Article: Vantage Student Earns Certification, Scores in Top 10 Percent Nationally

Vantage Student Earns Certification, Scores in Top 10 Percent Nationally

Network Systems student poses in front of the I.T. "Help Desk"

Gage Smith (Paulding), a senior in the junior Network Systems class at Vantage Career Center, earned his Test Out Linux Pro Certification, which normally takes an entire school year to complete, but he achieved it in less than one semester and scored in the top 10% of all test takers for Linux Pro in the United States, including college students and industry professionals. 

The passing score for Linux Pro is 1360 out of 1800. Gage’s score was 1748. The average score for high school students is 677 with a 30% passing rate, and for college students it’s 1144 with a 59% passage rate, according to Test Out, and these students spend an entire year studying and practicing for this test. Gage did it in 15 weeks & passed.

“Gage spent every extra minute in class working on this elective, but also skipped breaks to keep working on it, and even studied at home without any homework being assigned, which was not an easy task,” says Network Systems Instructor Larry Regedanz.

Students in the 2-year Network Systems program are required to complete the PC Pro (hardware and software) course their junior year, and the Network Pro (networking) course their senior year. Each course takes about 1 year to complete, and students can earn industry credentials for each course. In addition, both juniors and seniors can pick an elective course for extra industry certifications. Most students pick IT Fundamentals their junior year which is a pretty basic course and Computer Security their senior year which goes along well with their Networking course. Some students choose more advanced courses such as Routing and Switching or Linux Pro. 

Gage chose the harder Linux Pro course in addition to the required PC Pro course, along with a second elective for semester two so he can finish his senior year Vantage strong with several Information Technology certifications. When asked why he dedicated every free moment to these electives, Smith replied, “Because I can.” 

"Gage was a student in Interactive Media his junior year. Although he wanted to enroll in Network Systems, the class was full, so when an opening came up his senior year, he jumped on the opportunity and is taking full advantage of getting as much training as he can,” says Regedanz. “Getting all of these certifications in one year is amazing.”

Gage’s accomplishments earned him a national spotlight through a congratulatory Facebook post from TestOut (@TestOut), which included a photo of Gage, along with submitted inforamtion by Instructor Larry Regedanz saying, “Congratulations to Gage Smith of Vantage Career Center in Ohio! He finished out the school year with a fistful of our Pro certifications.”

TestOut is an information technology and Office certification company offering TestOut Pro Certifications and innovative courseware solutions. With LabSim, students get a broad range of hands-on experience in a safe, simulated environment.

Gage has completed his senior year with PC-Pro, Network Pro, Security Pro, Linux Pro certifications, and is currently working on the Routing and Switching Pro certification. He will also be completing the CompTIA A+ and Network+ certifications soon after graduation through Vantage’s Adult Education Program.

Gage is the classroom president, regional Business Professionals of America (BPA) secretary, and has been awarded the Vantage Network Systems program Award of Distinction. 

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