LCCC’s University Partnership Ridge Campus a Hub for Hot IT Programs

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With innovative and in-demand programs, Lorain County Community College’s University Partnership Ridge Campus (UPRC) in North Ridgeville is the go-to place for students preparing for careers in the information technologies (IT) industry.

UPRC offers IT programs in digital forensics, mobile application development, web development, information systems, computer science and engineering, entrepreneurship, network communication technologies, software development and many more. These programs are designed to get local students quickly trained and ready to fill a gap in the local workforce.

“Each year, 2,500 IT jobs go empty in our region. LCCC is preparing students for these jobs close to home,” said Kelly Zelesnik, dean of Engineering and Information Technologies. “We are training a workforce that will fill the IT needs of our area.”

At UPRC, digital and business forensics students are trained in the state-of-the art Advanced Digital Forensic Institute (ADFI), a facility that places LCCC at the cutting edge of the information technology field. ADFI is not only lab for students. The organization provides degree programs and services to various government agencies, private companies and non-public organizations.

Through LCCC’s University Partnership, students can complete a bachelor’s degree in computer science and engineering from The University of Toledo, with all courses available at UPRC. A student who earns the degree at UPRC can save up to $45,000 compared to cost of room, board and tuition to complete the program on The University of Toledo campus. Additionally, several students receive a full scholarship through a competitive applications process through LCCC’s University Partnership.

With the wide variety of IT tracks offered at UPRC, many courses fill requirements for more than one degree, such as business forensics investigations; computer and digital forensics; computer maintenance and networking; or computer applications integration specialist.

“The majority of IT credits earned can be applied to all four degrees at the same time, allowing students to earn multiple degrees with only a few additional courses,” explained LCCC professor Hikmat Chedid.

The flexible schedule of classes allows students to begin work in the IT field while continuing their education.

“After one year, you may earn a one-year technical certificate that prepares you to work in the field and continue your education toward the associate degree and beyond,” he added.

Students interested in computer information systems (CIS) programs – such as web development, software development, network infrastructure (Cisco), network administration, and mobile application development – benefit from curriculums that are focused on the implementation and integration of technology within a business to enable it to be more competitive in the global economy, said professor Don Huffman.

“At UPRC, students receive a breadth of IT knowledge with a focus in their choice of software development, web development, mobile application development, network administration, and network infrastructure,” Huffman said.

Students completing the network administration and infrastructure (Cisco) program graduate prepared to take the Cisco exam. Students may transfer to the LCCC University Partnership program with The University of Akron and complete a bachelor’s degree in networking while only taking one additional year of course work at The University of Akron.

The computer information systems network infrastructure certificate is focused on the Cisco Network Academy curriculum. UPRC houses new Cisco hardware and state-of-the-art lab facilities that enhance the student learning process.  UPRC also hosts the curriculum’s Cisco NetLab environment, providing the ability for students in the program to have access to router and switch pods to practice their coursework from anywhere as long as they have an Internet connection.

“Students who complete the Cisco short-term certificate are prepared to take the Cisco exam and receive certification, which employers like to see in addition to a degree,” Huffman said.

The CIS programs also provide an easy pathway to a CIS degree from The University of Akron, available through LCCC’s University Partnership.

UPRC is conveniently located in North Ridgeville on Lorain Road adjacent to the Interstate 480 east entrance ramp.

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