Tech, UPHS partner to launch CompTIA program

Union Parish High School recently began piloting an innovative class in partnership with Louisiana Tech University, Louisiana Delta Community College (LDCC), and the Union Parish Chamber of Commerce.  The Computing Technology Industry Association, known as CompTIA, is the global leading provider of vendor-neutral information technology certifications. This non-profit organization has provided training and certifications since the 1990s and has continually progressed to remain at the forefront of evolving technology. 

The CompTIA class at UPHS is taught by Louisiana Tech faculty Dr. Chester Wilson and Dr. Nick Groden and by leading instructor Lily Jonsek, who earned her master’s degree in environmental science from Yale and is a full-time employee of Pelican Defense, a local research and development company. Jonsek developed all of the curriculum and videos for this outreach effort; Pelican Defense donated her time as a way to give back to the community.

There are six students in this first CompTIA class, all UPHS juniors. The class is taught Tuesdays and Thursdays and should last through Christmas, depending on how efficiently the students can master the work.

The students have already delved into the computer hardware of both desktops and laptops and are working toward an initial CompTIA certification. This course is comparable to a college-level class at LDCC, so upon successful completion, students can transfer these credits to LDCC. 

The computer courses can lead to increased interest in STEM and a high tech education for students, and can even spearhead small internet startups, further improving the local economy.  

“I am ecstatic that prominent members of Union Parish are assisting with the pilot project,” Wilson said.  “This is a beautiful community with great people, and there’s no reason we can’t make this a high-tech industry area, enhancing existing business and industry where they are.” 

Principal Misty Echols feels this endeavor is consistent with the mission of Union Parish High School and will genuinely serve the needs of students while expanding our trained area labor pool and sustaining the economy. 

“CompTIA certification is highly-regarded in the business world,” Echols said, “and working with outstanding institutions like Tech and Delta, there’s no limit to what our students can achieve with this program.” 

The course is also being piloted at Huntington High School in Shreveport.