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A-B Tech Press Release

ASHEVILLE, NC (May 1, 2001) - Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College (A-B Tech) announced today it will join the prestigious Cisco Networking Academy Program as a Regional Academy. The Cisco Networking Academy Program is a program of Cisco Systems, Inc. the worldwide leader in networking for the Internet.

"In the new Internet economy, lifelong learning and technology training will be the foundation for remaining competitive in the workforce," said Cisco Chairman John Morgridge. "The Internet and education are the global equalizers in life, and Cisco is committed to improving education for today's students around the world."

A-B Tech, already an established leader in providing Western North Carolina residents with the skills they require to succeed in the Internet economy, will add the Cisco Networking Academy Program's eight-semester curriculum to its course offerings. Through this program, high school, community college, and university students learn how to design, build, and maintain computer networks.

The first four semesters focus on the Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) certified curriculum. Students learn the basics of computer networking and, at the successful completion of the first four semesters, are qualified to take the CCNA exam. Semesters five through eight offer a more in-depth, advanced computer networking curriculum, which prepares students to take the Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) certification exam.

"By offering the Cisco Networking Academy curriculum at A-B Tech, we have taken yet another step in providing our students with the skills they need to succeed in the Internet economy," said K. Ray Bailey, president of A-B Tech. "We continue to fulfill our vision of producing graduates who will meet the needs of the information technology (IT) workforce.

"Computer networking skills are among those most in demand in the IT workplace. Both the CCNA and the CCNP certifications are recognized worldwide as standard certifications for network professionals. Entry-level CCNA certificate holders typically earn $25,000 to $40,000. Entry-level CCNP certificate holders typically earn $50,000 to $60,000.

As a regional academy, A-B Tech will also become the Western North Carolina training center for Cisco Networking Academy instructors. A-B Tech computer technologies faculty trained in the Cisco Networking Academy curriculum will train other instructors from high schools, community colleges, and universities to deliver the CCNA curriculum in accordance with strict quality guidelines.

Since its debut in October 1997, the Cisco Networking Academy Program has experienced phenomenal growth. Today more than 193,000 students in 121 countries are enrolled in either the CCNA or CCNP course of instruction at more than 6,500 academies. North Carolina has 124 Cisco Networking Academies in high schools, community colleges, and four-year colleges and universities, with more than 1,500 students enrolled. A-B Tech becomes the 14th regional academy in the state.


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