An LDI source of strength and relevance for our students is our network of collaborating colleges, businesses and community-based training options. In expanding that continuum of adult options and opportunities, LDI formally became a new Cisco Networking Academy Program in March, 2017.

Every year, the Cisco Networking Academy program teaches hundreds of thousands of students worldwide the skills needed to build, design, and maintain, networks—improving their career prospects while filling the global demand for networking professionals. This training provides a better, more viable option in place of where tech-savvy students think of themselves in careers as professional video game testers or designers!

At LDI, our students will develop specific foundational skills in ICT while acquiring vital 21st-century career skills in problem solving, collaboration, and critical thinking. Networking Academy helps students prepare to assume entry-level ICT jobs, pursue additional training or education, and earn globally recognized certification so they can maintain networks that form the backbone of today’s — and tomorrow’s global economy.

The Networking Academy uses a public-private partnership model to create the “world’s largest classroom.” Cisco partners with educational institutions, nonprofits and nongovernmental organizations, governments, and community centers that provide classroom space, computer lab equipment, and qualified instructors. Cisco provides online curricula, teacher training, and professional development for instructors.

The LDI/Cisco Networking Academy courses are offered in multiple languages through a blended learning model that combines classroom instruction with online curricula, interactive tools, hands-on activities, and online assessments that provide immediate feedback to the learner.

This blended learning model uses several innovative technologies, including:

  • Cisco Packet Tracer, a powerful visualization and simulation tool that allows students to design,build, and troubleshoot virtual networks in a safe environment. Students and instructors use Packet Tracer to create their own virtual “network worlds” to explore complex technical concepts and networking system designs.
  • Cisco Passport21 to Entrepreneurship, a series of case studies and simulation activities that expose students to critical business and financial skills.
  • Cisco Aspire, an educational game that provides realistic business and networking scenarios

in an engaging virtual environment where students make business and technical decisions to complete projects for clients.

  • Online assessments that provide immediate, interactive, personal feedback to students.
  • Social media tools, like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and the proprietary Academy NetSpace and Club NetAcad sites, that connect students and instructors around the world to one another so they can collaborate and continue learning outside the classroom.

The Cisco Networking Academy has trained more than 4 million students to date. Many graduates have gone on to successful ICT careers in a variety of industries, while others have harnessed the entrepreneurial spirit and knowledge they acquired in Networking Academy to start their own businesses and create new jobs.

This important linkage expands LDI offerings for occupational-specific training into sector-specific, high growth/high demand employment opportunities. Our students who seek an IT education/career are now able to focus their attentions and energies in a field that will be adding  54 million new positions over the next decade.