CCTC Computer Technology Graduate – The Journey of Alexis Berens
The majority of today’s business and organizations rely on computers and information technology to share and store information. IT hardware, software and systems require highly trained workers to maintain and monitor them or to design, develop or modify documents using microcomputer application software. The field of computer technology has created a range of positions from programmers to systems technicians. Career opportunities include computer operator, hardware/software technician, application programmer, programmer/analyst, network technician, network administrator, applications specialist, web specialist, end-user support technician, network/LAN manager, WAN technician or help desk specialist.
Alexis Berens graduated from Central Carolina Technical College in May of 2019 after earning a Computer Technology Associate Degree in Applied, Science, Computer Specialist Certificate and a Cybersecurity Certificate. Alexis was nominated by faculty to be honored with the Academic Achievement Award for the Cybersecurity Certificate program and she also graduated with Summa Cum Laude honors at her graduation ceremony. After graduating from the college Alexis landed a job working as a Security Analyst for the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED). “I greatly enjoy my job which requires heavy computer use. I knew that I wanted to work in a more technical field and I chose CCTC specifically because they offered the Cybersecurity Certificate program. Knowing that what I’m doing matters is by far the most enjoyable aspect of working in information security. I love the challenges and excitement, but knowing that I’m helping people is the best part. Securing our information is a critical task and I’m happy to be a part of the solution,” says Alexis. “CCTC gave me the sturdy technical foundation that will support my growth in the career that I’ve chosen. The Computer Technology program includes all necessary major areas, teaching students about hardware, software, networking and programming while weaving in experience with productivity applications (word processing, spreadsheets, databases, etc.). Find your passion. Information security, like all technology, is in a constant state of change and staying up to date is a requirement. “
The Computer Technology Associate Degree in Applied Science program at CCTC provides students with the opportunity to learn the necessary skills to use state-of-the-art computer systems to solve business and information systems related problems. The program focuses on problem-solving and decision-making using microcomputers and associated technology. The curriculum includes three distinct concentrations consisting of advanced courses in the areas of programming, web development and networking.
Communications and network professionals work in service industries, insurance and financial services firms, government agencies and within manufacturing. Earning additional vendor certifications can enhance employment opportunities and qualify applicants for specialized positions. Because technology changes rapidly, computer and IT professionals must continue to enhance the latest skills. Computer and IT personnel usually work closely with others including help desk support, project management teams and system users. Computer personnel often work in computer labs or offices and in some cases may be required to travel or be “on call” outside of standard business hours to resolve IT problems.
If you would like to learn more about CCTC’s Computer Technology program, please visit www.cctech.edu/program-of-study/computer-technology-cmpt/
TOP TITAN: Elizabeth White
Assistant Director of Financial Aid
Elizabeth continues to excel in her new position as Assistant Director. In addition to her regular duties as Scholarship and State funding coordinator, she has assumed the mantle of training coordinator for the department. She has also assumed the Titan Spark event coordinator role with Matt Cady. She has initiated the “Titan Talk Tuesday” newsletter for the admissions and recruitment team to keep them informed of what is going on in Financial Aid each week. Elizabeth also participated in three weeks of intensive Banner training to learn technical aspects of processing aid and has taken on additional duties as a result. Ultimately her concern is with our students and providing them with the best options and customer service that our department can provide.
Angela Durant graduated from Lugoff-Elgin High School in 2008. Like many high school seniors, she was uncertain about attending college due to the financial burden that can follow. After attending a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) workshop hosted by Central Carolina Technical College, she realized that financial options were available for her. Following high school, she enrolled at CCTC. After spending a brief semester in the Nursing Program, she finally found her place in Human Services. “I always liked helping people,” Angela explained. “That’s what attracted me to nursing, but my heart wasn’t in it. Then I discovered Human Services, and it felt like home.”
Human Services Adjunct Instructor Wendy Cunningham speaks highly of her former student, “Angela is never afraid to take charge of a situation, to ask the hard questions, to be honest and even apologize when she’s wrong. These are all characteristics of a strong leader.” In her internship at the Kershaw County Solicitor’s Office, it is no surprise that she did excellent work. Angela recently graduated from CCTC as a member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society with a Human Services Associate Degree in Applied Science, cum laude.
Angela exemplifies and models the caliber of great students that CCTC both attracts and produces. She has worked hard and overcome personal barriers to complete her degree: working full-time, getting married and becoming a mother all while attending evening classes. Her story is an inspiration to persevere toward a goal even in the midst of life’s challenges. Next up for Angela is a bachelor’s degree from Coker College. She is still deciding between Criminology and Social Work, but one thing is for sure, the foundation she received at CCTC has prepared her for a successful future.
Central Carolina Technical College is proud of its partnerships with local businesses and industries. It’s because of these partnerships that many students gain on-the-job experience while still attending CCTC. Ultimately, these local businesses and industries also employ many CCTC graduates.
Matthew Catoe graduated from Lugoff-Elgin High School in 2012 and immediately enrolled in Central Carolina Technical College. During his time in high school, Matthew took advantage of the Applied Technology Education Campus (ATEC), available to all Kershaw county students enrolled in tenth through twelfth grades. At ATEC, Matthew took classes in precision metal working. His interest in CCTC’s Mechatronics Program developed during an Industrial & Engineering Technology tour of the college. Following graduation from high school, he enrolled at CCTC and during his second semester interned at Coca-Cola in Bishopville, where he was offered part-time employment. Wanting to stay closer to home, he declined the offer and later interviewed at Invista in Lugoff. He was offered full-time employment. Matthew graduated from CCTC in 2014 with an Advanced Mechatronics Technology Certificate and immediately started working at Invista. His supervisors speak highly of his skills and his eagerness to learn.
Through educational and community partnerships, Matthew’s journey from high school to workforce was nearly seamless. Kershaw County Economic Development Director Peggy McLean recognizes the benefits of these partnerships, “Central Carolina Technical College’s Mechatronics program produces work-ready, eager and skilled graduates. These graduates are especially important to our local industries as they are the workforce needed by our manufacturers today and in the future.”