Digital Badging Program

Earn industry-recognized credentials


Offered in partnership with:



Level 1: Broadband Customer Service Specialist Badge

Level 2: Broadband Installer Badge


*Virtual Classroom experiences with on-the-job training for critical industry competencies

Northwood Tech and NTCA-The Rural Broadband Association have partnered to provide apprenticeship-like training and coursework to help ensure a strong broad workforce in America through new expanded and advanced training opportunities.  This effort was recognized by the White House in November 2022, as part of the “Talent Pipeline Challenge”.

Why advance your career with the new digital badging apprenticeship-like training?

Broadband Academy courses are offered fully online at a time and place most convenient for NTCA members and their employees, lowering the cost and disruption of travel.

  • NTCA Member discount
  • Whether entry-level or senior personnel, this training program will provide professional development and cross training for employees with the most up-to-date technical content.
  • Achieves results-oriented goals of employer training
  • Provides incentives for worker-employees to earn recognized industry credentials
  • Improves retention of valuable employees
  • Offers prospective employers defined categories of skilled workers whose proficiencies can be matched to common sets of standards.

Broadband Academy apprenticeship-like training is offered in two levels with four options for micro-credentials within each badge to better meet employer or student needs. Employees may enroll in any individual course to earn skills or complete the full program to earn the Level 1 or 2 badges.


Level 1 = Broadband Customer Service Specialist Badge   Broadband Customer Service Specialist Badget  

Complete four of the five classes to earn the Digital Badge.

Gain knowledge to speak with customers and technicians on the technical side of broadband telecommunications. These courses can help customer service representatives act as a helpdesk for the customer. 

Courses include:

  • Telco Services
  • Television Services
  • Fiber Service
  • Internet Service
  • Wireless Services

Level 2 = Broadband Installer Badge   Broadband Installer Badge  

Train as an installer and technician in the telecommunications industry.

Courses include:

  • IT Essentials & Security
  • Fiber Service 2
  • Cable Installation
  • Fiber Optic Design


Helpful Links

NTCA logo

NTCA-The Rural Broadband Association

The Rural Broadband Association proudly represents nearly 850 independent, family-owned and community-based telecommunications companies. NTCA’s members build and deliver broadband connectivity and operate essential services in rural and small-town communities across the U.S.

WSTA logo

Wisconsin State Telecommunications (WSTA)
Learn about industry news, careers, scholarships, government affairs and more.

How does the hands-on career training part of the apprenticeship-like training work?

The Northwood Tech Broadband Academy prepares students for the Broadband Apprenticeship program offered at Northwood Tech. Northwood Tech is prepared to work with NTCA members who are interested in Federal or local apprenticeship programs for employees who complete the Broadband Academy.

Employers will be able to work with NTCA, which will serve as a guide for companies offering supervised work experience and mentoring to students who concurrently enroll in or who have completed Northwood Tech coursework.

Further Information and Registration:

To best meet each student's or business's needs, please register through coordinator Dan Schullo. 

Dan Schullo
Email Dan

Downloadable PDF of Fall 2024 Class Offerings

Broadband Customer Service Specialist (Level 1)

8 weeks

4 of 5 classes to earn level one Digital Badge. 
Telco Services1 CEU
Internet Services1 CEU
Television Services1 CEU
Fiber Services1 CEU
Wireless Services1 CEU
Total credits/badge:4 CEUs/ Level 1 Badge 
Download Level 1 Course Descriptions 

Broadband Installer (Level 2)

16 weeks

Fiber Service 23 CEUs
Cable Installation 3 CEUs
IT Essentials and Security2 CEUs
Fiber Optic Design2 CEUs
Total credits:10 CEUs/ Level 2 Badge
Download Level 2 Course Descriptions 

IT Courses  (16 weeks) *NOT NTCA Discount Eligible

Cisco CCNA 1 Introduction to Networks3 CEUs
Cisco CCNA 2 Routing and Switching Essentials3 CEUs
Cisco CCNA 3 Enterprise Networking, Security and Automation3 CEUs
Information Security3 CEUs
Wireless Networking & Security3 CEUs
TOTAL credits: 15 CEUs
Download Level 3 Course Descriptions 

Broadband Academy FAQs

  • How does the discount work with NTCA member companies? 
    • A: Contact Dan Schullo for details.  Email Dan  715.788.7138 
  • Are there other options for financial aid and scholarships? 
    • A: WSTA (Wisconsin State Telecommunications Association) and other local telecoms offer scholarships and grants. You must apply and meet the requirements for these scholarships. 
  • Are there any textbooks for the Cisco classes and IT Essentials and Security? 
    • A: No. You will be working entirely online and perform virtual lab exercises. 
  • What is the extra charge for Network 201? 
    • A: You will be required to purchase TestOut Netpro software for $136.
  • Can I take the classes at my own pace? 
    • A: Classes are open 24 hours a day/7 days a week. You can work on the classes at the times that best fit your schedule. However, you are required to submit assignments on or before the due date. 
  • Where is Northwood Technical College located?
    • The College is located in northwest Wisconsin, however the coursework for the Broadband Academy is entirely online.
  • How and why did Northwood Tech and NTCA join forces? 
    • While Northwood Tech and NTCA have a long-standing relationship, a more formal partnership was created under the Biden administration's Talent Pipeline Challenge, a call to action for employers, education and training providers and others to support equitable workforce development in critical infrastructure sectors like broadband. Learn more.
  • How do students enroll? 
    •  Contact Dan Schullo  Email Dan  715.788.7138  He will walk students or employers through the registration process. 
  • Must a student be working for an NTCA member at the time of his/her enrollment? 
    • No, any student may be part of the broadband academy. They do not have to be an NTCA member. 
  • What is a badge? 
  • How long does it take to complete the program?
    • Each course is eight to 16 wks. A student could complete the Level 1 badge in one term. While the Level 2 would require students to take one class per term, spread out over two years (or four terms).
  • Does Northwood share the student’s academic grades with NTCA?
    • Yes, as long as the employee/student has a Release of Information form on file to share this information, as FERPA requires.
  • Can a student take multiple courses simultaneously?
    • Yes, for Level 1.  Level 2 courses could be taken two at time, however it recommended to take one at a time, if the employee/student is a full-time employee.
  • Will NTCA have a record of students who complete the program?
    • Yes, as long as the employee/student has a Release of Information form on file to share this information, as FERPA requires.
  • Who pays tuition – the student or the NTCA company?
    • This will be company dependent.
  • ​​​​​​​How do companies calculate stipends or wages? 
    • This will be company dependent.
  • Can this program be combined with state programs that offer tuition reimbursement?
    • ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​As long as the courses qualify for tuition reimbursement programs, it may be applied.
  • Is this an accredited or registered apprenticeship program? 
    • The digital badging operates like an apprenticeship, but is not a state or federal registered apprenticeship program.  The College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.  The digital badges are verified through Credly.  ​​​​​​​

Take the Next Step

Are you ready to experience success? Northwood Tech staff are standing by to support you in reaching your educational and career goals, so do it. Take the leap.