New College Institute signs as IMPACT's newest partner
Radford University President Brian O. Hemphill joined IMPACT Executive Director Matt Dunleavy, Ph.D., and staff in the Vinod Chachra IMPACT Lab on June 28 to celebrate the program’s first graduate, Stacey Howard ’04, and its newest partner, New College Institute (NCI).
“This is another momentous day for us,” Dunleavy said. “All of this is a manifestation of President Hemphill’s vision. With today’s celebration of our first graduate and newest partner, we take another step forward in his vision of a highly innovative university serving our community’s workforce development needs.”
IMPACT, or, Innovative Mobile Personalized Accelerated Competency Training, is a competency-based education (CBE) program that is training working professionals for high-demand professions in cybersecurity, geospatial intelligence and education throughout the Commonwealth and beyond.
The program officially launched Oct. 1, 2017, with an initial focus on cybersecurity to help address the critical need for cybersecurity trained professionals in the Virginia workforce, and to leverage Radford University’s nationally-recognized information technology security program. Since its debut, IMPACT curriculum has expanded its offerings to include geospatial intelligence and K-12 teacher professional development.
Because of its self-paced nature, Howard, Director of Technology for Radford City Public Schools, was able to complete the cybersecurity certificate in just seven months.
“The information I gathered from this program was so helpful,” said Howard, who has already applied the curriculum to his job. “If I didn’t understand a certain concept one way, the professors would explain it differently until I understood. Also, I was able to back up and re-listen to the lessons if I needed to.”
Howard attended the June 28th celebration at which he was presented with a framed IMPACT certificate by President Hemphill. He said he was proud to be part of the Highlander family and an IMPACT graduate.
“At Radford, you’re not just a number, and that’s what this program is all about,” Howard said.
Also at the June 28th event, NCI representatives Dr. Leanna Blevins, Executive Director, and Melany Stowe, Assistant Director of Academics and Communications, joined President Hemphill and Dunleavy to sign as IMPACT’s newest partner.
Located in Martinsville, NCI is a state-funded educational entity that provides access to bachelor's degree completion programs, master's degrees, teacher endorsement programs, teacher recertification courses, and more through partnerships with colleges and universities. In addition to college-level degree and certification programs, NCI offers experiential learning opportunities, summer camps, non-credit lecture series, financial aid resource events and other community programs to promote access to education throughout the Martinsville-Henry County region.
The partnership, Blevins explained, will equate to 12 new IMPACT learners this fall. The program will primarily be delivered online in a self-paced manner along with onsite seminars at NCI. The IMPACT program is designed to help prepare participants for multiple industry-recognized cyber defense certifications including: CompTIA Security+, CISCO CCENT, CompTIA Network+, SANS GCIH (Certified Incident Handler), SANS GPEN (Pen Tester) and CISSP.
Blevins said that NCI is aligned with Radford University and IMPACT, a “highly relevant and needed program,” she said.
“We are committed to partnerships like this that connect best practices in higher education to industry needs,” she continued.
In addition to NCI, IMPACT’s current public and private partners are: Montgomery County Public Schools; Radford City Public Schools; Ennoble First; VCOM; Giles County Public Schools; Radford City Police Department; Private Advisors, LLC; Radford University; Buchanan County Public Schools; Henry County Public Schools; NC4; Mecklenburg County Public Schools and TRGroup.
Current IMPACT staff include: Tom Bennett, Erin Berman, Thomas Jeter, Jon Allen, Katie Thomas, Jason Tyler, Lauren Hatfield, Clark Dehart, Crystal Fortner, Dr. Brooke Blanks and Radford University Professors Prem Uppuluri (cybersecurity) and Andrew Foy (geospatial intelligence).