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We are excited to announce that a new Instructor Mentor role has been implemented across all of our campuses! The Instructor Mentor is an experienced, certified, technical trainer who will be scheduled to teach only half of the time. The rest of their time will be spent supporting and preparing students for exams.

This role represents LeaderQuest’s commitment to helping students at every step of their IT training journey. While some students excel at their exams without any aid, we recognized that others needed a stronger support system. Our classes give students all the knowledge they need to pass their exams, but some students may need to study more to feel confident while taking the test.

Instructor Mentor Responsibilities

The Instructor Mentor will support students after completion of class through successful completion of exams. To do this, they’ll have an open door for students who need individual help, set up study groups, and create exam prep classes. Instructor Mentors work from approximately 1pm – 10pm so they can support both day and night students.

In addition to the above activities, Instructor Mentors will also proactively identify and engage students that are having any difficulties and work with them to overcome these obstacles with personalized tools and strategies.

Expected areas of improvement moving forward will be reflected in overall student satisfaction, increased exam pass rates, increased employment rates and retention rates. Students will be less overwhelmed having a personal coach who is experienced and can relate. Personalized study plans will cater to the individual learner increasing their opportunity for a successful career in IT.

Methods of Student Support

The Instructor Mentor supports the students through five different avenues. Each student can take advantage of this resource in the way that best fits their schedule and learning style.

1:1 Tutoring

The Instructor Mentor will be available for one-on-one study sessions as needed. Students can schedule this time within office hours, and can meet with the mentor online or in person.

Creating Study Plans with Touch Points

A plan that is created with the Instructor Mentor and the student leading up to taking the exam. These are designed to help the student cover all of the skills and study topics needed to pass their exam with confidence.

Touchpoints can include:

  • Completion of labs at 80% or higher
  • Completion of exam prep questions at 80% or higher
  • An exam date goal

Group Study Sessions

Instructor mentors will schedule regular group study sessions where students can help each other study with the guidance of their Instructor Mentor.

Exam Prep Classes

Our first prep class is the Advanced Security+ exam prep class. This class has increased the Security exam pass rate by 17% since implementation in 2018! In the near future, the creation of an exam prep class for each course we offer will be in place and taught by Instructor Mentors.

Skills Labs

Instructor Mentors teach skills labs to make sure students have achieved mastery of the necessary application of the knowledge learned in the classroom. For example, a PC Build Lab has been implemented to allow students to build a PC from scratch and then troubleshoot the PC. Hands on application is important for students to gain confidence as they strive for a career in IT.

Meet our New Instructor Mentors!

Patrick Allen

Specialty: Network Administration & Security

Education: BSEE & MSEE from The University of Alabama at Birmingham

Industry Experience: 20+ years in IT implementation project management and over nine years in IT field service

Certifications: CompTIA A+, CompTIA Network+, CompTIA Security+

Courses Taught at LeaderQuest: CompTIA A+, CompTIA Network+, CompTIA Security+

Career/Skill Focus: IT Support Technician

Fun Facts: Patrick Allen is addicted to fly fishing.

More About Pat: Retired Master Chief, U.S. Navy

Khozema “KJ” Raja

Specialty: Network Administration & Security

Education: BA in Business University of Texas Austin

Certifications: CompTIA A+, CompTIA Network+, CompTIA Security+, ITIL Foundation

Courses Taught at LeaderQuest: CompTIA A+

Career/Skill Focus: Network Administration & Security

Fun Facts: KJ is addicted to great coffee and imports Yemeni coffee. A former LeaderQuest student, KJ completed the curriculum and certifications in a very short period of time and has returned to mentor students. His goal is to help them quickly pass their certification exams.

More About KJ: Starting in 2004, after KJ graduated from UT Austin, he successfully co-founded a startup real estate website. In 2006 he founded of his own startup real estate website. KJ has consulted on e-commerce platforms including Wholly Guacamole. He completed a government contract for DFW Technologies as a Support Specialist with Trinity River Authority.

Greg Gardner

Education: Bachelor of Science in Math, with a Secondary Education/Computer Science Minor – Concordia College, Moorhead, MN

Master of Information Technology – Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech)

Certifications: CompTIA Security+, CompTIA A+, Certified Scrum Master, Mobile Learning Developer, and Instructional Designer

Courses Taught at LeaderQuest: CompTIA A+

Fun Facts: Greg is a novelist with two published cyber-espionage/warfare novels: In Plain Sight and Firestorm. You can check them out at http://www.greggardnerbooks.com. He enjoys travelling (especially in Europe), fishing, snowshoeing, and hiking.

More About Greg: Greg has spent over 30 years of in the IT and training industry. He is a former Naval Officer. Greg was a shift supervisor/operations lead at Microsoft’s Global Data Center, created network operations centers at several dot com companies, created a virtual help desk for a university system, and was a Technical Director for Online Learning Technologies at a Washington DC-based consulting firm. He has taught IT courses such as the entire MCSE suite, A+, Security+, as well as programming and Microsoft application courses at private IT training companies, and at the high school and collegiate levels.

Greg enjoys using his expertise and experience to help others achieve their goals and objectives. Many have written in evaluations of his presentations that he has a fantastic ability to “talk tech to non-techies.”

Greg is also a speaker at national conferences, an author of numerous technology-based blogs and magazine articles, and has written several cyber-espionage novels.

Eugene Hamric

Specialty: IT All-Arounder

Education: Associate of Science in Network Engineering, Bachelor of Science in Security Technology, Master’s Degree in Cybersecurity currently in progress

Certifications: CompTIA A+, CompTIA Network+, CompTIA Security+, CCENT, CCNA, MCSA, MCP, Linux, LCIP-1

Courses Taught at LeaderQuest: CompTIA A+

Career/Skill Focus:

Fun Facts: Eugene enjoys traveling to different countries to try new foods, ethical hacking to help businesses against cyber threats, playing the bass guitar, and going to anime conventions for the new line-up serious.

His favorite saying is, “I win or learn, but I never lose.”

More About Eugene: Eugene comes from a military family background and has served 6 years in the Army. He will achieve his Master’s Degree in Cybersecurity in about 2 months, and his next goal is to obtain the CISSP certification. He has been involved in the IT Industry since the mid-1990s with the privilege of serving in various civilian and government projects.

Come train with our Instructor Mentors!

If you’ve been thinking about making a career change, consider IT! LeaderQuest can help you get trained, certified and hired in 3 months or less. We support our students through every part of this process, including state of the art facilities and learning materials, onsite Instructor Mentors ready to help, and a devoted Career Services team at each campus.

If you’re ready to take the next step in your career, contact LeaderQuest today! We can help you identify a career path and the steps you’ll need to get you there.

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