Certified Network Systems Professional

Program Summary

How is information transferred from one computer to another automatically? This program answers that question while introducing the student to the basic technology and concepts that allow networking systems to be possible and efficient. The question is actually a practical one, and highlights the necessary concepts needed, along with processes and practices.

Important concepts are introduced during this program, including that of the OSI reference model. This model has four bottom layers that are directly related to networking rather than computing. Each of the networking layers is investigated in a chapter that includes multiple lessons. Students that complete the course will be capable of reading sentences like, “X is a protocol employed at the 3rd level.”

The program investigates a range of technology, specifically hardware and software that supports LANs, WANs, and Wi-Fi systems. Especially crucial are protocols in the TCP/IP stack that are employed to convey across networks, but students also receive an introduction to the hardware involved; this includes switches, hubs, routers, bridges and transmission media. Students learn that networks are fully dependent mechanisms depending on each independent part working properly, and not a mysterious idea in cyberspace.

Students learn fundamentals of the layers and network hardware, and can be introduced to security questions, network operating systems and management. Specifically, they will know and understand the role of a server, and have encountered examples of client-server relationships, along with later material that will introduce them to the many uses that servers play as part of a network. By the end of the course, students will:


  • State the intention of computer networks and explain the role that network hardware has in accomplishing that aim;
  • List four protocols from the TCP/IP stack and inform how each protocol alters data transmission;
  • State the specialized variations between a LAN and a WAN;
  • Explain the value of technical standards in networks;
  • List the seven layers of the OSI reference model; explain how each of the four bottom layers contributes to the network;
  • Analyze and contrast the Windows Server and Linux operating systems.

Students unfamiliar with personal computing or the Internet would be at a disadvantage in this course; however, there are no prerequisites for entering the program.

currbuttonCourse Syllabus

(click on the module heading to reveal a lesson by lesson breakdown)


  • Course Overview
  • Networking Concepts
  • Project: Report: Technology Devices
  • Network Devices and Components
  • Network Topologies
  • Project: Hardware Awareness
  • Quiz 1: Computer Networks
  • The OSI Reference Model
  • The TCP/IP Networking Model
  • Project: Slide Show: Networking Layers
  • Data Encapsulation
  • Project: Slide Show: Data Encapsulation
  • Quiz 2: OSI and TCP/IP Networking Models
  • Project: Special Project
  • Unit 1 Test
  • Course Project Part 1: Uses of a Small Business Network
  • Glossary and Credits


  • Physical Layer: Transmission Media, Properties, and Components
  • Project: The Physical Layer
  • Fundamentals of Electrical Circuits: Signaling and Circuit Configuration
  • Network Security at the Physical Layer
  • Project: Under Attack
  • Quiz 1: Physical Layer Networking Concepts
  • The Data-Link Layer
  • Components of the Data-link Layer
  • Project: FAQ: A Data-Link Sublayer
  • Data-link Layer Devices
  • Project: Video: Data-Link Hardware
  • Quiz 2: Data Link Layer Networking Concepts
  • Project: Special Project
  • Unit 2 Test
  • Course Project Part 2: Physical Standards
  • Glossary and Credits


  • LAN Fundamentals
  • Project: Proposal: Classroom LAN
  • Ethernet LANs
  • Wireless LANs
  • Project: Video: Value of Hotspots
  • Quiz 1: LAN Components and Technologies
  • Network Addressing
  • Project: Table: IP Addresses
  • Network Routing and Protocols
  • Transport Layer Protocols
  • Project: Slide Show: Sending/Receiving a Communication
  • Quiz 2: Network, Transport, and Application Layers
  • Project: Special Project
  • Unit 3 Test
  • Course Project Part 3: Internet Connection
  • Glossary and Credits


  • WAN Fundamentals
  • Project: FAQ: WAN Connections
  • WAN Technologies and Protocols
  • WAN Transmission Media
  • Project: Slideshow: Fiber Optics
  • Quiz 1: Wide Area Networks
  • Authentication and Access Controls
  • Project: FAQ: Public Key Infrastructure (PKI)
  • Network Threats and Mitigation
  • Project: Policy: Password Policy
  • Physical and Hardware Security
  • Quiz 2: Network Security
  • Project: Special Project
  • Unit 4 Test
  • Course Project Part 4: Security
  • Glossary and Credits


  • Managing and Monitoring the Network
  • >Project: Slide Show: Management
  • Network Troubleshooting
  • Project: FAQ: Utilities
  • Software and Hardware Troubleshooting Tools
  • Quiz 1: Network Management and Troubleshooting
  • The Server in a Network
  • Project: Diagram: Web Email Service
  • Networking with Windows
  • The Linux Operating System
  • Course Project Part 5: Report: Network Wish List
  • Quiz 2: Network Operating Systems
  • Project: Special Project
  • Unit 5 Test
  • Course Project Part 5: Servers and Operating System
  • Glossary and Credits


  • Course Project Part 6: Slide show: Introducing Your Network
  • Review
  • Exam