Trocaire College welcomed Gerald Edwards as its new Computer Network Administration (CNA) program advisor in late 2016. With his first full semester at Trocaire complete, he is settling in and working to make the program even more effective in educating students for successful CNA careers.
For almost 30 years, Edwards taught adult students at the State University of New York at Buffalo’s Educational Opportunity Center, where he served as lead instructor in the Information Technology department. A resident of Buffalo, he has a an associate’s degree in computer programming from Bryant & Stratton College and a bachelor’s degree in computer science from SUNY at UB, as well as multiple industry certifications.
“Mr. Edwards comes to Trocaire with decades of experience in higher education and computer networking,” said Dr. Jennifer Higgins, dean of Arts, Sciences and Professional Studies at Trocaire. “He has worked with the non-traditional student population as well as on curriculum development and with partners in the technology industry. We are pleased to bring him on board to help best prepare our CNA students for jobs in the field.”
Trocaire is the only college in Western New York offering an Associate of Applied Science degree in CNA. The program also offers the opportunity to pursue a certificate. While its main focus is to prepare students for careers in network administration, the program also offers preparation in entry-level careers in computer technology working as help desk or computer technicians.
As CNA advisor, Edwards is responsible for assisting students before, during and after enrollment into the program by selecting classes, making program recommendations and maintaining the Networking Lab.
He is also tasked with analyzing both the AAS and certificate curriculum, determining if students are being best prepared for today’s modern IT infrastructure support needs and making appropriate changes as needed. In addition, he plans to investigate the possibility of offering a four-year degree program in a specialized computer related field.
“I want to create an exciting learning environment where students are eager about coming to class because they know the curriculum and instructors will prepare them for success,” he said.
Edwards said his previous teaching experience, as well as several recent employment opportunities working as a network operator and a Help Desk support professional for two large companies have prepared him well for his new role at Trocaire.
“These experiences has provided me with a unique perspective on what technical skills and certifications computer support professionals currently need in order to perform and succeed in their positions,” he explained.