As the demand for business information technology continues to grow, so does the need for a base of educated students to enter the job market. Our partnership with COMMON and IBM helps us get more educational institutions and educators involved with business computing platforms like IBM’s Cognitive Systems. We provide scholarship opportunities for educators to get supplementary education and training on the technologies and programs that successfully run business systems. And recently at COMMON’s Annual Meeting & Exposition in Orlando, Florida from May 7-10, the COMMON Education Foundation was able to provide two types of scholarships to educators, a Registration Scholarship and a Volunteer Memorial Scholarship (VMS). The VMS, established in 1998 in memory of and in appreciation of volunteers, recognizes and encourages volunteerism. This scholarship includes a complimentary conference registration, airfare and hotel accommodations.
This year’s VMS recipient wasn’t new to the industry, but relatively new to COMMON. For Mike McArdle from Western Technical College in LaCrosse, Wisconsin, this was his 2nd COMMON event, but his first Annual Meeting. McArdle applied for the VMS to get the latest in IT education that would allow him to make improvements in the strategies he teaches in his own classes. During his time at the Annual Meeting, McArdle filled his schedule with those sessions that would help him in the classroom, while also fulfilling volunteering duties at the COMMON Education Foundation booth. In addition, he even found the time to give back to the COMMON Community by doing his own session called Leaders Versus Followers.
At the end of the Conference, McArdle was incredibly grateful for the scholarship and had nothing but positive things to say. “During my career, I have had the opportunity to attend several IT conferences, but none of them provided the extensive and intense opportunities that I had at this conference.” said McArdle. His only negative comment was his frustration with there being too many great sessions to attend with not enough hours in the day to attend them. At the end of the day, a good problem to have.
The COMMON Education Foundation offers Educator Scholarships to COMMON conferences twice a year. The next opportunity will be for COMMON’s Fall Conference and Expo held this year in St. Louis from October 2-4, 2017. Click here for more information or to apply.