NACTEL Commemorates 15 Years and Designates Service Award

Industrywide coalition celebrates milestone with inaugural award during 2014 Pace University graduation weekend

Denver, CO, August 18, 2012 – This year marks the 15th anniversary of the National Coalition for Telecommunications Education & Learning (NACTEL), and to mark the occasion, NACTEL unveiled a new award honoring scholastic achievement and service in its degree programs at Pace University.

The first David Sachs NACTEL Service Award was presented during the NACTEL graduation luncheon at Pace University on May 20, 2014 in New York City. The award recognizes an Associate’s or Bachelor’s graduate who maintained a minimum GPA of 3.25 and best demonstrated, among their student peers, persistence towards degree completion, as well as assistance and encouragement to fellow scholastic colleagues. The recipient also received a two-hundred dollar award.

The award honors Dr. David Sachs, who was instrumental in developing the NACTEL program at Pace University from 1999-2012, and also served as its director before stepping down earlier this year. Dr. Sachs continues to serve on the faculty of Pace University.

During his stewardship of the NACTEL program at Pace University, Dr. Sachs was widely recognized for pioneering innovative practices in online higher education. He spearheaded the creation of an online proctoring program, which electronically verifies that students who have signed up for NACTEL course assignments and exams are the actual ones logging into the virtual classrooms. In addition, Dr. Sachs lead the team that developed the widely recognized and award winning online student services now in place at the university.

“If David has one signature accomplishment, it’s this — that he did more than anybody to make NACTEL a program that imparted academic excellence in a caring learning environment, one that met the needs of far-flung, virtual students with many demands in their lives,” says C. James Spellane, a media advisor for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) and a member of the NACTEL Board of Directors. “I know David is proud of the recognition NACTEL has received from U.S. News and World Report and from within the industry. But I strongly suspect that he is most proud of the fact that he helped so many dedicated students achieve their educational goals.”

“For this inaugural award, NACTEL recognized Edwin Sanchez of Verizon Wireless, who graduated in May with his Bachelor of Science in Telecommunications. “Even though as students we are all different, we still have a lot of common ground,” says Sanchez, who previously earned his Associate’s degree in Wireless Networking from the NACTEL program in 2011. “We all work in the same field; we all have family responsibilities, and we all know what it’s like when we have to drop everything for a national emergency. For my co-students and me it was Superstorm Sandy, but together we found a way to get through it and complete our NACTEL coursework.”

All of the NACTEL classes are instructor-led and accessible online, so students can access lecture material at their own convenience, 24/7. Subject matter experts from NACTEL co-develop this telecommunications-centric curriculum in partnership with Pace University faculty.

The National Coalition for Telecommunications Education and Learning (NACTEL),, is a collaboration of industry employers and unions, working with higher education institutions to create and sponsor online education programs that meet the needs of current and future telecommunications professionals. Founded in 1999, NACTEL has been the premier source of online education to address critical employment needs in the evolving telecommunications industry. NACTEL is administered by the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL),, an international non-profit organization with 40 years of experience creating and managing effective learning strategies for working adults through partnerships with employers, higher education institutions, the public sector, and labor unions.