Andrew Styrcula


Class of 2012
Senior SharePoint Manager

I'm accustomed to a standard learning environment. A boring, absolute, bookwork, homework, tests style learning environment. I’ve loathed nearly every single thoughtless course I've had to learn in that boring, traditional style. Yet, I've learned more in an open, self-driven course as a "Network Assistant" in the CAT program than I have in the traditional methods. Perhaps, however, this massive spike in attunement and learning is due to major interest and a vast array of resources provided by the school board for this course.

The standard for this course isn't a traditional method, nor is it traditionally taught. The course focuses on simple parameters, such as "Have the drive and focus to complete your assignments," and "Have the maturity to admit your mistakes." These simple parameters guide us in the completion of our assignments, which are given to us as a focus, and then a direction and deadline. The projects are to be completed in the matters we see befitting, with proper guidance and direction from our proctor.

Recently, I was given a project alongside another network assistant, in which I was to help develop an asset-tracking and technology-locator map based on the school's technology and resources. This map allocates the resources and displays the technology located in each room in the school, and displays the list of all technology found on the campus, ordered by each room and each make and model. The map also is compatible with another project by another group of assistants known as the "Print Map." The asset-tracking map displays locations of printers and allows the VBS script to be run directly from the print map.

The resources provided in this course range from small programs that nearly every school has, such as the Office suites by Microsoft and standard computational resources, all the way through chances to become certified as a Microsoft technician, developer, or enterprise specialist. These resources also include expensive business programs not found nearly anywhere else in schools, such as the SharePoint design series and SharePoint development tools.

In this course, I feel that I've learned more about my choice of major in college, and more in general about networking and computer science that I've ever dreamt possible in a high school environment. I'm truly fortunate to be allowed access to such resources and given the opportunities to develop applications and websites in a self-paced learning environment.

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