The first State of Virginia high school teacher, Jennifer Renne, and 19 of her students passed the National Center for Simulation (NCS) Modeling & Simulation (M&S) Certification Examination in May. Renne, Modeling & Simulation (M&S) instructor at Landstown High School (Landstown HS) in Virginia Beach, Virginia, becomes the 30th teacher in the nation to have earned this credential.

NCS is working with the Virginia Modeling, Analysis and Simulation Center/Old Dominion University  (VMASC/ODU) to establish a relationship with Landstown HS so that M&S companies and government organizations in the Tidewater area can open their doors for student tours, summer camps, guest lecturing, mentoring and eventually jobs just as the company is doing in Central Florida.

Achieving this level of competence by high school students enables them to qualify for internships and entry-level positions in the industry. To date, there are 352 Florida and 19 Virginia students M&S Certified. Companies who have hired talented students include Simetri, Inc., Cole Engineering, Dignitas Technologies and Cubic Corporation.

Beyond Florida and Virginia, the NCS vision is to bring M&S to high schools in Alabama, Ohio and other areas having high simulation activity. NCS is in contact with the Alabama Modeling & Simulation Council where they expressed interest in the program. NCS has petitioned Ohio to add M&S to its industry credentials.

As stated, the M&S Certification attests to the fact that the student (normally a senior) has the necessary skill set to enter the workforce as an intern or in an entry-level position. Hiring interns is a cost-effective way to build the workforce. Starting with high school seniors is the way to integrate qualified students into a company, have them adapt to the company culture and build a long-term relationship with “staying power”.