For two and one half days in March, Craven Community College (Craven CC) was the host college for the annual conference of the NC Computer Instruction Association (NCCIA). The NCCIA is a nonprofit organization that holds the three-day event to bring together information technology (IT) instructors from community colleges across the state.
“For us, it was a big deal to host the conference because it has been an important annual conference for our IT instructors to attend every year,” said Jim Millard, dean of Career Programs at Craven CC.
This year, 175 instructors from 38 community colleges, seven universities and one county high school system were in attendance. According to Tom Murphy, dean of IT programs at Durham Technical Community College and NCCIA president, “The NCCIA conference is important in that it provides inexpensive professional development opportunities to instructors.”
Murphy said, “Instructors learn new technologies and best practices and share what they’re doing in the classroom. Instructors also benefit from networking and connecting with other colleges’ instructors, sharing common and different perspectives and experiences.”
According to Annette Walker, Craven CC IT instructor and conference program coordinator, “For our small venue, we did a big job.” Walker said in addition to benefitting the instructors, the conference benefits students. Walker said instructors learn what is necessary in the field in order to prepare students for a career in IT.
Bob Husson, Craven CC IT instructor, has been involved with the NCCIA since its inception in 1994. In addition to leading a software and web development roundtable discussion, Husson was involved with conference set up assuring computers were loaded with the necessary software.
There were also several testing sessions where instructors could receive certifications in specific technologies. There were 15 sponsors of the conference including Cengage, Certiport, Cisco Networking Academy, CompTIA, East Carolina University, G-W Publisher, McGraw Hill Education, NDG, PaloAlto Networks, Paradigm Education Solutions, Red Hat, Sentia Publishing, Stanly Community College and VMware.
“We’ve always said we wanted to host the NCCIA conference, so, when we were selected, we all thought it would be nice to have it at Craven,” said Millard. Millard said support for the hosting the conference was college-wide with several months of preparation. “Our IT instructors, college administration, and staff from facilities, IT department, security and other departments did an outstanding job making this event successful,” said Millard.
Deborah Kania is the director of marketing, communications and development liaison at Craven Community College.
Article originally appeared in New Bern Sun Journal.