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As part of its Community Education Initiative, Apple is providing NC3’s iOS App Development program with hardware, scholarships, and professional learning support. “Develop in Swift Explorations” instructor training will be offered at NC3’s Train-the-Trainer 46 in Elizabethton, TN from April 25 – April 29 (plus one week of virtual training).

The “Develop in Swift Explorations” course is a perfect introduction for both high schools and colleges as either a stand-alone course or as preparation for the more advanced Develop in Swift Fundamentals course, which will be offered in the summer of 2022. 

NC3 iOS App Development Master Instructor, Jeremy Skrdlant has been implementing App Development with Swift certifications via Certiport this past year at Northwest Kansas Technical College, and NC3 Program Manager Jeramiah Pauly recently had the opportunity to interview him. Check out the Q&A session below!

Interview with NC3 Master Instructor, Jeremy Skrdlant

What is your name and title?

Jeremy Skrdlant – Instructor in Cloud Computing and App Development at Northwest Tech

How did you come to work in education?
My neighbor stopped by and told me about a job at the college. I have been there for close to 16 years now.

Why did your school decide to offer industry-recognized certifications and why did you choose NC3?
Many of the employers on our Advisory Board recommended offering industry-recognized certifications. There are quite a few programs on campus that already take advantage of what NC3 has to offer. NC3 seemed like a great fit for this program and we really love the detail and thought that goes into each training NC3 provides.

What motivates you as an educator to issue industry-recognized certifications?
It helps my students achieve their goals. Part of our mission statement is about gainful employment in technical and professional careers, and these certifications show prospective employers that our students are very capable of working in the industry.

What is the value of industry-recognized certifications for your students? 
NC3’s certifications being industry-backed shows that they are valid certifications. It also shows that the student who earned the certification is being tested by individuals that make the actual product(s).

How do technical industry-recognized certifications prepare your students for employment?
It gives them early success when they pass the certification. That bit of confidence can boost them when they go on the job hunt. It also ensures that as teachers we’re covering the competencies that industry wants covered.

How do you think the perception of technical education is changing in the professional world?

I think that many employers are focusing more on a student’s ability to show they have a skill rather than just having a diploma. A good portfolio featuring industry-recognized certifications definitely helps. All of our students are proud of their technical college experience. They work hard and get great jobs they can be proud of.

How has the NC3’s Train-The-Trainer process assisted you in your work as an educator?
NC3 Train-the-Trainer events have helped me get more organized as a teacher. The level of detail NC3 puts into each training is impressive. Thanks to NC3’s Train-the-Trainer events, I also have a better grasp of the materials that are available to help students master the Swift language.   

What are the future goals for your school’s certification program(s)?

We aim to get all our students to a level where they can pass both Apple Swift Certifications.  We also have a goal of getting an app in the Apple App Store.

What makes your school stand out amongst the other institutions in your region?
We’ve always had a strong focus on iOS programming and our courses are technical courses that are really hands-on. We write a lot more code than a standard community or 4-year college.  Our focus is less on theory and more on building actual apps. We also focus on working in teams with tools that are common in industry. Students often work on real apps for clients in the second year of their program.

What are your school’s most successful achievements?

We’ve had many students go out and get great jobs in industry. I have two former students that are now on my advisory board. One works for Google in Mountain View California and the other works for the Department of Education in Topeka, Kansas (working on all their websites). We always do well in SkillsUSA as well. Last year our web team took second in the nation in web design. 

As an educator, what are some of your proudest moments that you would like to highlight?
I like seeing that ‘aha’ moment when a student starts to understand how they can solve a problem with code. I also like to see their own projects that they work on in their free time. I have many students who take the skills they’re learning in class and apply them to building applications that they can sell in the app market. 

Want to learn more about NC3’s iOS App Development program and the industry-recognized student certifications offered through it? Email Jeramiah Pauly, NC3 Program Manager, today.

Interested in registering for NC3’s upcoming “Develop in Swift Explorations” instructor training, which is being hosted in Elizabethton, TN from April 25 – April 29 + 1-week online? Learn more and register here.

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