 thousand.”
San Clemente High School students from every age and grade are encouraged to participate in the program. Whether your interest with computers lies in the creative or with the more technical aspects, courses in the CISCO Learning Lab could be the answer to pursuing what you love in the form of a career.
Students participating in the program are excited about what they are learning. After an interview with SCHS students and participants in the CISCO Learning Lab program, Juan Garcia (11) and Oliver Sang (11), I was able to uncover more about room P-3.
I understand you two are part of the Cisco Learning Lab. In what aspects are you two involved?
JG: I’m in AP Computer Science.
OS: Same, we are in the same class.
The program offers multiple course options. Why did you choose the course that you did?
JG: I felt like learning something new could open new doors for me.
OS: Because I’m interested in programming and wanted to check it out.
Do you plan to continue with Computer Science even after graduating from high school?
JG: I think I would to extend my knowledge about the subject.
OS: No, I found some other interests that might be better for me.
After graduating from college, are you hoping to have a career in the computer industry?
JG: I’m guessing I probably would after having learned more about the industry.
OS: Yes, but not in Computer Science.
Are you committed to a career with CISCO or are your options open?
JG: My options are definitely open but a job at CISCO does look pretty good.
OS: I’m also open to other opportunities.
The CISCO Learning Lab has opened up an array of opportunities for passionate students to be a part of and learn more about what they might want to pursue as a career. The opening of this new lab demonstrates the way in which careers in computer technology are becoming some of the most desired professions. Those with the certifications and qualifications given by the CISCO Learning Lab program are desired by all kinds of companies and businesses from around the world.