Department of Information Networking and Telecommunications wins national award

Cisco Systems Inc., a world leader in the manufacture of Internet, networking and communications equipment, has selected Fort Hays State University as one of only three institutions to receive a U.S. Academy Recognition Award for a balance of theory and practical application in its programs.

The award recognizes the university's Department of Information Networking and Telecommunications for successfully incorporating external activities into the classroom and supporting students outside of class.

Cisco annually recognizes three academic institutions in North America for "relevance." The award was announced recently at the Cisco Academy Conference in Austin, Texas.

The Department of INT offers face-to-face and virtual tours, presentations, and workshops to assist students in career and professional skill development and career placement. For several years, the resulting professional placement for FHSU INT graduates has averaged 98 percent. In 2006, 100 percent of graduates found professional placement or entered into graduate education.

Students and employers complain that some institutions forget the value of relevance of academic studies to students' potential careers.

"Fort Hays State University has successfully mixed applied industry-developed curriculum and highly theoretical concepts to provide its students with outstanding educational opportunities," Clydene Stangvik, Cisco Area Academy Manager said. "Mixing traditional learning with hands-on labs, case studies, field trips and internships are serving its students extraordinarily well."

 "We are very honored to win this international award," said Dr. Mark Bannister, chair of the Department of Information Networking and Telecommunications. "Our Department works very closely with local, regional and national companies to assure the relevance, depth and rigor of our curriculum."

FHSU Instructor Jon Tholstrup said, "Even though most Americans use the Internet and telecommunications systems daily, they do not realize that a talented and well-compensated group of people design, implement, troubleshoot and protect the networks. Other people create Web and video content. We in the Information Networking and Telecommunications Department at Fort Hays State University prepare students for these careers."

"High school students and counselors are just waking to the job opportunities in networking, telecommunications, Web development and digital video production," said Bannister. "Fort Hays State University has devoted substantial resources and faculty to create an outstanding program that can benefit students and employers alike."

 “We are very pleased that our university has one of the truly top Information Networking and Telecommunications programs in the country," said FHSU President Edward H. Hammond. "We have an excellent faculty who are providing students with unique opportunities matched by only a small handful of universities in America."

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