Veterans become Linux Heroes at Richland College

Juli Hart, IT Consultant and Richland College Instructor, Dallas County, Texas

In 2017, Richland College needed to develop a certification program to prepare veterans for apprenticeships at Amazon Web Services. Richland faced the challenge of taking students with zero Linux knowledge and getting them ready to pass CompTIA’s Linux+ Powered by LPI certification. Juli Hart turned to the Cisco Networking Academy to find the Linux curriculum her students needed for Linux+ certification.

NDG Linux I and NDG Linux II Prepare Students for Linux+ Certification

The biggest challenge with teaching Linux is developing and running the labs. NDG’s courses, available through the Cisco Networking Academy, save instructors from having to develop custom content or set up and maintain virtual machines. The courses include a live Linux virtual machine alongside instructional content, so learners are able to practice commands as they go through the material.

Hart found this to be a big advantage: “If you use the virtual machines as you go through the reading material, you’ll really understand how each of those commands work and gain a lot of experience doing it.”

Indeed, all 15 of the program’s veterans passed the Linux+ certification at the end of the course. The students loved that they were able to complete the labs online, as often as they needed to, at any time of the day or night. “If I didn’t understand something during class, I could go back in my off hours and go through it again,” observes Nicole. “Going into the exam, I felt very confident in what I knew because I had the hands-on experience from the labs.”

“When I started taking the Linux+ exam, I knew I had already passed the test. I just didn’t know what my score was.”
Gabriel, Richland College Student

Hands-on Experience Is the Key to Linux Success

NDG’s Linux courses enabled Hart’s students to quickly overcome their fear of Linux and start building confidence. “Learning Linux looked like a scary monster at first,” recalls Charles. “But NDG’s courses made it easy. I liked having the ability to log into the labs and follow the instructions and get a better understanding of how Linux really works.”

“With IT, you need practical experience to succeed,” notes Franklin. “The way NDG’s courses combine the book environment and virtual learning environment really helped me understand what I read. Whenever I had an issue, I could just go into the console, type it up, and see what was going on. It was actually learning in between the lines that helped the most.” Now that they’ve received their Linux+ certification, the students are continuing on to Amazon, where they will complete a year-long apprenticeship program to get on-the- job experience. After that, the students will be given the opportunity to interview for a full-time job at Amazon Web Services.

Interested in learning more? Read the Richland College case study.