‘Georgia Gets It’ Using KnowledgeNet E-Learning — University System of Georgia Joins Forces With KnowledgeNet To Provide High-Quality Online IT Training

June 8, 2001

KnowledgeNet.com, Inc., a leader in next generation e-learning, announced today that 19 University System of Georgia public colleges and universities will offer next generation IT training through KnowledgeNet. The relationship between KnowledgeNet and the institutions will be facilitated through Georgia GLOBE (Global Learning Online for Business & Education), a unit of the University System of Georgia that aggregates and markets distance learning opportunities that speak to the state’s economic development needs.

Through the launch of the “Georgia Gets IT” program, public colleges and universities comprising the University System of Georgia will have access to KnowledgeNet’s full suite of synchronous (live, instructor-led) and asynchronous (self-paced) courseware in order for students to achieve highly sought after certifications in Cisco, Microsoft and other leading technologies. Through the partnership facilitated by Georgia GLOBE, the institutions are able to brand the courseware as their own and provide online access to course schedules, registration and pricing information through their individual campus Web sites.

“We are pleased to partner with KnowledgeNet to help satisfy the growing demand for skilled IT professionals throughout the state of Georgia,” says Georgia GLOBE President Richard A. Skinner. “This initiative signifies that USG institutions understand the importance of providing accessible, high quality IT training in today’s New Economy environment on a statewide and, indeed, global basis.”

Georgia GLOBE and the 19 participating USG institutions will market the program throughout Georgia in order to reach a broad spectrum of the state’s current and potential IT workforce.

“We commend Georgia GLOBE for its commitment to ensuring the accessibility of high quality training to accommodate Georgia’s growing IT workforce,” said KnowledgeNet CEO Tom Graunke. “This partnership is indicative of a trend in the higher education sector to blend online training with traditional classroom-based training in order to meet the needs of increasingly diverse student and workforce populations.”

KnowledgeNet’s integrated e-leament for maximum schedule flexibility. KnowledgeNet also provides 24×7 mentoring support, hands-on labs and simulations and, through its interactive CAMPUS, an online community of resources for IT professionals.

Meeting a Crucial Economic Need

Georgia GLOBE facilitated the relationship between the University System of Georgia institutions and KnowledgeNet in order to fulfill its mission of aggregating and promoting technology-based learning and services that address the state’s needs for persons educated in fields of strategic importance to Georgia.

Research indicated a real need in the area of Information Technology training. A 1999 study prepared for the Intellectual Capital Partnership Program (ICAPP) of the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia by the Georgia Tech Research Corporation reinforced concerns — indeed, sounded an alarm — about shortages of information technology (IT) workers and the effect of those shortages on industry growth, productivity, the cost of doing business, the ability to develop innovative products and services, and the ability to create high-wage jobs that fuel the state of Georgia’s economic engine.

In the report, authors William J. Drummond and Jan L. Youtie sought to provide an early warning of occupations facing a shortage of college graduates and to begin an ongoing, systematic process to enable the University System to better meet the occupational needs of the state. The team found that, of 19 occupations requiring college degrees that had annual shortfalls of more than 100 employees per year in the state, the three occupations with the highest shortfalls were directly related to information technology: computer programmers (547 per year), computer engineers (432 per year) and systems analysts (377 per year). A 2001 update of the study, to be released in the near future, indicates virtually the same numbers.

If continued over a 10-year period, the team predicted these shortfalls would result in more than 13,000 unfilled information technology openings, about one out of every three new positions, thus resulting in almost certain slowing in the growth of Georgia’s high technology sector. Such slowing would surely cause a ripple effect in the economic development of all areas of the state, as information technology worker trends are particularly relevant in Georgia. The state’s high-tech employment grew 54 percent between 1990 and 1997, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, and Georgia ranked 10th in the country in high-tech employment by 1997.

Through their partnerships with KnowledgeNet, the USG institutions will be able to provide immediate high-quality online training in this crucial area for the continued economic development of the state. Moreover, the relationship guarantees constant and continuing updates of the course materials in the rapidly changing world of Information Technology.

About Georgia GLOBE

Georgia GLOBE connects potential learners to a wide variety of distance education opportunities available through the 34 institutions that comprise the University System of Georgia (USG). College credit courses, degree programs, professional development and industry certification training are among the opportunities that may be accessed through www.georgiaglobe.org. Georgia GLOBE is not a virtual university; students who enroll in courses or degree programs marketed by Georgia GLOBE earn their credits and degrees from one of the 34 USG institutions.

The 19 institutions participating in the KnowledgeNet launch are: Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College, Atlanta Metropolitan College, Augusta State University, Clayton College & State University, Coastal Georgia Community College, Columbus State University, Dalton State College, Floyd College, Fort Valley State University, Georgia Southern University, Georgia Southwestern State University, Kennesaw State University, Macon State College, Middle Georgia College, North Georgia College & State University, State University of West Georgia, Southern Polytechnic State University, the University of Georgia and Valdosta State University.

About KnowledgeNet.com, Inc.

KnowledgeNet delivers next generation Internet-based training — “e-learning” — that enables enterprises and individuals alike to enjoy online training with the freshest content and best instructional design possible. The Company’s multiple synchronous and asynchronous content delivery solutions represent an integrated suite of e-learning products that can be easily customized to suit individual learning styles. KnowledgeNet has received nearly a dozen industry distinctions for its e-learning solutions, including the Macromedia e-learning award for Best Corporate Training application, Brandon Hall of Fame gold and bronze medals in the Information Technology category, the Information Technology Training Association Award for Excellence, and the United States Distance Learning Association Award for Excellence. The Company is a Cisco Learning Solutions Partner (CLSP), and is a Microsoft Certified Technical Education Center (CTEC) as well as a Microsoft Certified Partner.

Companies choose KnowledgeNet’s integrated e-learning solutions for their proven return on investment, high pass rates, engaging content, and superior customer service. A September 2000 CMP Media survey revealed that KnowledgeNet e-learning beats traditional classroom training, with 94% of KnowledgeNet students passing their certification exams. KnowledgeNet customers include blue chip companies and institutions such as Boston University Corporate Education Center, Cisco, GE, Lockheed Martin, Sun Educational Services and WorldCom. Founded in 1998, KnowledgeNet is a privately held company based in Phoenix, Arizona. The Company is backed by Cisco Systems, Morgenthaler Ventures, Sierra Ventures, Trinity Ventures, and Berkeley International Capital Corporation.

KNOWLEDGENET> is a registered trademark of KnowledgeNet.com, Inc. All other company and product names may be trademarks of their respective owners.