Get started on your IT career!
Start your continuing education training and continue your learning with CompTIA A+ and Network+ courses to complete the Computer Support Specialist micro-pathway program.
The Computer Support Specialist Technician program is a stackable credential leading into entry level career-oriented employment as a computer support specialist, while also preparing you to continue into a related certificate or degree program at Community College of Philadelphia. It is the first part of a continuum of learning, leading to career advancement and career education at the associate degree level and beyond.
Computer support specialist technicians maintain computer networks and provide technical help to computer users. Technicians may work for a wide range of companies, including large software companies and support service firms. Other technicians work in call centers and take customers through a problem step-by-step, such as reestablishing an Internet connection, troubleshooting Wi-Fi routers or other household IT products. O*NET Data projects employment of computer support specialist to grow 10 percent from 2021-2031 in Pennsylvania. At the conclusion of this program, students will be prepared to take the CompTIA ITF (FC0-U61) exam and AWS Cloud Practitioner exam.
During the first 14 weeks (Part 1), students learn foundational skills in information technology, including CompTIA ITF and AWS Cloud Practitioner modules. In addition, students will be engaged in skills that build success in the workplace. This includes topics such as entry-level Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint; student success skills; customer service basics; computer math and logic; and business communication.
In the following 14 weeks (Part 2), students will take courses eligible for college credit CompTIA A + and CompTIA Network +. In addition, students will cover CompTIA Exam Prep to prepare for the certification testing. 21st century workplace skills include Critical Thinking and Creative Problem Solving.
This program is the result of a partnership between Community College of Philadelphia and the Education Design Lab (EDL). This diverse team is comprised of experts who have worked in higher education, K-12, talent development, policy and entrepreneurship. Education Design Lab helps colleges and employers design programs for working, rural, first-in-family and parent learners.
Lessons included in this program (Part 1):
- CompTIA ITF | 30 hours
Students who successfully complete this program will have the knowledge and skills required to identify and explain the basis of computing, IT infrastructure, software development and database use. Students will be able to demonstrate their knowledge of installing software, establishing basic network connectivity, and identifying/preventing basic security risks. Students who successfully master the course outcomes should be well prepared for the pre-professional certification CompTIA IT Fundamentals CompTIA ITF (FC0-U61) exam.
- AWS Cloud Practitioner | 36 hours
Participants are introduced to cloud computing concepts and practices, and the emerging role of cloud computing in business infrastructure. Students will be able to describe IT concepts and terminology. Learn the database fundamentals, the function of computer security, cloud computing and IT value to businesses. Be able to describe cloud security, compliance issues, and AWS Cloud Services for deployment and operations. This course will also cover cloud computing pricing models and how AWS account structures and billing practices can help businesses manage cloud costs. Students who successfully master the course outcomes should be well prepared for the AWS Cloud Practitioner certification.
- PC Applications: Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint | 18 hours
Cover the basics of applications commonly used in the workplace. Students will be able create, edit and save documents, spreadsheets and presentations. The Excel section includes cell formulas and summation. The PowerPoint section includes how to add visual effects and various backgrounds to presentations.
- Business Communication | 40 hours
This course provides participants with the fundamental English skills needed by almost all Information Technology professionals. Students who master the course material should be able to place into the English level at the College. Learn how to utilize analytical, problem-solving skills, and apply strategies and principles to prepare effective communication. Participants will also be able to identify ethical, legal, cultural and global issues affecting business communication. Students who master the course material should be able to place into the ENGL 101 - English Composition I level at the College.
- Math and Logic for IT | 40 hours
Cover the fundamental math and logic skills needed by almost all Information Technology professionals. This includes basic algebra, Boolean logic, and the ability to understand common numbering systems used in computers is included in the course. Students who master the course material should be able to place into the FNMT 118 - Intermediate Algebra level at the College.
- Customer Service Basics | 12 hours
There are six critical elements of customer service. When applied, these principles bring customers back to experience service that outdoes the competition. After this course, you will be able to demonstrate confidence as a problem solver and apply techniques that will enable you to deal with difficult customers.
- Student Success Strategies | 12 hours
Set yourself up for success. This course is intended to help new and returning students by making you aware of possible barriers to success in school, at work and at home. Learn how to budget your time to achieve a school-work-home life balance, how to make the most of your personal learning styles, and how to work with others and ask for help if you need it. You will be introduced to practices for succeeding in online courses.
Lessons included in this program (Part 2):
- CompTIA A+ | Computer Systems Maintenance, credit course
This course provides students with the knowledge, skills, and experience in installing and supporting the Microsoft Windows operating system. It helps prepare students for CompTIA A+ certification and provides a foundation for related Microsoft certifications. Students who successfully complete this course will have the knowledge required to assemble components based on customer requirements; install, configure, and maintain PCs, mobile devices, and software for end users; understand the basics of networking and security forensics; properly and safely diagnose, resolve, and document common hardware and software issues; apply troubleshooting skills; provide appropriate customer support; and understand the basics of scripting, virtualization, desktop imaging, and deployment. CompTIA A+ measures the necessary skills for an entry level IT professional.
- CompTIA Network + | Network Technology, credit course
This course provides students with the knowledge and skills required to troubleshoot, configure, and manage common network devices; establish basic network connectivity; understand and maintain network documentation; identify network limitations and weaknesses; and implement network security, standards, and protocols. Upon completion of this course, students will have a basic understanding of enterprise technologies, including cloud and virtualization technologies. Students will also be prepared for the CompTIA Network+ certification which measures the necessary skills for foundation-level IT network practitioners.
- CompTIA A+ and Network+ Exam Prep | 24 hours
This course will provide additional labs to prepare students for CompTIA professional certification exams (including CompTIA A+ and Network+) and describe the different types of questions that appear on the exam, how to answer them, and engage in sample questions. The CompTIA A+ and Network+ certifications are the basic professional certifications needed for entry level employment as a Computer Support Services technician.
- Critical Thinking | 12 hours
Critical thinking in the 21st century includes the capacity to reason logically and rigorously. Effective critical thinkers exhibit four core sub-competencies: gather and assess relevant information; identify patterns; question assumptions; and draw well-reasoned conclusions. Upon completion of this course, students will be able to make recommendations that are supported by analysis of evidence.
- Creative Problem Solving | 12 hours
Creative problem-solving in the 21st century workplace includes the capacity to solve problems in new ways. Effective creative problem-solvers exercise four core sub-competencies: both divergent and convergent thinking; identify patterns that may not be obvious; manage ambiguity; and apply an iterative process for generating, testing and refining ideas. Upon completion of this course, students will be able to identify relevant information to inform decision making and assess the consequences of all potential options.
This program is suitable for high school graduates with average math and language skills.
Workforce Development Program Scholarships
The Community College of Philadelphia Foundation and its donors are pleased to offer scholarships to students enrolling in select workforce development courses. To submit your scholarship application, follow the steps in this Workforce Development Program Scholarship Application Guide.
Course Dates and Times
|Date and Times||Location||Course Cost/Fees||Register|
Part 1 - Computer Support Specialist Technician program
*On June 14 and Aug. 16 2023, the class schedule is from 1 to 3 p.m.
Hybrid (In person and 38 hours of asynchronous online)
*eligible for scholarship
Part 2 - Computer Support Specialist Technician program
Hybrid (In person and 24 hours asynchronous online)
*eligible for scholarship
After completion of part 1 of the program, students will be able to register for part 2.
Community College of Philadelphia's Computer Support Specialist Technician program is supported by the Citizens Community College Accelerator, in partnership with Education Design Lab’s Community College Growth Engine. Through this initiative, Citizens invests in community colleges to accelerate the development of locally relevant and inclusive mobility pathways in high-growth sectors to drive strong employment outcomes for students.