After a long and thorough screening process, Provost Ed Bonahue has announced the selection of our own Jorge Ibañez as the new Director of Information Technology Education at Santa Fe College.
“Jorge brings a wealth of experience and a strong, innovative vision to this important leadership position,” said Kim Kendall, who chaired the search committee.
Jorge’s plans for ITE include a three-pronged approach to restructuring the program.
“I’m working with the different departments, and we’re going to revise the curriculum for each department and bring it up to date. By the end of the year we’ll be integrating new technology, for example, to create mobile apps,” he said.
In addition to what is being taught, the people teaching the classes will change.
“We have really good teachers and good talent in one department that is sorely needed in another. But because we are working separately, they haven’t been able to cross over,” he explained. “I want ITE to work together as one program so that the faculty can teach across departments.”
Jorge’s third goal is to integrate technology education with the rest of campus.
“ITE has to break out of N Building,” he said. “We cannot just be training the technicians that work in IT. IT should be part of the college at large. There is a lot of technology and information our students need to be competitive in the job market.”
For instance, he said unlike in the past, when people created paper portfolios, everything is digital now.
“All your connections, all your self promotion is online,” he said.
“Gainesville has the opportunity to become the technology hub of the Southeast,” he said. “It is up to us to provide the means for it to happen, to provide the trained workforce to make that happen. And for our students, how do we train them for the job market as it is today, so that they have a better chance of being hired?”
He said Santa Fe already has a good reputation for providing work-ready ITE grads.
Grooveshark and 352 Media hold an annual competition in three areas — web design, web development (coding), and programming — with a cash prize. But the winners don’t just get the cash; oftentimes, they get hired. It’s how the businesses recruit talent.
“The person who won last year’s web design competition — a Santa Fe College digital media student — is working for 352 Media,” he said. “That company is based in Newberry, but they have clients all over the world.”
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