SRTC Partners with North Carolina College to Launch Distance Learning Platform

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On September 18, 2015, the Southern Regional Technical College Tifton Campus launched a new online learning platform called Netlab+ developed by Net Dev Group.  The Netlab+ system allows students in Information Technology and Operations Technology to work with industry leading equipment from virtually anywhere that has an Internet connection. 

The Remote Automation Management Project (RAMP) team from SRTC and the Mission Critical Operations (MCO) team from Cleveland Community College in Shelby, North Carolina are partnered through a Department of Labor Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grant.  It is through this grant that SRTC was able to purchase and implement a Netlab+ site customized to fit the needs of their students.  The RAMP team will provide administration for the SRTC Netlab+ environment. The NDG Netlab+ system can be implemented in an online learning environment.  This opens the possibility of putting select IT and OT courses online while retaining vital hands on training. 

The Netlab+ appliance is designed to work with equipment that students will encounter in the field.  Both teams spent a week on the Tifton Campus installing and configuring equipment from Cisco, Allen-Bradley, and Rockwell.  Equipment is isolated into ‘pods’ that form a learning environment.  Students can program this equipment by following objectives in a lab exercise, or choose to experimentally program on their own.  The NDG Netlab+ appliance is responsible for logically creating equipment pods, allowing students to reserve time on a pod, and providing the Web-based portal to access pods.  When a student has finished working in a pod, the appliance resets the equipment to a default state to provide the next student with a clean environment.

“This system is designed to let students work on real equipment without the fear of damaging a live network.  They can ‘break’ their networks and then learn to fix them.  Information Technology students can train for Cisco certifications, CompTIA certifications, and many others.  Our Industrial Systems Technology students can hone their skills in programming PLCs while watching the equipment perform their logic.  Our working students will now have access to crucial lab time twenty four hours a day.  This adds an entirely new level of flexibility for students,” commented Tiffanie Root, RAMP IT Support Specialist.

The MCO project is part of the TAACCCT Grant awarded by the Department of Labor.  The Remote Automation Management Project (RAMP) provides distance learning support, and is located on the SRTC Tifton Campus in the Economic Development Building.  To learn more about the Netlab+ system contact Tiffanie Root, RAMP Technology Support Specialist at (229) 391-2628.  To learn more about RAMP contact George Griffin, RAMP Administrator, at (229) 386-3229. 

SRTC offers over 155 degree, diploma, and certificate programs that are designed to get you quickly into your desired career, and 27 general education courses that transfer to the University System of Georgia institutions and 19 private colleges and universities in Georgia. SRTC has instructional sites located in Ashburn, Cairo, Camilla, Moultrie, Thomasville, Tifton, and Sylvester for the convenience of our students. The College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). SACSCOC is the regional body for the accreditation of degree-granting higher education institutions in the Southern states. For the most up-to-date information on registration, class dates, and program offerings, log on to www.southernregional.edu.

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