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Contact Information: Tanya Klein Public Relations 973-596-3433

New Jersey Institute of Technology Offers Undergraduate Certificate to Verizon Wireless Employees

Employees at Verizon Wireless can now earn college-level credits from New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) without once setting foot on campus.

NJIT has designed an undergraduate certificate program in information technology for Verizon Wireless employees – a program that will not only keep employees abreast of the latest technological advances but allow them to take classes right in their offices.   

NJIT is establishing corporate extension sites at three Verizon Wireless facilities: Bedminster, Warren and Orangeburg, N.Y.   The College of Computing Sciences at NJIT will offer two information technology classes: Introduction to Information Tech II and Internet Applications.  The first session runs from October through January.

“I’m delighted that we at NJIT have been able to tailor this certificate program to meet the needs of Verizon Wireless employees,” said Gale Tenen Spak, PhD, associate vice president for Continuing and Distance Education at NJIT. “It’s the first time Verizon Wireless is offering undergraduate credit courses on site for their employees. It’s a bright workforce and I hope many of them will use this 30-credit undergraduate certificate to springboard into the corresponding NJIT bachelor degrees in information technology.”

For the two classes offered this fall, an NJIT professor will travel to one of the sites and teach employees in a specially equipped room. Verizon Wireless employees at the other two sites will meet in similarly equipped rooms, so that all student-employees can see and hear each other as well as the professor.

Throughout the duration of each class, the NJIT professor will alternate among the three sites to give all employees, regardless of their location, face-to-face time with the professor. Each class will meet twice a week, from 5:30 – 8:30 p.m., for seven and a half weeks.  To earn the undergraduate certificate, employees must take 10 classes. Classes to be offered include Wireless Networks, Computer and Network Security and Computer Forensics.

“This is a great opportunity for our employees to further their formal education," said Roger Gurnani, vice president and chief information officer for Verizon Wireless. “I'm pleased that NJIT, a respected technology institution, has worked with us and developed this program.”

In the IT certificate program, Verizon Wireless students will learn to integrate, design and manage computing and telecommunication resources and services. And to help the employees whose shifts conflict with NJIT’s on-site evening classes, some classes will be available on line, through NJIT’s renowned, instructor-led distance learning program.

Brian Pellegrino, 30, an associate director who works at the company’s Bedminster headquarters, said: “I work with different technologies and the IT classes will help keep me current with the industry.  And to have the NJIT professors come here, instead of me driving to the college campus, makes it so convenient for us to further our education.”

In the last decade alone, NJIT’s Division of Continuing Professional Education has educated and trained, through both face-to-face and via eLearning, more than 45,000 New Jersey employees at more than 500 companies, said Spak. And adding Verizon Wireless to this roster gives Spak, a national leader in corporate education and distance learning, a great sense of pride.

“Today’s employees are busier than ever,” Spak said, “and it gives me great pleasure to make it convenient for them - serious mature adults who bring so much to the classroom -  to pursue their undergraduate educations without leaving their offices or having to set foot on a college campus.”

One of the nation's leading public technological universities, New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) is a top-tier research university that prepares students to become leaders in the technology-dependent economy of the 21st century. NJIT's multidisciplinary curriculum and computing-intensive approach to education provide technological proficiency, business acumen and leadership skills. With an enrollment of more than 10,000 graduate and undergraduate students, NJIT offers small-campus intimacy with the resources of a major public research university. NJIT is a global leader in such fields as solar research, nanotechnology, resilient design, tissue engineering, and cyber-security, in addition to others. NJIT ranks 5th among U.S. polytechnic universities in research expenditures, topping $110 million, and is among the top 1 percent of public colleges and universities in return on educational investment, according to PayScale.com.