Computer Systems Technology I & II

Computer Systems Technology

Program Synopsis:

The Computer Systems Technology Program is an exclusive program at Highland Springs Technical Center. Students who enjoy building, repairing, troubleshooting or tinkering around with PC computers, basic electronics and networking will love our class. It not only prepares them for real-world experience in the information technology field, but:

  • Students can take this program as a stand-alone, 1 year course and earn 3 High School credits; or complete the 2 year program for a total of 6 High School credits. This really helps their GPA!
  • Students are dual college-credit enrolled through ECPI University. Juniors enjoy earning 6 University credits with the instructor here in our classroom. Seniors are allowed to drive to the ECPI Innsbrook Campus every Friday and earn 6 more University credits. That’s a total of 12 FREE University credits!
  • SkillsUSA competitions are really fun and enjoyable for those who like a competitive edge. We host the annual District Skills USA competition in our computer lab, where Field Engineers, Network Administrators and Technology Entrepreneurs judge students within the district. We’ve made it to Nationals many times and place in the top 5 consistently!
  • Students prepare and sit for Industry Standard Certifications through companies for Microsoft and CompTIA which lead to IT Career Paths and Cisco Engineering.
  • Students experience Mock Interviews with vendors such as Federal Reserve Bank, GE Healthcare, ECPI University, HCPS Administrative Staff etc.
  • Students participate in Job Shadowing which allows them to explore technology career options by spending time with a professional currently working in the field.
  • Students participate in a Work Experience Program during the 2nd semester as a senior.

Computer Systems Technology I: The Computer System Technology course teaches entry-level computer skills compiled of all the aspects of industry listed above.

Computer Systems Technology II: During the second year, the students learn the basics of computer network installation, maintenance, troubleshooting, and repair. Students also learn workstation/server configuration and technical writing skills.

Instructors: Both instructors for the Computer Systems Technology program have schooling, industry and technology teaching background and experience. Their combined unique personalities really help students find their “nitch” and career paths in whatever technology or business field they choose. They’ve both been involved in many HCPS technology initiatives such as Henrico 2000, Windows PC to Mac Platform integration, 1-to-1 laptop secondary initiative, School-Space, Mac/Win School SIS, and are currently piloting a Project Management course which will prepare student to sit for their Project Management Certification as soon as they graduate!

Mrs. Debby Hallcom earned her Associates Degree in Computer Programming through Commonwealth College – now Bryant and headshot_hallcomStratton College and has over 30 years’ experience in the technology field with the following companies; Virginia State Commonwealth, Xerox Corporation, Freedlander Financial Services and 25 years in Henrico County Public Schools in the Data Processing, Media, Services, Information Technology, Staff Development and CTE Departments.  She holds various technology certifications and was awarded Industry Teacher of the Year in 2008 through, the company who certifies industry IT professionals, and co-authored the Managing and Troubleshooting PC’s Lab Manual with Mike Meyers of Total Seminars. Outside of school she is very involved with her husband, 4 grown children, extended family, community and church events, and enjoys working out, reading, writing and traveling.

headshot_johnsonMr. Curtis Johnson is a graduate of the Computer Systems Technology program here at Highland Springs Technical Center (Class of 2002). He then went on to work for HCPS as a Data Infrastructure Maintenance Technician where he gained priceless on the job training and various industry certifications. He has over 10 years of experience working in the Information Technology field doing things like structured cabling installation, fiber optics, network equipment installation, computer repair, and leading projects. Mr. Johnson is very serious about mentoring his students into being successful in the IT field and any other positive things they may be involved in. Outside of the classroom he is the Head Varsity Wrestling Coach at Varina High School where he has coached multiple District Champs, several Regional Placers, and a few State Placers. He was awarded the Capital District Coach of the year in 2011 and was the runner-up in 2013.

Desired Aptitudes:

Certification Tests:

Employment Outlook (According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition):


Job Summary

Median Salary

Computer and Information Research Scientists Computer and information research scientists invent and design new technology and find new uses for existing technology.  They study and solve complex problems in computing for business, science, medicine, and other uses. $100,660
Computer Programmers Computer programmers write code to create software programs. They turn the program designs created by software developers and engineers into instructions that a computer can follow. $71,380
Computer Support Specialists Computer support specialists provide help and advice to people and organizations using computer software or equipment.  Some, called technical support specialists, support information technology (IT) employees within their organization. Others, called help-desk   technicians, assist non-IT users who are having computer problems. $46,260
Computer Systems Analysts Computer systems analysts study an organization’s current computer systems and procedures and make recommendations to management to help the organization operate more efficiently and effectively. They bring business and information technology (IT) together by understanding the needs and limitations of both. $77,740
Database Administrators Database administrators use software to store and organize data, such as financial information and customer shipping records. They make sure that data are available to users and are secure from unauthorized access. $73,490
Information Security Analysts, Web Developers, and   Computer Network Architects Information security analysts, web developers, and computer network architects all use information technology (IT) to advance their organization’s goals. Security analysts ensure a firm’s information stays safe from cyberattacks. Web developers create websites to help firms have a public face. Computer network architects create the internal networks all workers within organizations use. $75,660
Network and Computer Systems Administrators Network and computer systems administrators are responsible for the day-to-day operation of an organization’s computer networks. They organize, install, and support an organization’s computer systems, including local area networks (LANs), wide area networks (WANs),   network segments, intranets, and other data communication systems. $69,160
Software Developers Software developers are the creative minds behind computer programs. Some develop the applications that allow people to do specific tasks on a computer or other device. Others develop the underlying systems that run the devices or control networks. $90,530