New Major at Pitt-Bradford

The world of computers is moving in a new direction at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford. After years of a nationwide decline in enrollment in computer science programs, Pitt-Bradford is phasing out its program and introducing a bachelor of science program in computer information systems and technology.

Students can begin enrolling in the new major this fall. The last computer science majors will likely graduate from Pitt-Bradford in 2012.

“After listening to the industry in the region, we developed this program to respond to the times,” said Dr. Steven Hardin, vice president and dean of academic affairs.

The new major will be housed in the school’s Division of Management and Education.

“This program uses technology to address the needs of businesses,” Hardin said. “These graduates will have technical skills, but they will also understand the needs of the companies they work for.”

As part of a statewide initiative to keep high-tech workers in Pennsylvania, students majoring in CIS&T at Pitt-Bradford may also be eligible for a SciTech scholarship of up to $3,000 per year from the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency.

Don Lewicki, associate professor of business management who designed the major, said, “While the computer science program focused on programming, the CIS&T major will attempt to give students a broader view of information technology and its potential to impact the direction of business.”

Students will still take some programming courses, but more as a means to understanding applications than as an end in itself.

The new program will emphasize the Internet and database technology. Students will develop Web pages and Web applications. They will also take required courses in networking, computer security, systems administration, electronic commerce, supply chain management and multimedia applications.

A required three-credit internship will be a key component of the major, Lewicki said, adding that he always has members of the community looking for help with business applications. He said he believes that internship experience on a resume is essential to a successful IT job search.

“We believe the hands-on experience with the latest technologies is very important,” he said. “Companies want people who can hit the ground running.”

In addition to computing courses, students will also be encouraged to complete a minor in either business management or entrepreneurship.

Another advantage to the new major, said Lewicki, is that it will integrate better with the existing associate of science in information systems degree, allowing students to earn an associate’s degree after two years, then seamlessly move on to a bachelor’s degree.

Lewicki is encouraged with initial enrollments in the CIS&T classes and believes the program is very attractive to students who are looking for a strong IT program.

To teach many of the Web application courses in the program, Pitt-Bradford has hired Dr. Y. Ken Wang, assistant professor of computer information systems and technology. He received his doctoral degree in business administration from Washington State University and holds a master of business administration degree from Washington State University and a bachelor of engineering degree in telecommunication engineering and intellectual properties laws from Shanghai University, China.

His professional experiences involve various managerial and technical roles in product development, project management, engineering, and technical sales at Ericsson, China Unicom, Glenayre Electonics, and Schmid Telecom.

Anyone interested in learning more about the program can contact Lewicki at Lewicki@pitt.edu or 814-362-0988.

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