July 31 – August 2 | Hilton Chicago, IL

Event Updates

Programming for this year’s event will continue to be developed and updated. Please check back periodically as we will continue to add updates as they become available.

All conference participants are welcome to attend any sessions within the Learning Partner and Academy Educator Tracks. You may move back and forth between the tracks to attend the sessions that most interest you.

Friday, July 31

7:30 am – 3:30 pm


7:45 – 8:50 am

Conference Breakfast and Partner Expo

Meet representatives from leading learacademic content publishing companies as they display and discuss their latest publications, products and learning materials.


Learning Partners Track
Waldorf Room

Presentation Materials

Academy Educator Track
Williford B/C

Presentation Materials

8:50 – 9:00 am

CompTIA Welcome & Announcements (During each breakout)

9:00 – 10:00 am

CompTIA Certification & Organizational Performance: The Impact of Preparation, Validation, and Need for Ongoing Skill Enhancement

IT leaders are under constant pressure to attract and retain highly skilled IT professionals. These leaders need IT staff who can provide them with a performance advantage. New research by IDC shows that candidates and staff with CompTIA A+ and CompTIA Security+ perform better than staff who are not certified.


CompTIA Academy Update

Get familiar with the features and benefits of the CompTIA Academy Program including

  • Direct Student Purchasing
  • Certification Validation Tool
  • Exam Updates
  • CertMaster
  • CompTIA Instructor Network (CIN)

Presenter: CompTIA Staff

10:00 - 11:00 am

Corporate Panel: IT Learning Best Practices

Learn from a panel of corporate industry experts on IT learning best practices and the impact IT-certified professionals are having on organizations today. Also, gain insight on steps organizations are taking to build corporate universities, the corporate perspective of internal versus external learning, and how corporations are motivating their employees to learn in today’s highly competitive landscape.


How to Build and Grow a Successful Training Program

The H.O.P.E. Project has trained, coached and mentored hundreds of students that now work on major government contracts and for corporations providing Tier 1, Tier 2 and Tier 3 technical support.

Participants will learn how to provide online support to students using a SharePoint portal as well as utilizing former students as mentors. Soft skills and life accountability measures are also highlighted and emphasized during the training program.

In addition to obtaining industry recognized certifications, the graduates leave the International Graduate University with the ability to join an organization and start contributing immediately.

Presenter: Raymond Bell, President, H.O.P.E Project

11:00 – 11:15 am

Networking Break

11:15 – 12:15 pm

CompTIA Product Update

Learn about the updated certifications from CompTIA, the increased focus on security within the CompTIA certification portfolio, 2015 release plans for certifications and information about the CertMaster product.


Team Teaching CompTIA Certifications

Attendees will be introduced to the team teaching model and how Meridian Community College has used it to increase learner success Alton will also discuss how they are introducing their technology programs to industry to create employment opportunities for their graduates. Participants will learn about how to apply and incorporate these methods at their institution.There will also be a focus on learners obtaining stackable credentials and Working with the industry to create a career path.

Presenter: Alton Foster, Workforce Development IT Instructor, Meridian Community College

12:15 – 1:15 pm

Conference Lunch with Guest Speaker John Dvorak

Chief Technology Officer, Information Innovators, Inc.

Former FBI and public sector expert will discuss security trends, latest attacks and how organizations can overcome these issues

1:15 2:00 pm

Networking in the Partner Expo

Meet representatives from leading content publishing companies as they display and discuss their latest publications, products and learning materials.

2:00 - 3:00 pm

Certification Today and Tomorrow: An investigation

Join us to hear insights from representatives of today’s certifying organizations about where certification is today, and what it will look like in the future. We’ll discuss how certifications earn their value, and the trends that we’re seeing in the industry. We’ll also be discussing the latest trends, new delivery methods and technologies, and what “certification” will mean in the future.

Topics include:

  • The value of certification today: How certification is used throughout the world
  • What “certification” means today and what it will mean in the future
  • Today’s delivery options – and those that we’ll be seeing tomorrow
  • Challenges to existing platforms and approaches
  • What will the proctor look like – and why that matters
  • Moving beyond the “point in time,” standardized exam
  • Beyond certification? Perspectives on badging, social media, and certifying learning activities
  • Trends affecting the value of certification




3:00 – 3:15 pm

Networking Break

3:15 – 4:15 pm

CompTIA Certifications: Marketing Best Practices & Success Stories

The CompTIA Marketing Team will share examples of successful positioning by vertical, available research/market information from CompTIA, and previously successful marketing initiatives for CompTIA certifications.

Presenter: Lauren Pray, Senior Marketing Manager, CompTIA

Changing the Life Path: How Leyden Uses CompTIA Certifications To Create Career Paths For its Students

The Technical Support Initiative (TSI) is a student run tech support class where students support the 1:1 initiative in the district, supporting all 3,600 Chromebooks that are in the student's hands. TSI also allows students to pursue various certifications, including CompTIA A+, CompTIA Net +, and CompTIA Security +. One of the many goals of the Program is to provide an opportunity for every student to have a career path upon graduation. Tony will expand on the Technical Support Internship Program that was created at Leyden High School. Tony will discuss the TSI program and how it was created at Leyden High School.

Presenter: Tony Pecucci, Director of Student and Community Outreach, Leyden High School

4:15 - 5:15 pm

Lightning Round Tech Update

In this session, luminaries from the industry will be asked about the latest developments concerning security, open source and the Internet of Things. Join us for a quick update concerning the state of the industry. The discussion won’t be an introduction to these trends. Rather, it will focus on essential trends and game-changing events in these fields.


The Blessing and Curse of the Newest A+

The latest version of CompTIA’s A+ brings the largest number of new topics in the history of this certification.

The scope of these changes include not only new technologies but more so reflect a sea change in the universe of what it means to be an IT technician.

Join Mike as he reflects on those changes and what it means to those who teach and administer the training of future technicians.

Presenter: Mike Meyers, President, Total Seminars

5:15 - 6:45 pm

Welcome Reception

Social Time! Get to know your fellow attendees and CompTIA Staff members. Join us in the Publisher and Product Expo for the Welcome Reception.

Saturday, August 1

7:30 am – 3:30 pm


8:00 - 8:50 am

Conference Breakfast and Partner Expo

Meet representatives from leading content publishing companies as they display and discuss their latest publications, products and learning materials.

8:50 – 9:00 am

CompTIA Welcome & Announcements (in each breakout room)

9:00 - 10:00 am

Building Successful Training Solutions

Discuss ILT best practices, success stories, case studies, and advice on building successful workforce development programs. Additional information about the rise of virtual, live online training and on-site programs. Information on how to identify new business opportunities, sales staff training, successful marketing strategies and enrollment processes.



Breaking Into IT: Pathways to Industry and Academic Success

Topics for discussion involve strategies developing industry certification-aligned courses and programs for delivery in online, classroom, and flexible delivery formats. Focuses include creating student learning outcomes aligned to certification outcomes, alignment of course content with certification exam bodies of knowledge, integrating experiential learning tools, promoting consistency across modalities, aligning curriculum and instruction to student learning needs, effective assessment of student learning.

Presenter: Dr. Charity Jennings, Program Dean for the College of Information Systems & Technology, University of Phoenix

10:00 – 11:00 am

CompTIA Partner Program Update

Join us for information about changes and additional benefits of the CompTIA Authorized Partner Program. Includes information for new partners and CompTIA’s certifications.

Presenter: Joe Padin, Vice President, U.S. Federal & Education Sales, CompTIA

CompTIA Instructor Network Pre-Launch

CompTIA is introducing the CompTIA Instructor Network (CIN), a new worldwide CompTIA Instructor community. It will launch to a wider audience Q4 2015. But we want to give you the inside scoop about CIN, and how you can participate early.

Presenter: Tazneen Kasem, Director, Product Management, CompTIA

CompTIA’s Network+ Exam: A Renovation

The new and improved Network+ exam from CompTIA incorporates multiple new technologies and challenges students to a new level of comprehension and skill. Likewise, increasing numbers of students need ways to learn networking and prepare for the Network+ exam through a variety of distance learning arrangements.

What new content will you need to cover? How can you teach networking to students who are learning from home? Join the discussion to explore the new content areas and innovative ways to meet the needs of students taking this course over the Internet.

Presenter: Jill West, Author, Cengage Learning

11:00 - 11:15 am

Networking Break

11:15 am - 12:15 pm

The Evolution of Learning Content

Learn about the continued evolution of content. Contains information on digital platforms, customer requests for content, customizable content, and the future of technical content.



The Human Firewall: Teaching Security Awareness

Any security technology—such as firewalls, proxies, and unified threat managers--can instantly be neutralized by a careless employee who opens an infected email attachment, clicks on a phishing link, or repeats the same password on multiple accounts.

It is estimated that 95% of all successful corporate attacks today rely on some form of human error. Providing users with the training and tools to be a “human firewall” is a critical element in defenses against cyberattacks.

This importance on end-user security awareness instruction is increasingly being recognized today. Academic institutions, including high schools as well as colleges, are adding new security awareness courses or components to existing courses, while commercial training organizations are expanding awareness training as are corporate human resource units.

In this session we will explore how security awareness training is expanding and how to teach security awareness at these different levels.

Presenter: Dr. Mark Ciampa, Associate Professor of Information Systems, Western Kentucky University

12:15 – 1:15pm


Conference Lunch with Guest Speaker Gina London

Turning Knowledge into Action!

Amidst Big Data, E-learning and Google, why does anyone need a human educator any more? Motivation and Connection, that's why.

Emmy-award winning veteran CNN journalist and international communications expert Gina London takes you on a wild ride and inspirational journey examining how YOU still make the difference.

1:15 - 2:00 pm

Networking in the Publisher and Product Expo

Meet representatives from leading content publishing companies as they display and discuss their latest publications, products and learning materials.

2:00 - 3:00 pm


Best Practices for Taking A+ Classes Virtual and Online

Examine tools, skills, and best practices for virtual and online programs for A+ and IT support technicians. Take a step into the virtual world of Bonanza Mining Company, a virtual company complete with avatars, servers, desktops, mobile devices, networks, branch offices, and cranky employees. Cengage Learning breaks the sound barriers of online learning with the exciting new product, IT LabWorks.


Presenter: Dr. Jean Andrews, Author, Cengage Learning

3:00 - 3:15 pm


Networking Break

3:15 - 4:15 pm


Coaching Students to Certification Excellence

Learn coaching strategies used to setup your classroom for success, such as recruitment, classroom environment & structure to post spring break cramming for the CompTIA certifications. Teach students how to overcome obstacles and achieve their goals. Be sure your students not only get certified but also hired for employment in IT.



4:15 - 5:15 pm


Teaching the Internet of Things in Your Future

So, what will be the “Hottest” Technology in the next several years? Will it be 3D Printing? Drones? Wearable Technology? All of these are cool things, but several futurists and prognosticators believe that it will be the Internet of Things … better known as IoT.

This session will discuss how the Internet of Things can be integrated into your networking curriculum and provide hands-on exercises using a combination of cost-effective technologies and virtualization that can be incorporated into your classroom environment.

We will focus on several labs that can be taught in class and can be easily added to your existing programs. Some examples of the technology are lighting control systems, HVAC controls and media content distribution.

Presenter: William Saichek, Professor, Computer Science and Information Systems, Orange Coast College

5:15 – 6:45 pm

Reception and Prize Drawing in the Publisher and Product Expo (must be present to win)

Sunday, August 2

8:00 - 9:00 am


Conference Breakfast

9:00 - 10:00 am


CyberSecurity: It’s Not Just A Buzzword

  • What is CyberSecurity?
  • Why is it so important?
  • How do the Security+ and CASP certifications fit into the CyberSecurity field?
  • Should classroom security be important?

Presenter: Robin Abernathy, Product Developer, Kaplan IT

10:00 - 11:00 a.m.


How To Conduct a “Hands-On” Final Exam in an On-line CompTIA-related Course

What kind and how much assessment is appropriate for a CompTIA-related course? Join us in this session to see how to conduct our “hands-on” final exam in an on-line course. We will also discuss other interesting methods that can be substituted for the in-class hands on exercise and testing. Come prepared to share your best practices with other attendees.

Presenter: Cheryl Schmidt, Professor of Network Engineering Technology, Florida State College

11:00 - 11:15 am


Networking Break

11:15 am - 12:15 pm


Building a Scalable, Sustainable, Relevant and Rigorous IT Pathway program

This session will consider the following as common traits that bring success for students, teachers, faculty and staff:

  • Exploring the power of “good stress” in the classroom
  • Maintaining and building kinesthetic learning for ICT courses
  • The power of a “productive student”
  • Educator solutions to match various levels of competence
  • Fun, competiveness, confidence, positive mindset and motivation
  • CompTIA classroom solutions

Presenter: Jana Hambruch, Vice President, Sales, CCI Learning

12:15 - 12:30 pm


CompTIA Closing and Farewell