In the Computer System Support (CSS) pathway, students will develop the foundational skills needed to become  a marketable professional that top companies that use Information Technology services will want to hire.  Through hands-on experiences, students will learn how to use technical resources in real-world scenarios,  providing a rich experience that will help them to create their post-secondary plan. The courses in the CSS  pathway will focus on supporting the different computing devices that use various operating systems in  education and the world of work; connecting them together across computer networks (large and small) in a  manner that protects the organization and its clients. Throughout the three years in the CSS pathway, students will be participating in work-based learning opportunities with our external partners. Internally, students will  contribute to the Westinghouse community as members of the GHouse “geek squad” or “easy tech” activity  that will prepare you for a genius bar-style job opportunity immediately upon graduation. The CSS Program will  not only give students the skills and tools they need to succeed, but inculcate a mindset, one that is proactive,  flexible, and able to research problems on-the-fly and create viable solutions that will add value to an  organization. Based on the current labor market trends in New York City, we feel that this pathway will offer a  rich experience that provides multiple post-secondary options.

Course Sequence

The three-year CSS sequence focuses on multiple skills that are in-demand across multiple industry sectors other  than Information Technology.


Year One 

IT Fundamentals 

The use of smartphones, tablets, and computers have now become essential tools to daily living. As a student or an employee, there are some essential computing skills that are needed to operate these devices  in a safe and effective manner. Aligned to the CompTIA IT Fundamentals + (ITF+) certification, this  course will focus on students being able to: 

  • Use the features and function of well-known operating systems 
  • Establish network connectivity 
  • Identify well-known productivity software and their purpose 
  • Implement security and web browsing best practices 

Linux Operating System Fundamentals 

Whether at home school or work, everyone has had some experience working on a computer that runs on  the Microsoft Windows operating system. Yet most of the computers that support our daily lives (i.e. IOT devices or devices made by Apple) run on a Linux-type operating system. Aligned to the CompTIA  Linux+ certification, this course will focus on students being able to: 

  • Configure computer hardware using the Linux OS 
  • Perform system operation and maintenance and security tasks 
  • Automate various processes using scripts 
  • Perform system diagnostics and troubleshoot various issues

Year 02 

End-device Support 

Entering the field of Information Technology requires strong foundational knowledge of the computing  end-devices that are used in the world of work today. This course will provide the foundational knowledge  for students to be able to assemble, support, connect, secure, and troubleshoot these devices. Aligned to  the CompTIA A+ certification, this course will focus on students being able to: 

  • Demonstrate baseline security skills for IT support professionals 
  • Configure device operating systems, including Windows, Mac, Linux, Chrome OS, Android, and  iOS and administer client-based as well as cloud-based (SaaS) software 
  • Troubleshoot and problem solve core service and support challenges while applying best practices  for documentation, change management, and scripting 
  • Support basic IT infrastructure and networking 
  • Configure and support PC, mobile and IoT device hardware 
  • Implement basic data backup and recovery methods and apply data storage and management best  practices 

Network Support 

The productivity of any organization relies on the ability of employees to communicate and collaborate in  real-time and asynchronously. An organization’s infrastructure must be able to support the computing  technology that employees use daily, ensure that all data and users are protected with limited down-time.  This course will expose students to designing, troubleshooting, configuring, and managing computer  networks. Aligned to the CompTIA Network+ certification, this course will focus on students being able  to: 

  • Design and implement functional networks 
  • Configure, manage, and maintain essential network devices 
  • Use devices such as switches and routers to segment network traffic and create resilient networks ● Identify benefits and drawbacks of existing network configurations 
  • Implement network security, standards, and protocols 
  • Troubleshoot network problems 
  • Support the creation of virtualized networks 

Year 03 

Cybersecurity Essentials 

Protecting personal or proprietary information is essential to our personal finance and the security of  ourselves and our country. This course will provide students with the core knowledge required to become  a cybersecurity professional. In addition to enhancing problem-solving skills, students will learn about the  layered security model used to secure corporate networks. Aligned to the CompTIA Security+ 

certification, this course will focus on students being able to: 

  • Assess the security posture of an enterprise environment and recommend and implement  appropriate security solutions 
  • Monitor and secure hybrid environments, including cloud, mobile, and IoT 
  • Operate with an awareness of applicable laws and policies, including principles of governance,  risk, and compliance 
  • Identify, analyze, and respond to security events and incidents

Advanced Cybersecurity Practices 

In movies, we have seen how hackers penetrate an organization’s (i.e., commercial, education, or  government) network security infrastructure and hold their data for ransom. Cyber-attacks may be initiated  for malicious purposes that include financial gain, cause awareness, or government destabilization.  Currently in the USA, many cybersecurity job openings are currently unfilled because of a lack of  qualified candidates. This poses a huge risk for our nation. This course will help students to develop an  analytical approach to identifying and defending against malicious software used to attack an organization.  Aligned to the CompTIA Cybersecurity Analyst (CYSA+) certification, students will learn how to: 

  • Leverage intelligence and threat detection techniques 
  • Analyze and interpret data 
  • Identify and address vulnerabilities 
  • Suggest preventative measures 
  • Effectively respond to and recover from incidents