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Do you enjoy working with technology and feel a sense of satisfaction when helping others? Computer support specialists use the combination of information technology, problem solving, and customer service soft skills to help individuals and organizations overcome technical challenges and maintain productivity. In the Computer Support Specialist program, we take pride in teaching and learning these skill sets needed to be successful in the IT support field. At the College of Western Idaho (CWI), we will develop your understanding of technology from the ground up giving you the computer, networking, and security knowledge and skills needed to succeed in the IT support industry.
Information technology professionals are held to a higher standard than many professionals, which is why many employers require a background check before hiring any new IT personnel. A felony or misdemeanor still appearing on a background check can become a severe barrier to working as an IT professional at a government or private organization.
The College of Western Idaho (CWI) provides a Computer Support Specialist program that will prepare you with advanced, market-relevant skills that employers recognize and respect as well as opportunities to connect with a global community of industry professionals.
Why This Program
Every business has computers and their supporting hardware and software so IT support technicians will continue to be in demand. This program covers soft skills, such as customer service and professionalism, and skills needed for the CompTIA IT Fundamentals, A+, Network+, and Security+ certifications that will be taken during the course of the program. Attaining these certifications will show potential employers your ability to learn and readiness for the workplace and give you the confidence to excel in your career. Depending on your level of completion, you may earn an Intermediate Technical Certificate, Advanced Technical Certificate, or Associate of Applied Science degree in this field.
What You Will Learn to Do
- Develop the soft skills that assist the diagnosis of and solving of customer technology issues
- Build, install, repair, and maintain PCs, servers, networking equipment, and peripherals including laser and 3D printers
- Learn how to protect from and safely remove viruses, malware, and other threats from computers, networking components, and mobile devices
- Train users to work with new computer hardware or software such as 3D printers, word-processing software, and email
- Test and evaluate existing wired and wireless network systems while performing regular maintenance and upgrades to ensure that networks operate correctly
- Troubleshoot local area networks (LANs), wide area networks (WANs), and Internet Systems
- Evaluate the security posture of and secure IT hardware and software
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Requirements and Costs
Degrees and Certificates
Important Dates for Credit Programs
|Summer 2023||Fall 2023||Spring 2024|
|Priority Registration Begins1||N/A||April 10||Nov. 13, 2023|
|Open Registration Begins||Feb. 27||April 17||Nov. 20, 2023|
|Financial Aid Priority Deadline||May 13||July 29||Dec. 16, 2023|
|Admission Deadline2||May 27||Aug. 12||Jan. 6|
|Last Day to Register for Classes||June 2||Aug. 18||Jan. 12|
|Tuition and Fees Due||June 2||Aug. 18||Jan. 12|
|Classes Begin3||June 5||Aug. 21||Jan. 16|
|1 Priority registration is limited to continuing students. Students are assigned a registration time based on their cumulative credits earned. Students should check myCWI and their CWI email to learn their assigned registration time. Students may register online anytime on or after their assigned registration time.|
|2 The admission deadline for international students is earlier than the deadline for non-international students and is only available during the fall and spring semesters. Please consult the Academic Calendar for the international student admission deadlines for the fall and spring semesters.|
|3 Classes in shorter sessions (including 4-, 5-, and 8-week sessions) may begin before or after this date. Please refer to the Registration and Refund Deadlines by Class Section Dates (located beneath each semester) of the Academic Calendar for more information.|
Skills, Traits, and Prep Classes
- General computer skills
- Ability to learn
- Basic understanding of how computers work is helpful
- Good communication and writing skills are helpful
- Ability to troubleshoot complex problems is helpful
Navigating your way through college can be confusing, especially if you try to go it alone. CWI offers advising assistance to help in deciding which courses you need to take to reach your education and career goals. Visit Advising or contact One Stop Student Services for more information.
When preparing for a career in the area of information technology, a quality background check is essential for the protection of both the student and the training institution. Information technology professionals are held to a higher standard than many professionals which is why many employers will require a background check before hiring any new IT personnel. A background check will ensure that the Computer Support Specialist program conforms to industry standards with respect to the training of computer support specialists.
Results of the background checks are confidentially retained by the Computer Support Specialist program at CWI. If derogatory information is found as a result of the background check, further review of the student in question may be required before beginning the Computer Support Specialist program. Derogatory information, which may preclude a student from entering the Computer Support Specialist program, includes a DUI in the past three (3) years or a felony.
Only students who have officially declared Computer Support Specialist as their chosen program should complete the background check. If you have questions, please Contact the Program Chair.
Financial Aid Available
Did you know that as a student in this program you may be eligible for financial aid? Through grants, scholarships, and loans, more than 60 percent of first-time, full-time CWI students receive some form of financial assistance. To learn more about financial aid options and whether you may be eligible, visit Financial Aid.
Tuition and Fees
Tuition for a full-time CWI student averages half the cost of a state university and a third of the cost of a private college. Tuition and fees vary based on program and residence. Visit Tuition and Fees for more information.
- Computer Support Specialist
- Computer Repair Technician
- Help Desk Technician
- Information Technology Specialist
- Service Desk Analyst
- MFP/Printer Repair Technician
The Computer Support Specialist program will develop a technician’s understanding from the ground up covering: electrical and mechanical components, industry tools, computer hardware and software, network infrastructure support and troubleshooting, plus server support and virtualization. The Computer Support Specialist program also covers soft skills such as customer service and professionalism, and provides the skills needed for the CompTIA IT Fundamentals, A+, PDI+, Network+, and Security+ certifications.
Upon completion of the full program, students will have taken their CompTIA IT Fundamentals, A+, Network+, and Security+ certification exams.
For more information on the Computer Support Specialist career field, its salary range and job growth, visit the US Bureau of Labor Statistics web site: https://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/computer-support-specialists.htm
Program Department Chair
- Administrative Specialist
- Advanced Mechatronics Engineering Technology
- Automotive Technology
- Bookkeeping and Accounting
- Cisco Networking and Security Technologies
- Collision Repair Technology
- Computer Support Specialist
- Dental Assisting
- Drafting Technology
- Education, Early Childhood
- Fire Service Management
- Fire Service Technology
- Heavy Duty Truck Technician
- Heavy Equipment Technician
- Horticulture Technology
- Law Enforcement
- Machine Tool Technology
- Marketing Communications
- Medical Administrative Support
- Medical Assistant - Credit
- Network and System Administration
- Nursing, Practical
- Occupational Therapy Assistant
- Physical Therapist Assistant
- Powersports and Small Engine Repair Technology
- Software Development
- Surgical Technology
- Swift Programming
- Unmanned Aerial Systems
- Welding and Metals Fabrication
- Wildland Fire Management