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Information Resources Management Association
Advancing the Concepts & Practices of Information Resources Management in Modern Organizations

Computing and IT Education: What, Where and Why?

Computing and IT Education: What, Where and Why?
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Author(s): Stuart R. Monroe (Metropolitan State College of Denver, USA) and Abel Moreno (Metropolitan State College of Denver, USA)
Copyright: 2005
Pages: 4
Source title: Managing Modern Organizations Through Information Technology
Source Editor(s): Mehdi Khosrow-Pour (Information Resources Management Association, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-822-2.ch150


Traditional academic programs in Computer Science (CS) and Computer Information Systems (IS) are waning in their attractiveness to career oriented students. Recent publications quoting statistics from premier academic programs in CS, IS, and Computer Engineering (CE) or Electrical Engineering (EE), clearly indicate that students are choosing fields other than computing for their career paths (Frauenheim, 2004; Kessler, 2004; NWCET, 2004). The primary drivers for students selecting out of Information Technology (IT) are primarily related to job opportunities. The army of unemployed IT workers resulting from the bust and from IT offshore outsourcing is well publicized (Mears, 2004). The experience in the CS and IS programs at Metropolitan State College of Denver (MSCD) emulate the statistics from the above referenced universities with a significant decline in enrollments in both CS and IS programs during the last three years. Since 1968, the Computer Information Systems (IS) department in the School of Business at MSCD has been in a waxing and waning “turf-war” with the Computer Science program (CS) in the Mathematics department. As the IS program was established almost 15 years earlier than the CS program, it matured into highly attractive computing curriculum contributing more than one third of the full-time-equivalent (FTE) enrollments in the School of Business and became the fourth largest department at the college (18 full-time faculty, 35+ adjunct faculty, and 4000+ credit hours per term). In fall 2001, the CS program embarked on a concerted effort to expand their teaching domain by proposing more than 20 new courses in IT, the vast majority of which were currently being taught in the IS program. The previously simmering turfwar between the two programs exploded, which resulted in a College level blocking of curriculum proposals in both programs for more than three years. To resolve these domain conflicts, the acting provost hired an external consultant to review both programs and make a recommendation for a “final solution.” The consultant’s final report was delivered on September 17, 2004 with the following recommendations: • provide a mechanism to protect the resource allocations to both programs (the hypothesized bases for the turf battles); • preserve the core disciplines in the CS and IS programs; • jointly (IS, CS + Others) create cross-discipline solutions for 1) a campus computer literacy requirement, 2) computing service course(s); and 3) certificates of completion in specific computing disciplines; • develop a cooperative venture (taskforce) for creation of a jointly managed IT degree program that would incorporate the strengths of both programs; and • stimulate faculty development and implementation of creative solutions to current and future curriculum by providing administrative rewards. The consultant’s final report was met with mixed levels of skepticism by faculty in both programs.

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