Frequently Asked Questions
What grade can students apply to the Advanced Technology Center (ATC)?
Students interested in including the ATC in their high school Academic and Career Plan (ACP) should meet with their counselor as soon as possible and as early as middle school to ensure that ATC courses will fit in their ACP with on time graduation. Students may apply to the ATC in 8th , 9th , 10th or 11th grade.
Why is it important that students ensure ATC courses fit in their Academic and Career Plan?
Electives are typically one credit. However, most classes at the ATC are three high school credits and include two blocks of time five days a week for each year long course. Most students attend classes at the ATC for one to three years which includes a total of three to nine elective credits. Therefore, pre-planning with their high school counselor is very important.
Are there any opportunities to earn college credit at the ATC?
There are college credit options in the following courses: Cisco Network Engineering I & II, Engineering Technology I & II, Hospitality and Tourism Management/Advanced Hospitality and Tourism Management, Network Administration and Cyber Defense I & II.
What types of certifications can students earn in their courses?
Students have an opportunity to earn national certifications for FREE, each certification unique to each course or two-year program after successful preparation. Students must be able to pass a pretest prior to taking the national certification test one time. Certification test offerings change based upon industry needs. For the latest information, see course description or contact the instructor directly. Some of the certification opportunities include: (Computing Technology Industry Associate) CompTIA A+, Network+, Security+; Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA), Adobe Certified Expert (CE), Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), National Retail Association Customer Service, Microsoft, SolidWorks, 3ds Max and more.
How can a student apply to the ATC?
Students may apply to the ATC online at the ATC website. It will benefit students to take the time to read and follow the directions carefully as they describe their interest and passion in applying for each class. The application deadline is January 14, 2021. The ATC will accept applications after that date based upon space available.
Where is the ATC located and how will students arrive?
The ATC is located on the Virginia Beach campus of Tidewater Community College. The ATC is a unique partnership with Virginia Beach City Public Schools, Tidewater Community College and the City of Virginia Beach. Transportation is provided to students via a shuttle bus from their home VBCPS high school or students may use their own transportation.
What is the schedule for the ATC?
Students attend most ATC classes five days a week, two and a half hours a day or two blocks daily. The ATC does not have an A or B day schedule; students attend classes every day.
Do second year students need to reapply again?
Returning students will reapply each year online in their classroom.
Can students be enrolled in the ATC as well as an academy or advanced academic program?
Yes, students may attend the ATC and possibly an academy or advanced academic program. This opportunity does require pre-planning with your academy or advanced academic program school counselor. Please see your counselor in advance to ensure that ATC courses will fit into your Academic and Career Plan.
Information Technology and Computer Sciences Strand FAQs
& Cyber Foundations
What is taught in Information Technology & Cyber Foundations?
Students will learn the foundations of computer hardware and software, cybersecurity, networking, programming (Python), and web design.
What certifications can be earned in Information Technology & Cyber Foundations?
A student can earn certifications in Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access and Outlook. They can also earn their CompTIA certification in IT Fundamentals+ which is the first certification in a list of CompTIA certifications that is recognzed in the information technology field
& Cyber Defense I & II
How much computer background do students need to be accepted into this class?
Students should be very comfortable using a computer and software including word processing, presentations, can install software and perform basic Windows functions on a computer.
What is different about the Network Administration and Cyber Defense class than the other cyber courses at the ATC?
Cybersecurity is an important element in all computing aspects, in the Network Administration and Cyber Defense class, they approach cybersecurity in all aspects. This includes designing networks with security in mind, protecting devices and deploying solutions that promote cyber defense, searching for vulnerabilities and defending against active threats.
Do students learn to hack in Network Administration and Cyber Defense?
In order to defend against attacks, students must think like a malicious hacker and be aware of the tools and methods they use to commit the attacks. The class will use some of these methods/tools to identify their capabilities, but the class will approach everything with high ethical standards and integrity.
Cyber Systems Technologies I & II
What does a student do in the Cybersecurity Systems Technology class?
This class focuses on the hardware side of cyberseucity. Students experence building computers to reparing laptops, to installing and managing servers and networks.
How does this differ from other Cyber offerings?
CST is a program that focuses on building skills in hardware, software, networking, and security. The most important skill focused upon is troubleshooting technology. Hardware enthusiasts will feel right at home!
Would I be able to build a computer in the class?
Absolutely! Hands on projects and real-world experiences are one of the many oppurtinities that students gain in this class. Students build their own Lab PC for use in the class. They also get to participate in building many other systems during the school year.
Will a student be able to get a job with the skills and certifications in this class?
Yes, a student can! The first year of the course offers the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) A+ certification and during the second-year students may have the opportunity to participate in Work Based Experiences with the Department of Technology or one of our business partners. The CST program has had students graduate and get hired by the places where they interned.
Web Design Foundations and Advanced Web Design
So, what is this class about?
What makes the Web Design classes unique?
The courses are designed to not only build technology skills but to learn how to use those skills in a business environment. The business simulation method of teaching makes this a class for anyone interested in knowing how the “real world” operates. The teacher has a 23-year background in business and brings that experience in to the classroom, facilitating the creation of a simulated web design business in the second year. Creating projects for “clients”, developing project management skills and learning how to collaborate with a team are invaluable experiences for the students.
Any prerequisites for the course?
Just a desire to learn design and coding skills along with curiosity about business is all a student needs to be successful in the course.
Software and Game Development
What programming languages are utilized in Software and Game Development?
The programming languages used in Software and Game Development include; C#, Java, HTML/CSS and SQL.
What game engines are used in Software and Game Development?
The following game engines are used in Software and Game Development: Game Maker, RPG Maker and Unity.
What are the requirements in applying for Software and Game Development?
In applying for Software and Game Development strong math skills are key. The average student has completed Geometry (most have had Algebra II) before coming to the class.
What are "the teacher" suggestions for my son/daughter to have a better chance of acceptance into the class?
In applying for any course, it is best for a student to take time to read and follow directions in completing the essay and to express one’s passion. If a student has learned a new technical skill independently or via a camp or class include that information in the application as well as discuss the desire to learn something new in the technology field in general.
CISCO Network Engineering I & II
What courses are included in the dual enrollment for TCC?
The courses included in the dual enrollment for TCC are ITN-154 Network Fundamentals, Router Basics and Configuration (ICND1) - Cisco and ITN-155 Switching, Wireless and WAN Technologies (ICND2) – Cisco
What are some of the companies that have hired ATC Network Engineering graduates?
The following companies have hired alumni: ePlus, Cisco Meraki, Amazon, Cox Communications, Intelletec, civil service, Sentara and ABS Technology to name a few.
Digital Design and Marketing Strand FAQs
Digital Design I & II
What programs are used in this class?
Digital Design students use most of the programs available in the Adobe Creative Suite. Photoshop, Lightroom, Illustrator, Indesign, Premire and After Effects are the main programs used. Students are not required to have their own computer.
Do students need to submit a portfolio when applying?
A student should provide samples of their creative work at the time of application. Digital copies, PDFs or photos of current or past work is crucial to applicant evaluation process. Creative work does not have to be digital. Paintings, sketches, digital illustrations, photography are all acceptable. Show how talented and creative you are when you apply.
Marketing & Entrepreneurship
What is the benefit of taking Marketing & Entrepreneurship?
Students study marketing and entrepreneurship in a “real time” classroom while working alongside businesses and successful entrepreneurs. They benefit from first-hand information and opportunities as they build valuable relationships with marketing professionals and entrepreneurs to help build and grow their own business ideas.
What companies are Marketing & Entrepreneurship alumni now employed?
Marketing and Entrepreneurship alumni are now working at: Pandora, NBC, The Census Bureau, Capital One, FILA, The History Channel, The Epiphany School of Global Studies and Top Golf to name a few.
Hospitality & Tourism Management
Why do people go into the hospitality industry?
No matter what kind of work you enjoy, there is a segment of the hospitality industry that can use your talents. The work is varied and there are many opportunities to be creative. The hospitality industry is a "people" person business, the field offers more career options than most and includes a variety of work schedules.
Are there opportunities for long-term career growth in the hospitality industry?
Absolutely, there are opportunities for long-term career growth in the hospitality field! If you are ambitious, hard-working and energetic you can start with an entry level job and move up quickly. There is a huge percentage of very successful and famous people who started off in the hospitality industry.
Architecture, Engineering and Manufacturing Strand FAQs
What is the prerequisite for Architectural Design?
The prerequisite for Architectural Design is Engineering Design at the ATC or Basic Technical Drawing at the VBCPS home school.
What software do student’s learn in Architectural Design?
Since the prerequisite for Architectural Design is Engineering Design at the ATC or Basic Technical Drawing at the VBCPS home school, students are likely to already have some experience in Autodesk AutoCAD. The class will continue to learn Autodesk Architecture and Autodesk Revit. This software is widely used in many of the construction related fields. Skills learned in Autodesk software are easily transferred into other programs used by professionals.
What will students be able to design in Architectural Design?
Students will design one- and two-story homes, commercial buildings, as well as learn about construction plans such as electrical and foundation plans.
Will students be able to design whatever they choose in Architectural Design?
The student’s creativity and passion for architecture will shine through in their designs. Construction codes and zoning considerations will be a large part of the learning and students will be expected to include these in their designs.
What do students in Engineering Design learn?
Students learn basic drafting and design disciplines utilizing board drafting and industry recognized software such as AutoCAD and Inventor. This class is a prerequisite for Architectural Design and Naval Architecture and Ocean Engineering.
What colleges do students attend?
Students usually take Architectural Design or Naval Architecture and Ocean Engineering and continue their education at: Tidewater Community College, Old Dominion University, Virginia Tech, Virginia Commonwealth University, Newport News Apprentice School, Web Institute, State University of New York (Maritime) to name a few.
Naval Architecture and
What is the prerequisite for Naval Architecture and Ocean Engineering?
The prerequisite for Naval Architecture and Ocean Engineering is Engineering Design at the ATC or Basic Technical Drawing at the VBCPS home school.
What software is used in this class?
Since the prerequisite for Naval Architecture and Ocean Engineering is Engineering Design at the ATC or Basic Technical Drawing at the VBCPS home school, students are likely to already have some experience in Autodesk AutoCAD. The class will continue to learn Autodesk Inventor. This software is widely used in many of the maritime related fields. Skills learned in Autodesk software are easily transferred into other programs used by professionals.
What will students be able to design in Naval Architecture and Ocean Engineering?
Students will design and build multiple remote operated vehicles, such as boats and submersible vessels. Students will learn about the terminology, specifications and standards used in designing and maintaining ocean going vessels.
What companies have hired graduates?
Newport News Shipbuilding, Norfolk Naval Shipyard, Gryphon Technology, Valkyrie Enterprises, General Dynamics (Information Technology), Oceaneering, Tridentis, LLC, military etc.
Engineering Technology I & II
What type of projects do students work on in Engineering Technology II?
Students in Engineering Technology II complete projects in Artificial Intelligence (A.I.), robotics, 3D printing, drones and CAD drawing.
What do Engineers do?
Engineers take abstract ideas and apply science, mathematics and systematical processes to build products to meet the needs of mankind.
Is Engineering Technology the same as Engineering?
Engineering Technology and Engineering deal with the same topics. Engineering Technology is more applied not purely theoretically knowledge. Engineering Technology courses are more lab based hands-on applications of the topics.
Modeling and Simulation
What’s the most confusing part of Modeling Simulation?
Most students understand that objects and situations can be modeled, and simulations run but they do not understand that the data produced, and rerun hundreds of times can show patterns to help us predict outcomes. A good example of this is weather forecasting which has become much more accurate over the years.
How can a student perform 3D modeling efficiently?
The best way to efficiently model almost anything is with an outstanding, accurate, consistent modeling oftware like SolidWorks which has its own physics engines and simulation suite. Students get a full working version free as a student at the Advanced Technology Center.
What hardware is required/recommended?
Students will need a computer capable of and dedicated to running the valuable software provided free of charge. Mastery requires practice with a quality computer.
What will we learn?
Students explore real world aspects of Modeling and Simulation. They will begin to recognize the relationships and patterns in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. These skills can be applied to almost any profession. There's always more to learn.
Game Character Design
What skills and programming will we learn in Game Character Design?
Students will learn aspects of game characters such as: genre, age, gender, clothing, accessories and physical features.
What hardware is required/recommended for Game Character Design?
Students will need a computer capable of and dedicated to running the valuable software provided free of charge. Mastery requires practice with a quality computer.
What core concepts are learned?
Students will learn to use 3d Studio Max (3ds Max) to produce a character, environment and accessories.
Will students learn how to make their own games?
The goal of this course is to produce the parts necessary to make a game. Game Character Design will touch on the coding necessary to make a game. Students are encouraged to apply for the Game Character Design class.
What certifications can students earn in Game Character Design?
Students can create a portfolio of excellent practice assignments and can become certified in 3ds Max. An examination in Maya and even Unity can be offered, but it would depend on student preparation. Students that certify get a free shirt.