Publicizing the diverse background of its student population, Neumont University introduced Native American role model Aaron Barlow, dubbing him the ‘cool Neumont grad.’ Neumont University is an institution of higher learning where students from all walks of life are able to complete a Bachelor’s degree in two years and are being placed in software development positions with salaries nearly 20 percent higher than the national average for new graduates in Computer Science. The following is the release:
Neumont grad Aaron Barlow
Throughout high school, Aaron struggled in school and earned only average grades. After high school, surrounded by generations of family working in construction, Aaron worked full-time as a heavy equipment operator for six years.
Realizing that he wanted more out of his life and wanting to make his parents proud, Aaron decided to apply to Neumont University. Now, the first one out of his generation to earn a Bachelor of Science degree, Aaron is working in the field of Computer Science.
Neumont University – the facilitator
National studies show that only 27 percent of American Indian college freshmen are still in school two years later, compared to 41 percent of all freshmen. And, only 30 percent of Native American students completed a Bachelor’s degree within six years of matriculation.
“I saw a television advertisement for Neumont University and hearing the small amount of time it takes to complete a degree intrigued me,” said Barlow. “I had always wanted to do something with computers, and Neumont University gave me the opportunity I needed. My love for math and high motivation to succeed made me just the right candidate for Neumont.”
Graduation and Work — the new life
Breaking out from the traditional working stereotypes known throughout the many generations in Barlow’s family, Aaron completed Neumont’s rigorous coursework, graduated in May 2006, and accepted a position as a software developer with Digital Draw Network (www.drawnet.com) in Sandy, Utah.
Digital Draw Network now looks to Neumont University to provide additional highly skilled software engineer candidates in an area where the U.S. has demonstrated it has a significant competitive advantage.
“We extended an employment opportunity to Aaron while he was an intern with our company because we were so impressed with many of his professional and computer-related skills,” said Development Manager Victor Dantas. “Since that time, we have looked to Neumont for additional partnerships. We have such a high demand for software developers, and the relationship we have is great for the both of us.”
According to Dantas, Digital Draw Network has become a partner with the University’s Enterprise Projects course where students earn course credit for work with clients, thereby allowing students to enhance their knowledge of modem technologies. Students are not only being trained to excel in the job market but are exposed to employers they could potentially work for upon graduation.
The impact of Barlow’s success is greater than the sum of its parts. Most tribal college students are first-generation, so they serve as role models for their extended families. Since his graduation, two of Barlow’s sisters have decided to return to school and have received their Associate degrees.
“I never pictured myself as successful as I am now,” said Barlow. “I wanted something to make my folks proud. I knew that if I worked hard enough and gave it all that I had, a college degree would help me to succeed. Neumont’s project-based learning was the key and my success in getting a great job was the end result.”
About Neumont University
Neumont University is educating some of most sought-after software developers
. The Salt Lake City campus offers accelerated two-year Bachelor of Science in Computer Science degrees and Master of Business Administration (MBA) degrees in one- and two-year formats. Neumont University is accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS). Some of the careers in software development include software engineer, systems architect, web development, systems analyst, data modeler, and programmer/analyst. www.neumont.edu
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