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CNIT - Cisco CCNA Program

Cisco Certification and the Networking Academies

Cisco, a leading internetworking company, has long offered training through third parties on its hardware and software. It recognized early on the need for technical training programs in hight schools and colleges more closely tied to the current needs of the networking industry. Working together with schools, Cisco developed the Cisco Networking Academy Program. It has grown rapidly, and there are currently over 10,000 Networking Academies around the world.

The Cisco Networking Academy program has updated its curriculum in 2013 and the CNIT department at City College of San Francisco has adopted its new four courses "CCNA Routing and Switching" series which prepares you for entry level networking technician positions. Students will be prepared to take the Cisco CCENT® certification exam after completing a set of two courses and the CCNA® Routing and Switching certification exam after completing a set of four courses.

After taking the CCNA, students may go on to the Networking Professional (CCNP) or Internetworking Expert (CCIE) levels. CCNP is equivalent to a network administrator, CCIE is equivalent to a network engineer.

City College of San Francisco (CCSF) is a Cisco Networking Academy. We currently offer only the CCNA Routing and Switching Program.

Cisco Networking Academy Courses offered at CCSF

The CCNA curriculum is a four course program that is offered at many high schools and community colleges. The courses (except for the first course and second courses which are also offered in a semester long schedule) are offered in the "Accelerated" format which meets 6 hrs/wk for 1/2 semester. Two courses can be taken in one semester. The four courses are a sequence and may not be taken concurrently.

Students are expected to work through web-based lessons outside of class (either from our on-campus computer labs or from home or work). Classes meet face-to-face in our router lab. In class activities include lectures, group work, hands-on practice, and online exams. Students keep a journal of their progress.

These courses are usually offered in a staggered way. Check the schedule to see which ones are offered on a given semester.

Alternative Paths to Certification

You can take the CCENT or the CCNA certification exam without taking the four courses in the Networking Academy program. There are shorter, more expensive paths to prepare for Cisco certificate exams (typically, one or more courses, each one week long and costing about $2,500). There is also self-study. You can get a good book and prepare for the exam on your own (one such book is: CCNA Routing and Switching Study Guide, by Todd Lammle, Sybex Press).

To compare the various paths to Cisco certification please visit their website at:

Also, you need to look carefully at your career path. Cisco certification can help you get an entry level job, but four classes is not a complete preparation for a career in the computing industry. It is a great beginning and complement to other knowledge. You might also consider working towards a BA degree in Computer Science.

Who Can Take The Classes

The Networking Academy program is open to any student at CCSF. We want you to have basic computer literacy and know how to use e-mail and the web. We recommend that you have taken CNIT 131 or have the equivalent background. Please see our catalog for the exact pre-requisites and advisories for the classes. However, no prior knowledge of networking is required.

Enrollment Process

There is no special enrollment process besides signing up for the courses. The currently available courses are numbered CNIT 201C-204C. You must take the courses in sequence and pass a written and hands on final for a course before you can take the next course. It is still important to go to the first day of class to see if there are any new openings. And you may want to take other CNIT classes as well.


Each course is three units at the regular cost. After you complete the first two courses of the program, you will be ready to take the CCENT Certification Exam (100-101 ICND1) and after the four courses you will be ready to complete your CCNA Certification by taking ICND2 (200-101 ICND2) after CCENT or the full CCNA Composite Exam (200-120 CCNA). These exams are given by a Vue center. Students who pass a qualifying test at the end of their fourth CCNA course get a voucher which provides a discounted price for the exam.


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