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Revista Científica de la UCSA

On-line version ISSN 2409-8752

Rev. ciente. UCSA vol.4 no.2 Asunción Aug. 2017 


Cisco Networking Academy "Corporate Social Responsibility"

José Villalba 1  

1Universidad del Cono Sur de las Américas (UCSA). Asunción, Paraguay

The Cisco Networking Academy Program is a Cisco Corporate Social Responsibility program, founded in 1997 to promote skills development and IT professional training to bridge the digital divide and prepare young people for the job market in a field that will demand increasingly highly qualified jobs in different sectors that use information and communication technologies. The Cisco Networking Academy also aims to implement more effective and sustainable programs to address complex social and environmental issues by utilizing its experience as the world's largest company in networking and telecommunications to help address some of the world's most pressing problems. This is Cisco's largest and longest-running corporate social responsibility program, present in more than 170 countries, with more than 1 million students, 20,000 instructors and more than 9,500 academies.

The University of the Southern Cone of the Americas, UCSA, through its Technological Center, has been implementing this program for 15 years, becoming the most important Cisco Academy in the country and covering a growing need for youth job training. Thanks to the performance achieved during these years, CISCO UCSA Academy became an Academy Support Center (ASC) and an Instructor Training Center (ITC) to assist other Academies that can be created in the national academic ecosystem and multiply the scope of the program.

Within the framework of the social responsibility program, the Technological Center of UCSA and the General Directorate of Technical and Vocational Education of the Ministry of Education and Science of Paraguay, with the support of the Silicon Valley Foundation of CISCO, have carried out a project in Public Technical Schools of the Metropolitan Area of Asunción to develops kills and competencies for the management of hardware and software in young students.

In 2014 and 2015, the Pilot Project Phase financed by the CISCO Foundation of the United States was carried out to develop three major actions: a) Diagnosis of the situation of the computer labs of the participating schools and a proposal for technological adaptation; b) Training of a group of computer teachers in the course IT Essentials of CISCO (PC Technical Support), and c) Accreditation of teachers as instructors of the course IT E in order to access to the use of the Platform of CISCO and the start of CISCO Academy in Technical Colleges.

With the Pilot Project, 5 Cisco Academies were created in Technical Colleges, 33 teachers were trained and 330 students completed the IT Essentials course. Two years of operation of the project, Cisco Academies are now available in 15 Technical Colleges and a scope of 732 students in the different courses offered in the Program. These students have developed basic skills in ICT, while acquiring professional knowledge or problem solving, collaboration and critical thinking, key elements in the 21st century.

Although there is not yet a rigorous evaluation of the impact of the program, according to the experiences of directors, teachers and students, the program is highly satisfactory because it served both for the successful accomplishment of their internships in companies and the labor insertion of various. It is important to highlight the great work of self-management conducted by directors and teachers of various schools to get the equipment and connectivity necessary for the development of the courses, due to the lack of economic resources.

As a Corporate Social Responsibility policy, CISCO holds that companies have a responsibility to operate in a way that respects and ultimately benefits people, communities and the planet itself. Its main philosophy in this area is that the impact is multiplied every time a person and a technology network combine to solve a problem.

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