WVDE | Instructional Technology | Virtual School | Courses


As networking technologies bring new economic and social opportunities to communities throughout the world, businesses, nonprofits, hospitals, schools, and government organizations are experiencing growing demand for networking professionals to design, build, maintain, and secure their networks.

The goal of the Virtual Cisco Networking Academy is to equip West Virginia students with the knowledge and hands-on experience needed to help meet this demand in a variety of industries ranging from broadband and wireless to healthcare and green technologies. The program is designed to serve students in schools where the demand is too low to support a local academy. Now every school in West Virginia can provide its students access to high quality, low cost courses leading to national certification.

The Cisco Networking Academy is a global education program that teaches students how to design, build, troubleshoot, and secure computer networks for increased access to career and economic opportunities in communities around the world. The Networking Academy utilizes an online curriculum developed by the Cisco Systems Worldwide Education curriculum development team, interactive tools, and hands-on learning activities to help individuals prepare for ICT and networking careers in virtually every type of industry.

Program Evolution

Since 1997, the Networking Academy has grown from a small-scale program designed to help schools get the most out of their networking equipment to Cisco’s largest corporate social responsibility program, with courses taught at more than 9000 academies in 165 countries. More than 800,000 students develop ICT skills through the program each year.

21st Century Career Skills

The Networking Academy delivers a comprehensive, 21st century learning experience to help students develop the foundational ICT skills needed to design, build, and manage networks, along with career skills such as problem solving, collaboration, and critical thinking. Students complete hands-on learning activities and network simulations to develop practical skills that will help them fill a growing need for networking professionals around the world.

Delivery Method

Networking Academy courses are delivered in multiple languages through an online learning system. Courses are supported by classroom instruction, hands-on learning activities, and online assessments that provide personalized feedback. Networking Academy instructors receive extensive training and support to help ensure a consistently-enriching learning experience for students around the world.

The Virtual Networking Academy uses the Cisco Discovery curriculum, consisting of four courses:

Networking for Home and Small Businesses (Discovery 1)

  • Set up a personal computer system, including the operating system, interface cards, and peripheral devices
  • Plan and install a small network connecting to the Internet
  • Troubleshoot network and Internet connectivity
  • Share resources such as files and printers among multiple computers
  • Recognize and mitigate security threats to a home network
  • Configure an integrated wireless access point and wireless client

Working at a Small-to-Medium Business or ISP (Discovery 2)

  • Understand the structure of the Internet and how communication occurs between hosts
  • Install, configure, and troubleshoot Cisco IOS devices
  • Plan a basic wired infrastructure to support network traffic
  • Configure a server to share resources and provide common Web services
  • Implement basic WAN connectivity using Telco services
  • Demonstrate proper disaster-recovery procedures and perform server backups

Introducing Routing and Switching in the Enterprise (Discovery 3)

  • Implement a LAN for an approved network design
  • Configure a switch with VLANs and inter-switch communication
  • Implement access lists to permit or deny specific traffic
  • Implement WAN links
  • Configure routing protocols on Cisco devices
  • Perform LAN, WAN, and VLAN troubleshooting using a structured methodology and the OSI model

Designing and Supporting Computer Networks (Discovery 4)

  • Gather customer requirements
  • Design a simple Internetwork using Cisco technology
  • Design an IP addressing scheme to meet LAN requirements
  • Create an equipment list to meet LAN design requirements
  • Install and configure a prototype Internetwork
  • Obtain and upgrade Cisco IOS software in Cisco devices


Students have the opportunity to earn two certifications as they progress through the Networking Academy program:

  • CCENT (Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician) validates the ability to install, operate and troubleshoot a small enterprise branch network, including basic network security. Students are eligible to sit for the CCENT examination after successfully completing Semester 2.
  • CCNA (Cisco Certified Network Associate) validates the ability to install, configure, operate, and troubleshoot medium-size route and switched networks, including implementation and verification of connections to remote sites in a WAN. Students are eligible to sit for the CCENT examination after successfully completing Semester 4.

For more information

To receive additional information about the Virtual Cisco Networking Academy, contact Nick Cekinovich or Becky Butler.