Geneva School District 304 News Article

Technology Internship Offers Stepping Stone to Tech Careers

Technology Internship Offers Stepping Stone to Tech Careers

In District 304, every student is equipped with a laptop for educational use. The district's Tech Support Help Desk is ready to assist when technical issues arise. At GHS, the desk employs technology support staff and offers the Technology Support Internship (TSI) Program for tech-minded high school students. This program is a stepping stone to careers in technology that provide hands-on experience similar to a real-life working environment. GHS Business Teacher Eric Hatczel, who oversees the program, notes that each year the program typically has 20-30 students enrolled in the courses. 

The first TSI course is one semester that introduces students to computer hardware repair and allows them to gain certifications from leading computer brands. They acquire skills necessary for common repair tasks at the Tech Help Desk, such as disassembling and reassembling devices, conducting tests and imaging, and troubleshooting classroom technology issues for teachers.  

Following the initial TSI course, students can progress to TSI Plus during their second semester. This advanced course, which students can retake multiple times, alternates between working shifts at the Help Desk and Pathway Days. On Pathway Days students focus on additional computer software skills, earning computer certifications each semester.  

By the time they graduate, students have valuable certifications with major brands of software manufacturers preparing them for immediate entry into the workforce. According to Mr. Hatczel, many graduates find themselves well-prepared to contribute to tech support teams at universities or within IT departments.  

Alumnus Ved Vyas, class of 2023, participated in the program and is currently a computer engineering major at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He said the hands-on experience prepared him for his labs in college and will help him in the future as he plans to pursue graduate studies in a Ph.D. program.  

“The TSI program is extremely insightful into understanding how major organizations handle technology problems, as well as how to troubleshoot those technology problems,” said Vyas. “These are useful skills, especially considering the technology dependence that comes with studying or working in many industries today.”  

Mr. Hactzel credits the District Tech Support Staff for their pivotal role in nurturing the program's success. “We couldn’t pull this off without our Tech Staff,” he said. “The staff put such a stamp on these kids because of their experience. The students learn a lot of technical skills from the staff because they’re working alongside them. They work very independently. This program is very close to a real-life working environment.” 


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