$10K grant to fund IHCC scholarships for high school students in Cisco Networking Academies

INVER GROVE HEIGHTS—Inver Hills Community College will be offering scholarships of up to $1,000 to Inver Hills’ students who have taken Cisco Networking Academy classes during high school, thanks to a $10,000 grant from Xcel Energy. Beginning in January 2014, both full- and part-time students who enroll in any of Inver Hill’s Information Technology (IT) programs will be eligible.

“”Recently, our country has realized that anyone working with computers is part of this nation’s cybersecurity team,” said Kevin Gyolai, dean of STEM at Inver Hills. “These scholarships will help students fund their dream to be on the front lines of cybersecurity.”

IHCC is one of only 30 or so community colleges in the nation designated by the Department of Homeland Security as a Center of Academic Excellence for its cybersecurity program. The college’s program is also recognized by MnSCU as part of a Center of Academic Excellence.

According to Gyolai, some of the high school students who pick up industry certificates at a Cisco Networking Academy are ready for entry level jobs. “But in order to get a good-paying job, they need further education,” Gyolai said. “Inver Hills has created a clear pathway from high school to college for students pursuing a career in IT.

As part of its service to students interested in computer technology, Inver Hills is sponsoring the Minnesota Cyber Aces State Competition, one of only 10 community colleges chosen to pilot the program this year. All Minnesotans interested in cybersecurity are welcome to participate. Registration is already open at www.cyberaces.org, and the first round of competition is October 15.

Applicants interested in the scholarship should go to www.inverhills.edu/foundation, click on “Scholarships” for the application form and be sure to mention participation in Cisco Networking Academy in the “Narrative” section.  For questions, contact mdimick@inverhills.edu.

About Inver Hills

Inver Hills, a leader in liberal arts education in the south metro, also offers regionally and nationally recognized programs in computer networking, health care, and other community-based career fields. Founded in 1970, the college serves diverse populations while actively soliciting input from industry advisors, engaging students in experiential learning, and addressing Minnesota’s 21st-century workforce needs. More than 50 degree and certificate options—including A.A., A.F.A., A.S., and A.A.S.—prepare students for employment or permit them to continue their educations through transfer to four-year institutions.

About Xcel Energy

Xcel Energy is a major US electricity and natural gas company operating in eight Western and Midwestern states. The company supports communities in four important focus areas: math and science education;, environmental stewardship; job training, placement, and creation; and access to arts and culture. In 2012, Xcel Energy invested $8 million in support of communities across its service territory.

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