Fort Belknap Students Learn High Tech Skills

May 15th, 2004 | By | Category: 15-4: Ancient Cultures Modern Technology, Tribal College News

After more than a year of planning and preparation, Fort Belknap College (FBC, Harlem, MT) now offers courses as a certified Local Cisco Networking Academy Program. The program is an integral part of the college’s microcomputer technology degree, and student interest continues to grow. Students who earned Cisco Certified Network Administrator (CCNA) certification through the program have now put their skills to use in jobs on the Fort Belknap Reservation.

With grant funds from NASA and donated equipment from Cisco, FBC set up a Technology Classroom for Cisco Academy training courses and began certification classes in winter 2003. Participating students received training stipends through the college’s Native American Vocational and Technical Education Program funded by the U.S. Department of Education.

The national Cisco Networking Academy Program is a comprehensive e-learning program providing students with Internet technology skills. It delivers web-based content and assessment, hands-on labs, instructor training and support, and preparation for industry standard certifications. Started in 1997, the academy serves over 260,000 students enrolled at nearly 10,000 locations worldwide.

Since summer 2002, FBC’s Manager of Information Systems Harold Heppner and Information Systems Specialist Robert Scheaffer have been attending Cisco Academy instructor training courses at Montana State University in Billings and College of Technology in Great Falls, MT. They are both former FBC students, and now as certified instructors, are able to provide certification training locally at FBC.

The tribal college offers Cisco certification classes every semester and plans to expand the program in the near future.

For more information about the Cisco Networking Academy Program at FBC, contact either Heppner ( or Scheaffer (

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