How to Get a Better Job in IT with an Information Technology Mentorship

Careers in I.T. offer so many various opportunities for advancement. We’ve discussed in the past how much certifications can improve your IT career. One advantage of studying at ACI Learning is the one-on-one attention you get from your Instructor Mentor.

Mentorship at ACI Learning goes beyond advising you. It is a full suite of support for your education. Each instructor-mentor is an experienced, certified technical trainer whose time is split 50/50 between teaching and supporting students. They help you from the time you complete your class until you pass your exams.

Instructor-mentors proactively identify struggling students and develop personalized tools and strategies to fit your studying style. These tools ensure that you’re learning and studying in the ways that work best for you.

Why Do I Need a Technology Mentor?

Since starting this program, we’ve found that students are more satisfied, pass exams at a higher rate, and find employment more easily. Having someone who understands the journey and is available to personalize the learning experience with you can make all the difference.

ACI Learning doesn’t just provide training programs. We’re with you every step of the way, from enrollment to employment. Mentorship is the intermediate step after your class and before the career services team helps you find a job with your new skills and certifications. Whether you take day or night classes, know that ACI is here to help you at every step of your journey. Your instructor-mentor is waiting to help you succeed.

How Does IT Mentorship Work?

Our Instructor-mentors support students in 5 critical ways:

1:1 Tutoring

Instructor Mentors have office hours throughout the week with both day and night times available. You can work on your problem areas with a mentor during these times to make the most of your study time.

Creating Study Plans with Touchpoints

Your instructor-mentor can help you formulate a study plan to help you excel at your exam. Study plans are designed to help you cover all of the skills and study topics needed to pass your exam confidently. Touchpoints help you measure when you are ready to pass your exam.

Touchpoints can include:

  • Completion of labs at 80% or higher

  • Completion of exam prep questions at 80% or higher

  • An exam date goal

Group Study Sessions

Instructor-mentors schedule regular group study sessions where students can help each other study with the guidance of their instructor-mentor.

Exam Prep Classes

We are creating more exam prep classes because the first one was such a success. Our first prep class, Advanced Security+, increased the Security exam pass rate by 17% since it started in 2018! Creating these classes is a significant focus for instructor-mentors as we continue developing these classes.

Skills Labs

Instructor-mentors teach skills labs to ensure that students can successfully apply what they’ve learned in the classroom. For example, a PC Build Lab allows you to build a PC from scratch and troubleshoot it. Hands-on experience helps you develop the confidence with your abilities that you need to succeed in IT.

Meet our 2021 Instructor Mentors


ACI Learning Instructor Mentor Ronald Clanton

RONALD CLANTON – COLORADO SPRINGS CAMPUS

Specialty: Business IT Support

Education: Colorado Technical University – American Military University – Western Governors University – Intellitec College – University of Phoenix – DeVry University

Industry Experience: Business IT support for an array of companies in the Rocky Mountain region.

Certifications: CompTIA, CIW, Google, CEE, ConnectWise

Courses Taught at LeaderQuest: CompTIA A+

Career/Skill Focus: IT Support Technician

Fun Facts: Ronald Clanton is a US Army veteran that sits on the Board of Directors for Quantum Affect Technology Innovation

More About Ronald: Ronald has created several patents and wrote the code for new and upcoming inventors. Ronald also is the webmaster of a scholarship program for all high schools in Colorado Springs, Colorado.


ACI Learning Instructor Mentor Khozema “KJ” Raja

KHOZEMA “KJ” RAJA – DALLAS CAMPUS

Specialty: Network Administration & Security

Education: BA in Business University of Texas Austin

Certifications: CompTIA A+, CompTIA Network+, CompTIA Security+, ITIL Foundation

Courses Taught at LeaderQuest: CompTIA A+

Career/Skill Focus: Network Administration & Security

Fun Facts: KJ loves excellent coffee and imports Yemeni coffee. A former ACI student, KJ completed the curriculum and certifications in a brief period and has returned to mentor students. His goal is to help them quickly pass their certification exams.

More About KJ: Starting in 2004, after KJ graduated from UT Austin, he successfully co-founded a startup real estate website. In 2006 he founded his startup real estate website. KJ has consulted on e-commerce platforms, including Wholly Guacamole. He completed a government contract for DFW Technologies as a Support Specialist with Trinity River Authority.


ACI Learning Instructor Mentor Troy Athmann

TROY ATHMANN – DENVER TECH CENTER CAMPUS

Specialty: Networking, System Admin, SharePoint Admin/Dev/Deployment

Education: AA in Architectural Drafting & Design – Northwest Tech Inst, MN

Certifications: CompTIA A+, CompTIA Network+, CompTIA Security+, ITIL Foundation, SAIR Linux Administration

Courses Taught at LeaderQuest: CompTIA A+, CompTIA Security+

Fun Fact: Troy is a novelist with two published cyber-espionage/warfare novels: In Plain Sight and Firestorm. You can check them out at http://www.greggardnerbooks.com. He enjoys traveling (especially in Europe), fishing, snowshoeing, and hiking.

Career Focus: IT Consultant and Instructor Fun Facts: The first 20 years of Troy’s life were in Minnesota, 25+ years in the Army, and now nearly 20 years in Colorado. He’s a massive fan of the Minnesota Vikings, Minnesota Gophers, and hockey. Troy loves to play golf.

More About Troy: Retired U.S. Army Master Sergeant. Troy has done IT consulting for various businesses in the Denver Metro area and Northern Colorado for ten years. He spent five years traveling around the country to several Army deployment centers setting up completely self-contained classified networks, with up to 350 client stations, switches, routers, cabling, 30 network printers, and 17 servers. He has been digging into the IT world since getting a Commodore 64 when they first came out.


ACI Learning Instructor Mentor Jay Walker

JAY WALKER – JACKSONVILLE CAMPUS

Education: Bachelor of Science in Information Technology – Western Governor’s University

Certifications: CompTIA A+, CompTIA Network+, CompTIA Security+, CompTIA Project+, CompTIA Linux+, Powered by LPI, Lean Six Sigma Green Belt, ITIL Foundation

Courses Taught at LeaderQuest: CompTIA A+, CompTIA Network+, CompTIA Security+

Fun Facts: Jay enjoys running and attending live music events.

More About Jay: Jay understands the unique challenges associated with returning to the academic environment as an adult and is vested in every student’s success.


ACI Learning Instructor Mentor James Wofford

JAMES WOFFORD – SAN ANTONIO CAMPUS

Education: Bachelors of Applied Science and Technologies, Wayland Baptist University

Certifications: CompTIA A+ CE, CompTIA Security+ CE

Courses Taught at LeaderQuest: CompTIA A+

Fun Facts: Video Games and A.I. are some of his passions. Favorite movies are WarGames and Flight of the Navigator.

More About James: Growing up, James was introduced to computers and Pascal and FORTRAN at a very young age. The continual desire to gobble more information fueled his curiosity about computer systems. James spent most of his childhood traveling around the world with his parents in the military. While in the Air Force, he worked on nuclear weapon systems and space facilities and was a systems analyst.

Spirit Animal: Wolf


Learn with our Instructor-Mentors!

If you’ve been thinking about making a career move, consider IT! ACI Learning can help you get trained, certified, and hired in 3 months or less. We support our students through every part of this process with state-of-the-art facilities and learning materials, onsite Instructor Mentors ready to help, and a devoted Career Services team at each campus.

If you’re ready to take the next step in your career, contact ACI Learning today! We’ll help you choose your next career step, get qualified, and get employed. Why wait another minute? We’re here for you.


Career Starter
IT Jobs

One-On-One Career Coaching

Our Employment Development Managers (EDMs) are consummate professionals employed specifically to help our students find jobs. We have at least one EDM at each of our five locations: Colorado Springs, Dallas, Denver, Jacksonville, and San Antonio. They know the industry. They know the big employers. They also know exactly what those employers are looking for and how to get hired.

Dedicated to Your Employment

Benefit from strong partnerships with local IT employers that need workers. Optimize your LinkedIn profile into an important asset that gets attention from recruiters. Level-up your job hunting skills to maximize efficiency and increase the employer response rate. Perfect your resume and cover letter with the details that will get you an interview. Practice your interview technique so that you can nail it on the first try.