(Shelby, NC) – A recent graduate of Cleveland Community College was one of 50 students selected from across the nation as an Advanced Technological Education Student of Excellence. Jim Aderholdt of Kings Mountain attended the ATE Conference in Washington, D.C., and was presented with a certificate of recognition for his accomplishments. In May 2012, Aderholdt earned an Associate in Applied Science degree in Networking Technology, as well as certificates in Cisco Networking, Microsoft Networking and Wireless Networking from CCC. He is currently employed at Hospice as an IT Specialist.
CCC Computer Information Technology Instructor, Jonathan Davis, says “It was an honor to for Jim to represent Cleveland Community College at the National Science Foundation’s Advanced Technological Education Conference. Jim truly is a ‘Student of Excellence’ and a shining example of how our educational programs can change the lives of students. We congratulate Jim and are very proud of his accomplishments.”
Aderholdt enrolled at CCC at the age of 42 after being laid off from Entertainment Distribution Center and says he knew going back to school would be a challenge. Aderholdt, in turn, thanks the instructors for their encouragement and says, “They helped me every step of the way and were willing to answer any questions I ever had. They even nominated me for a scholarship, referred me for a tutoring position, and introduced me to key people in local industry. I give them so much credit for my success.”
Aderholdt says the degree and certifications he earned from CCC gave him just the right amount of hands-on experience that is crucial in the real world of information technology and having the ability to use hands-on instruction, coupled with remote access to Netlabs systems was so beneficial in reinforcing what was being taught in the classroom. “As a student in the Cisco Academy, the idea of remotely accessing equipment was a new concept to me and it was a challenge. But once I was given the opportunity to also do work on Cisco switches and routers I felt more than prepared to go out into the job market and demonstrate my abilities,” he adds.
With the ever growing field of information technology and the influx of data centers coming to Cleveland County many would agree this career path could be one of the quickest ways to enter the workforce in two years or less. Aderholdt says he would certainly agree with that statement and says even more importantly, “If you are a student or thinking about becoming a student, you have to utilize the experience your instructors have and ask their advice on your career goals. They have all worked in the industry and still have close ties to folks in every industry and when the time comes to look for a job; it is a huge asset to have someone on your side who knows your strengths. They want you to succeed as a student, but more importantly as a person.”
The Advanced Technological Education (ATE) program focusses on the education of technicians for the high-technology fields that drive our nation’s economy. The program involves partnerships between academic institutions and employers to promote improvement in the education of science and engineering technicians at the undergraduate and secondary school levels. The ATE program supports curriculum development; professional development of college faculty and secondary school teachers; career pathways to two-year colleges from secondary schools and from two-year colleges to four-year institutions; and other activities. The ATE Conference was sponsored by the National Science Foundation.
Picture included: From left to right: National Science Foundation Director, David Campbell; ATE Student of Excellence, Jim Aderholdt; and ATE Lead Director, Celeste Carter. This picture was taken during the recognition breakfast on October 25, 2012, at the ATE Conference in Washington, D.C..