Southeastern to offer new computing degree in information technology

Contact: Rene Abadie
Date: June 19, 2013


     HAMMOND – In order to meet workforce demands, Southeastern Louisiana University will offer a new undergraduate computing degree in information technology beginning in the fall 2013 semester.
    The bachelor of science degree enhances and builds on a concentration in information technology that the Department of Computer Science and Industrial Technology has offered for several years, seeing its first graduates in 2010.
     "Enrollment in the information technology concentration has exploded in recent years, and we now have more than 190 majors, more than our information systems and computer science concentrations combined," said Sebastian van Delden, head of the Department of Computer Science and Industrial Technology. "The need and the demand for this course of study have been well established."
     The new degree, one of the few of its kind in Louisiana, was approved earlier this year by Southeastern's management board, the University of Louisiana Board of Supervisors, and the Louisiana Board of Regents.
     "There is a clear workforce need for this kind of program in Louisiana," said President John L. Crain. "The state has set a major goal of attracting technology firms, and major players such as IBM, Ameritas, and other software development and technology firms are establishing operations in south Louisiana. Companies like this offer well-paying positions, many of which our graduates will be well qualified to fill."
     van Delden said the Computing Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology – which reviews programs of this nature for academic integrity and quality – strongly recommended the information technology concentration be upgraded to a separate degree status. The committee indicated the new degree would most likely be eligible for ABET reaccreditation.
     The degree requires no additional resources from the university in terms of faculty support, classroom space or equipment, van Delden said.
     The repackaging of the current concentration into its own degree program will better define the graduate's abilities, he explained. IT graduates are highly sought after by government and industry and typically fill occupations such as programmers, systems analysts, database administrators, and software engineers.
     The primary difference between the information technology degree and a traditional computer science degree is that it is not calculus-based, van Delden added. The program, however, includes all the programming and computer science coursework found in the traditional degree.
     "In industry some computing jobs require knowledge of calculus and some do not," van Delden said. "With the addition of this degree, we add variety to our computing graduate pool, which matches with the variety of the jobs out there. These graduates have the practical training needed to be productive from day one on the job. That makes them very appealing to employers."




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