Hi Aaron - I recently relocated to Hawaii with my Hawaii-born wife, and I come with several years of technical program management experience from the San Francisco / Silicon Valley area. I applied for the "Program Manager, Data/DSS" position through Referentia's website, and wondering whether you have any guidance on following up with the hiring manager, or just general advice on conducting an effective technical job search in Honolulu. I see you're pretty active on TechHui, and I'm encouraged to see passionate technologists here!
Sorry, I missed your comment asking about the IT Academy. I was very busy heading a committee to revise our campus' Strategic Plan document, and I just wasn't checking into TechHui enough.
Anyway, we just submitted a NSF grant proposal on May 12. If we get this grant we should be able to start the IT Academy program. Initially, the program would involve two public schools. Instructors from my campus, Honolulu Community College (HCC) would teach some of the lessons in the high schools and also train the high school teachers. The idea is to offer two year-long courses at the high school level. The first course would be an introduction to using basic computer applications (word processor, spreadsheet, database, simple web pages) with an emphasis on math and science applications. This would help schools to fulfill STEM requirements. The second course would be an introduction to programming, that would once again have math and science applications.
At HCC I teach a CS0 introductory programming course using the Python language. Although this course starts off with the basics, it winds up with the students writing a program that does XML parsing to write to either a HTML file or another XML file. If we expand this to a year course (instead of a semester) at the high school level, I would probably have the students write to both a HTML with CSS (as an example of producing formatted text files), and an XML file (for the semester that just ended the students wrote to a Flex .MXML file).
What I would like to do with this Academy model is have the students gain experience with the basic computer applications and with programming so that we can cover more programming (even for students who pursue just a 2 year associates degree). In particular, once the students reach our campus, they would take ICS 111 (Java), a databases course, and then a web programming course (using PHP and probably also Rails).
Anyway, I apologize once again for not being active and not responding sooner. If it looks like we are going to get the NSF grant (I hear it takes 5-6 months to hear anything), I will be asking TechHui members like you what kinds of things to include in an IT Academy program. I would also be asking people to serve on an Advisory committee for that program, but at this point it is premature to be doing either.
I would be happy to discuss things further if you have any questions/comments.