Professional Development
Computer science / Education

Meet NOVA’s first class of Tech Fellows, a program empowering local teachers to build the IT talent pipeline

The 15 teachers from Northern Virginia high schools took part in the fellowship in order to gain insight that will better prepare students for IT jobs.

NOVA's first class of Tech Fellow teachers. Courtesy photo.

With the completion of its inaugural Tech Fellows program for local teachers, Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) is already making moves on its goal to boost IT talent in the region.

Alongside Fairfax County Public Schools, NOVA just recognized its first class of 15 local teachers, who now have the background to help students break into the IT field. IT instructors from local high schools took part in the multi-week professional development program, which was a combination of classroom instruction and meeting with local employers to understand industry trends. The course was also designed to help them complete the CompTIA A+ credential exam, which certifies individuals with the skills for entry-level IT jobs.

The goal, following course completion, is for teachers to take the information back to students. It’s designed to play a role in growing the talent pipeline and helping to close the tech job gap. Fellows were able to participate in this program for free through a partnership with Greater Washington Partnership, JPMorgan Chase and Bloomberg.

“Technology guides us through our daily lives, from the smartphones and GPS-enabled cars that direct us to our destination to the computers we use for school lessons and work projects,” said Steven Partridge, NOVA vice president of strategy, research and workforce innovation, in a statement. “But we need skilled IT professionals to keep these technologies secure and functional. The Tech Fellows program will help meet the growing demand for IT talent in Northern Virginia and give high school teachers the tools they need to guide interested students to high-wage and in-demand IT careers.”

The initiative is part of NOVA’s overall boost of IT and tech programs on its campus. Last month, it announced plans for a $1.1 million grant from the state, which include adding 288 graduates and 96 internships by the end of 2024. Along with the new students, NOVA planned to expand both its IT and engineering technology programs, and credential high school teachers to teach at the collegiate level.

Meet the inaugural class of tech fellows:

  • Nekya Ball
  • Gina Bingaman
  • Walterzene Dabney 
  • Sharon Hardy 
  • Charles Howard
  • Eun-Joo Lee
  • Lorraine Lloyd
  • Lisa Maxvill
  • Thomas McLarney
  • Jaqua Moon
  • Mary Needham
  • Terence Richards
  • Andrea Wells
  • Kimberly Whitehouse
  • Lisa Williams 
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