AACC partners with New Horizons for “Mentored Learning” approach to technology training

Anne Arundel Community College (AACC) is partnering with New Horizons Computer Learning Center of Baltimore, a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner, to offer computer technology training using a “Mentored Learning” approach that allows more flexible training schedules.

The first classes begin in early November and will meet in a designated Mentored Learning lab at the college’s Glen Burnie Town Center, located at 101 N. Crain Highway.

In classes of no more than 12 students, a mentor will blend traditional classroom instruction, hands-on lab exercises, one-on-one mentoring, reading and pre-recorded lectures to prepare participants for industry-recognized certification exams. What’s even better, even if only one person signs up for a particular course, AACC can accommodate that person under the “Mentored Learning” approach.

“That was one of the selling points for the partnership,” said Tracy McLean, director of technology training at AACC. “In the past, if we offered an open enrollment class and only three people signed up, we couldn’t afford to give the class. Now we will have the Mentored Learning lab that allows a mentor to teach more than one certification course at a time.”

Kip Kunsman, director of workforce solutions at AACC, said this approach also works for smaller companies who might have just one or two employees that require training. The company can contract with AACC to enroll those employees in a class with employees from several other businesses. If a larger company or agency has a group of employees it wants to train for a certification, an exclusive section can be scheduled especially for them, he added.

Ravi Aggarwal, general manager at New Horizons Computer Learning Center of Baltimore, said participants take a pre-test, which identifies gaps in their current knowledge. Then, the mentor and the participant tailor the course to that individual’s specific needs so that students don’t have to sit through part of a curriculum they already know and they can learn at their own pace.

The Maryland Higher Education Commission has approved New Horizons’ Mentored Learning® approach, Aggarwal said. New Horizons Computer Learning Center of Baltimore is a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner, one of only five in the state.

Courses taught through the partnership include: A+ / Network+ / Security+, Windows XP / Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows Server 2003/2008, Exchange Server 2007, SQL Server 2005/2008, Microsoft System Center, Project Server, Security, Cisco and Project Management. Almost all the technical courses lead to Microsoft, CompTIA, Cisco or PMI-related certifications. Participants who complete the courses receive continuing education units (CEUs) and are eligible to sit for industry-recognized certification exams. Costs depend upon course length and topics covered.

For information or to register for noncredit courses, contact AACC’s Technology Training office at 410-777-2106 or visit the Web site. To discuss contract training for your business, organization or government agency, contact Kip Kunsman, 410-777-2732.