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Kalisha Eagle Soars to New Heights With IT Degree

Kalisha Nicole Eagle

Kalisha Nicole Eagle is a real success story. Today, she is employed at the University of Florida in their Office of Information Telecommunication. Kalisha enrolled in the Introduction to College Computing Course/CGS 1000 in Fall 2000. Her potential was obvious but she was failing the course. After her teacher pulled her aside and inquired why she seemed to struggle in a course that she could easily pass, she informed me that she had no access to a computer outside of campus. Kalisha also said that she had a young daughter who was born prematurely. As a result, her child suffered damage in her eyes, was legally blind, and demanded a lot of her attention. She was also working nearly 30 hours a week at a local business, making little more than minimum wage. In addition to personal problems, Kalisha had no idea what career path to take. Her interests were dancing, business and cosmetology. A career as a PC repair technician never entered her mind. At the end of the term she missed taking the final exam and failed the course. After the semester was over, her teacher talked with her about another program, the Information Technology Career Training (ITCT) Program. This one-year program offers non-traditional students emotional support, counseling, mentoring, career shadowing with area employers, and laptops while they are in the program. Students are prepared for careers such as PC technician, software specialist, and web designer.

After Kalisha enrolled in the program in the spring of 2001, she became more focused. This single mother, full-time student, and part-time worker, maintained a 3.5 grade point average. She also became certified as a Proficient User of Microsoft Excel. Kalisha now gives back to the program by keeping in touch with changing workforce needs. She also gives back to the community. Kalisha's father is a minister and she is actively involved in his church. After graduating from the program, Kalisha was hired as her former teacher's assistant. She assisted with tutoring, mentoring and administrative tasks. While in the program, she gained experience working with computer hardware and software. In April 2002, Kalisha received her A.A.S. degree in Computer Information Technology, and she is thriving in her new career.