Students and  IT Common Courses

The Center continues to work on the IT Programs of Study initiative.  Two major components of the project are: 1) IT common course and articulation research, planning,  and the convening of educator work sessions to continue project progress, and 2) the development and beta-testing of the website, YourFuturein.IT.

On July 20, 2012, the Center hosted the Information Technology Program of Study: 2/4-Year Common Course Initiative  for two- and four-year higher education institutions (review the agenda here). At the end of the day-long session the two- and four-year faculty created three common courses that a student could take at a community or technical college (CTC) that would then be accepted at the four-year university or college so they would not have to retake the courses.

Attendees came from the following colleges and universities:

  • Western Governors University
  • Seattle University
  • Eastern Washington University
  • Pacific Lutheran University
  • Bellevue College
  • Bates Technical College
  • Cascadia Community College
  • Highline Community College
  • Green River Community College
  • Shoreline Community College

The group came to consensus on learning outcomes for the following three courses: Programming I and II,  and Data Structures.

Another important take-away was that the two- and four-year higher education institutions felt that it was extremely important that a high school graduate who had gone through an IT programs of study focusing on software development, programming, engineering must have completed Precalculus by the time they entered either a two-year CTC or a four-year university or college.

The Center analyzed the data gathered at the July 20, 2012 initiative work session and based upon that data and research evaluated additional common courses that might be developed.  It also looked at a possible two-pronged approach to agreeing to a sixth “IT Overview” common course looked at the 2016 AP Computing Principles course and the University of Washington’s Fluency with Information Technology.  The Center created three separate surveys to the three groups of educators (middle/high school, community and technical colleges, and four-year universities) to drive next steps.  It took the work from the July 20th work session and asked educators what they can and cannot agree upon within their three distinct areas and then the data will be reviewed as an entire set of data.  The findings indicated a majority of CTC faculty were supportive of the initiative and willing to either make or consider changing or updating curriculum to create common courses.   Secondary educators expressed reservations about changing their curriculum to create common IT academic pathways leading to articulation at the CTC-system level.

The Center will be hosting Pathways to IT Applied Baccalaureate Degrees for WA State Students Summit on June 7th, 2013 at the Microsoft Conference Center.  Read more about what this Summit entails in continuing the common course and articulation project.