SRU’s Computer Science department to change major

Published by adviser, Author: Rocco Piccirilli - Rocket Contributor, Date: May 2, 2013

The Computer Science department approved a plan to change the Information Systems major Tuesday, April 16. In order to update the program, the department will offer a restructured version of the major starting the Fall 2013 semester.

Changes to the department include the removal of higher level programming courses as well as the replacement of the present networking class. The college’s standard networking course was found to be too technical for information systems and is being removed.  “Business Data Communications”, CPSC 353, will replace the networking course the college offers now.  A current faculty member will take up the role of instructing it rather than hiring a new professor.

“Information Systems was always intended to be our broadest major” Dr. David Valentine of the Computer Science department explained.  “Information systems and computing systems are used in everything.  Art departments, physical sciences, libraries, and healthcare all require computers these days.  The advancement of technologies and its uses are why we will now have seven different application areas students will be able to choose as elective tracks”.

The entire department came up with the ideas for the change together.  Dr. Steve Larson as well as Dr. Frank Hulick, who have PhD’s in information systems, took the lead in the process. With the help of the department’s curriculum committee, they put a proposal together and then passed it off to the College Curriculum Committee, University Curriculum Committee, and then to the final steps of approval which it is now in.  The proposal has been modified and debated and approved Tuesday for the coming fall semester in 2013.

The revised major will not significantly affect students currently within it.  Instead, they will have the choice to continue their studies or take place in the newer program.  If students chose the newer program, they may choose to go into elective tracks such as Business, Geographical Information Systems, Healthcare, Programming, Safety and Health Management, Security, and Web Technologies.  The university will honor those who chose to stay with their enrolled curriculum but offer the chance to switch if desired.  Courses may be substituted with others if the department ceases to support specific classes.  The newer program will offer students a chance to choose a field they are interested in and prepare them by allowing them to studying in that field.

In all, The Computer Science department wants to broaden the areas that Information Systems teaches.  They also want to have the newer version become a better major or minor for those interested in specific fields.  It will be a better match with other departments, such as the School of Business, and will allow students to fulfill multiple parts of their requirements at once.

Not only will the Computer Science bring in new students this fall, but it will bring in new courses, a fresh plan, and new opportunities to all students of Slippery Rock University.


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