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Academic Alliances Case Study

Advancing Student Learning with

the NetApp Academic Alliances
The Challenge Storage 101: Mix and match
With continued data growth and industry foundational web-based courses
Access to interactive, trends, such as virtualization, cloud that introduce students to storage
professionally designed, computing, big data, and analytics, technologies and terminology.
Web-based courses todays CIOs value storage and data Data ONTAP: Offer five-hour to six-
management skills more than ever before. hour deep-dive technical courses
Classroom-ready teaching on NetApp storage management
modules, focused on an array Because hybrid cloud architectures softwarethe worlds number-one
of storage-related topics are becoming the dominant enterprise branded storage operating system.
computing model, data management is Virtual simulators (VSIMs): Deploy
NetApp simulation tools foundational for IT operations. Colleges and or have students install the same
for a real-world, hands-on universities must include storage in their VSIMs used by NetApp engineers,
experience information technology and information and provide hours of hands-on
Curriculum-development systems (IT/IS) curricula or risk leaving experience with cutting-edge storage
consultation and support from students with a gap in essential skills. management software.
storage-industry experts NetApp Certified Storage
According to an article published in the
Administrator (NCSA): This 28-hour
A rich library of teaching November 2014 Information Systems
track features web-based training,
materials, including white Education Journal, IS and IT educators
virtual self-paced labs, student
papers, industry and analyst encounter a continuing challenge to ensure
review and study materials, a
reports, case studies and that their courses and curriculum stay up to
proctored certification exam, and an
technical papers date with new and evolving technological
instructors guide.
changes in the field as well as being
Custom curriculum: Enrich
A Web portal with links to relevant to the business community.1
your classes with topics such as
a broad variety of online
NetApp Academic Alliances cloud, big data, and converged
The NetApp Academic Alliances infrastructure best practices, by using
Program can help keep courses and customer cases and videos, analyst
curriculum up to date in a rapidly reports and white papers, and more.
changing field. This industry-academic Schools around the world partner with
partnership provides faculty and NetApp to infuse storage and data
students with instructional materials, management content and best practices
hands-on labs, and the chance to earn into their courses. The Academic Alliances
an entry-level storage certification. Program, with its wide range of flexible
The Academic Alliances Program offers teaching materials, is a good fit for
faculty a flexible curriculum and a two-year community colleges, four-year
variety of teaching resource options: universities, and graduate programs alike.

Janicki, T., Cummings, J., Kline, D. M. Information Technology Job Skill Needs and Implications for Information Technology Course Content. Information Systems Education Journal, 12(6) (2014) 59-70. ISSN: 1545-679X. (A preliminary version appears in The Proceedings of ISECON 2013)
East Carolina University
curriculum could be out of date. To get
around that, I took the NetApp online
learning modules and built them into
my freshman IT Fundamentals class.

Dr. Pickards graduate course in

Network Technology leverages
the Academic Alliances course
materials with a focus on converged
infrastructures, such as FlexPod
technology, from NetApp and Cisco.
Students research each component
of a converged infrastructure
from protocols to hardware and
connectivityand bring it all together
with a FlexPod case study.
Why NetApp?
As a large university with a strong focus Benefits to Students
Location on technology, ECU relies heavily on Teaming with NetApp Academic
Greenville, North Carolina industry-sponsored curriculum to keep Alliances has been a great experience,
pace with new trends in technology. says Dr. Pickard. Im not a storage
Degree Type In 2011, recognizing a growing need expert, but Im able to give my students
Bachelor of Science in to integrate storage technologies into the storage expertise they need to
Information and Computer the IT curriculum, Dr. John Pickard, be successful. Because NetApp is
Technology, Master of Science in an instructor in ECUs College of constantly updating its curriculum,
Network Technology Engineering and Technology, reached students graduate from ECU with the
Member of NetApp Academic out to the NetApp Academic Alliances most current foundational knowledge
Alliances Since Program for help. and skills. Also, students learn
2011 about storage in the context of other
Our students are familiar with storage
infrastructure technologies, including
NetApp Storage Courses Taught as it relates to their personal computing
networking and virtualization. Both
Information and Computer devices, but I wanted to give them an
students and faculty benefit from the
Technology Fundamentals opportunity to see it from an enterprise
NetApp Certified Storage Administrator
Switching Network Technology perspective, says Dr. Pickard. When
(NCSA) certification option.
Enterprise Data Storage my students walk into a data center,
Technologies theyre going to see big cabinets that Of course, the NCSA certification
Advanced Topics in Information say NetApp all over them. Its important gives students something they can
Infrastructure Design for them to know the major players take with them to signal their expertise
in the industry so they can have an to industry, but we also use it as a
intelligent conversation in an interview benchmark to assess our curriculum,
or on the job. he explains. We know immediately if
About East Carolina University were delivering content effectively and
Courses Taught
Since 1907, East Carolina University if students are learning.
Dr. Pickard uses the NetApp Academic
(ECU) has set the standard for higher Alliances content in courses at every Future Plans
education in the American South. level, from an undergraduate course Dr. Pickard constantly seeks ways to
As a four-year university with over taught in the Bachelor of Science enhance students understanding of
100 bachelors degrees, 85 masters Information and Computer Technology data center technologies and how they
degrees, 21 doctoral programs, program to graduate courses taught work together. He plans to continue
and 62 certificates, ECU provides as part of the Master of Science in working with NetApp to evolve his
educational opportunities to students of Network Technology degree. Rather Converged Infrastructure course and
all disciplines. To prepare students for than create dedicated storage classes, explore disruptive technologies, such
work in IT, ECU offers both a Bachelor Dr. Pickard incorporates NetApp as cloud computing.
of Science degree in Information and Academic Alliances course materials
Computer Technology and a Master of into existing classes. More and more, were seeing that IT is
Science degree in Network Technology. looking for folks that can play together,
Curriculum changes are hard for any says Dr. Pickard. The integration of
university, he says. When it comes NetApp technology with other leading
to technology curriculum in particular, vendors makes it easy to bring that
the process can be so long that by the knowledge to students.
time we implement the changes, the
Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology
NetApp offers three unique features
that make it stand out among other
programs, explains Caukill. First is the
quality of the lab materials, which I can
modify and bring into the networking
curriculum. Second is the VSIM.
Practice makes perfect, and with the
VSIM, we can create a scenario thats
as close as possible to a corporate
environment. Students can practice
in that environment, break it, and just
bring up a new VSIM. Third, I really
appreciate the fact that students can
go back and review the labs throughout
the semester.
Wed just brought in the VMware IT
KEY HIGHLIGHTS Benefits to Students
Academy, and as I was taking the
VMware training myself, I realized that The NetApp curriculum is the perfect
Location complement to NMITs emphasis
Nelson, New Zealand storage really underpins virtualization,
he explains. Virtualization is the on applied knowledge and skills. By
Degree Type standard in large industry, and its partnering with NetApp, Caukill is able
3-year, Polytechnic working its way down to small and to go beyond general concepts and
medium-sized businesses. But ideas. Students first learn the basics
Member of NetApp Academic of storage and data management and
without a shared storage approach,
Alliances Since then practice their knowledge using
virtualization cant happen.
2010 NetApp tools and technologies. Caukill
Caukill reached out to NetApp for help believes this hands-on approach is
NetApp Storage Courses Taught
integrating storage into his networking what makes his students competitive in
Advanced Networking
curriculum. NMITs longstanding a global marketplace.
relationship with NetApp formed the
storage foundation of the schools I believe Im setting them up with the
virtualized student network. From an best approach and the best gear,
About NMIT says Caukill. If they end up landing a
operational standpoint, NetApp is solid
Nelson Marlborough Institute of as a rock, says Caukill. When I asked job where theyre using storage from
Technology (NMIT) is a tertiary for help with the curriculum, they bent a different vendor, theyre still going
education provider located in the over backwards to help me set it up. to have a sense of the storage and
Nelson/Marlborough region at the top data management approaches that are
of New Zealands South Island. The Courses Taught applicableregardless of where they
school offers diplomas and degrees An early member of the Academic work. This whole approach to training
focused on IS and IT, including a Alliances Program, Caukill has and education gives them a great foot
degree in infrastructure and a diploma incorporated the NetApp Certified in the door.
in networkingboth of which are Storage Administrator (NCSA)
strongly focused on industry, combining Future Plans
curriculum into his third-year Advanced
practical networking with theoretical Networking course. The curriculum With virtualization now the norm,
conceptual skills. Local and national includes web-based labs supported Caukill intends to integrate the NCSA
industry representatives regularly by access to NetApp VSIMs, which curriculum into his second-year
provide input into the programs allow students to practice skills in a networking course and introduce more
structure, content, and development. controlled, virtual environment. The complex storage topics, such as cloud
course culminates with the NCSA computing, at the third-year level. The
Why NetApp? industry is moving to a hybrid approach
certification exam, which students can
In 2010, Mark Caukill, Senior IT use to demonstrate their knowledge to to IT, says Caukill. My students,
Lecturer, Digital Technology, recognized future employers. starting now, have to be able to turn on
a gap in his networking curriculum. their own virtualized infrastructure and
integrate it with the cloud.
Ranken Technical College
We have found that businesses here
in the St. Louis area are looking to hire
people with NetApp backgrounds.
Some companies are now hiring
our students simply because of our
program with NetApp, Vaughn states.

The NCSA certification shows proof

of fundamental storage knowledge
in an ever-expanding field. Students
who complete Rankens server
program are in high demandwith or
without certification. Ranken boasts a
placement rate of 98.6% overall, and
100% in Vaughns IT department. The
NetApp curriculum teaches students the
Courses Taught
KEY HIGHLIGHTS competitive skills and vocabulary that
Ron Vaughn, an IT instructor demonstrates expertise to employers.
Location and Microsoft IT Academy
St. Louis, Missouri administrator at Ranken, teamed There are a lot of different storage
with the NetApp Academic Alliances companies out there, Vaughn says.
Degree Type Program to integrate storage and But with a background in NetApp,
Associate degree, Bachelor data management into Rankens a student can interview at a data
degree with specialization Virtualization Technologies course. The center and talk intelligently about
in Management Information course uses both NetApp VSIMs that general storage concepts and the
Systems are provided by Academic Alliances latest storage technologies.
and the free web-based NetApp
Member of NetApp Academic As a private, not-for-profit institution,
Certified Storage Administrator (NCSA)
Alliances Since Ranken relies solely on funding from
curriculum. The VSIMs let students
2012 tuition, lab fees, and donations.
immediately apply learning in lab
NetApp Storage Courses Taught simulations and refine their skills for the According to Vaughn, prices for
Virtualization Technologies NCSA exam, the final test grade. industry training materials and
equipment can cost thousands
The first Academic Alliances faculty even tens of thousands of dollars. By
member to pass the NCSA certification partnering with NetApp, the storage
About Ranken Technical College exam, Vaughn knows how challenging industry leader in innovation, Ranken
the certification is. I know when I leverages the most current, in-demand
Founded in 1907, Missouris Ranken
took the exam, the greatest help to storage curriculum for free.
Technical College is a private, not-
me was the ability to actually dig
for-profit institution whose mission is Future Plans
into the hands-on environment, he
to provide comprehensive education With the successful integration of the
adds. Using the VSIMs, weve set
and training to prepare students for NCSA program into his Virtualization
up a virtualized environment that
employment and advancement in a Technologies course, Vaughn is looking
maps to live labs so that our students
variety of technical fields. forward to his partnership with the
can practice, practice, practice. The
Why NetApp? experience that they get with the VSIMs NetApp Academic Alliances Program
helps them pass or get very close to supporting the colleges mission.
Ranken has long partnered with
industry hiring managers to inform its passing the NCSA exam.
I went through the Academic Alliances
educational offerings. College division Benefits to Students program myself, and it was wonderful,
heads and instructors meet quarterly explains Vaughn. NetApp offers an
As virtualization increases, the need for
with an advisory committee of industry outcomes-based curriculum, which
storage expertise is growing. Vaughn
representatives who review current aligns perfectly with our schools
believes that new graduates need a
courses and outcomes. approach to training. I wish the materials
background in storage area networks
and network attached storage to secure we received from other vendors were
When the IT industry started pushing
jobs in IT. Vaughn is confident that like the NetApp curriculum.
for graduates with more storage
expertise, Ranken selected the NetApp the NetApp based storage curriculum
Academic Alliances program to ready that he teaches gives students an
students to meet that need. advantage in the job market.
North Lake College
and online. This is a key feature for
Newman, who doesnt distinguish
between classroom and online learning.
Because more than half of North Lakes
students take the program online,
NetApp helps Newman expand the
schools influence on a global scale.

NetApp makes my job easier because

its all online, Newman explains.
I dont have to hunt down lab
problems like I do with some of the
other technology vendors, and that
makes things so much easier for me.
As long as the students have a web
browser with Java, they can work from
comprehensive storage curriculum.
KEY HIGHLIGHTS anywhere and be self-sufficient.
The VMware course that we were
Location bringing in had an EMC focus, he Benefits to Students
Irving, Texas explains. But from working in the Newman believes the pace and depth
industry, I know there are multiple of the course materials are ideal for
Degree Type requirements for storage platforms. North Lakes students, approximately
Two-year Associate degree And I, personally, believe that youve 90% of whom are returning to
and certificates in Computer got to have more than one skill set. academia to retrain or refresh skills.
Information Technology The vendor that kept popping up Our students arent looking for a four-
was NetApp. or five-day crash course, he explains.
Member of NetApp Academic
Alliances Since Newman believes that for students to Theyre looking to transition to new
2010 acquire the skills and recognition to fields or acquire new certifications.
compete in the marketplace, partnering By adding NetApp to the storage
NetApp Storage Courses Taught
with industry-leading technology curriculum, Newman knows his
Intro to NetApp Storage
vendors is critical. Theres no sense students have the best opportunity to
Advanced NetApp/EMC Storage
in me bringing in open-source storage acquire a broad range of in-demand
Cloud Computing
technology that isnt going to be used skill sets and specialized knowledge.
Intro and Advanced VMware 5.5
in any Fortune 500 corporation, he NetApp provides a unique value
adds. I need a big name to help that proposition with its unified platform and
student get a foot in the door and get single operating system, he says. If
that interview. youre a student whos learned that skill
About North Lake College
North Lake College is a two-year public Courses Taught set, you can distinguish yourself to a
community college serving Irving, company that has NetApp or is looking
Newman connected with the NetApp
Texas, and northern Dallas County. With to bring it in.
Academic Alliances Program to round
a high demand from nearby Dallas/Fort out the schools storage curriculum. Future Plans
Worth for qualified technology workers, Today, North Lakes virtualization North Lake is currently a leading
North Lake technology programs teach program includes a 16-week Intro to college for producing VMware certified
in-depth skills that give students a NetApp Storage course that divides engineers. In the coming months,
competitive edge. its time between NetApp and EMC. Newman plans to keep ahead of IT
The program includes an Advanced trends by incorporating more training
Why NetApp?
NetApp Storage class that teaches on new technologies, such as big
Theres a disconnect between architectures and user interfaces in
education and industry, says Greg data and cloud computing, soon to be
detail, as well as a cloud computing highly sought after. The college also
Newman, Coordinator of VMware class that covers both EMC and
and NetApp Programs for North Lake leads an initiative to attract women and
NetApp. At the end of the program, minorities to technology.
College. With my program and other students can achieve certifications in
programs at North Lake, we try to both NetApp and EMC. Were producing some big-time, knock-
bridge that gap. out storage architects and engineers
Through the NetApp Academic on NetApp, says Newman. Im just
Newman, a veteran of the IT Alliances Program, Newman can
industry, started the schools first thrilled about the open way that NetApp
access online labs and VSIMs to wants to work with institutions of higher
VMware Certification program in share with students in the classroom
2010, recognizing the need for a education like ours.
Being part of an academic alliance program
with a vendor-supplied curriculum lets us
know exactly what that vendor needs, what
they want, and what they see as industry
needs. We can count on it being updated
with correct information instead of having to
pay somebody else to develop curriculum.
Its the best tool that we possibly can get.
Ron Vaughn,
IT Instructor and Microsoft IT Academy Administrator, Ranken Technical College

Preparing Students for a Future in IT The NetApp Academic Alliances More Information
Collaborating with industry provides Program and teaching materials If your institution wants to learn more
important perspectives and teaching provide the resources to introduce about the NetApp Academic Alliances
resources to help you quickly adapt your students to the concepts Program and the enriched learning
your IT curriculum to keep pace and technologies that undergird opportunities that it offers, visit
with changes in technology. NetApp public, private, and hybrid cloud
offers resources for institutions infrastructures. Enterprises that leadership/academic-alliances/index.
and students that are based on the experiment with or fully embrace cloud aspx or email
insights that weve gleaned from our models require new types of skills and to begin the conversation.
own customers challenges and best expertise among their IT staff. A solid
practices. NetApp can partner with you understanding of data governance and
to prepare students for a future in IT. management is a great first step to
prepare your students for IT careers.

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