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Recommended Academic Plan

Problem-based Learning

Problem-based learning (PBL) is an underlying method of learning for most IST courses. Instead of instructors giving answers and then testing to see if students have memorized them, student groups of 3 to 5 are presented with problems to tackle before teaching begins. In PBL, students are not only expected to understand information technology subjects, but they are expected to apply knowledge to real situations. Team-base PBL involves communicating – stating ideas, defending propositions, and criticizing. IST instructors design problem scenarios that raise the bar for student thinking and searching. It also requires students to become effective managers of time, projects and meetings. Both requirements demand creative efforts to succeed.

None of the courses in IST are off-the-shelf. Course content and delivery are updated each year to keep pace with the growth and change of information technology. All IST students complete the following core courses that lay a technical and problem-solving foundation. For the vast majority of IST courses, students are evaluated by examinations, proficiency tests, and group presentations of semester-long projects.

1st Fall Semester

IST 110 - IST 110Information, People and Technology (3 credits). Provides an introduction to information systems including its social implications, as well as the creation, organization, analysis, evaluation, storage, retrieval, transmission, and communication of information. Three perspectives are emphasized: 1) information or the basic science of data encoding, transmission and storage; 2) people or the interactions among technologies, institutions, regulations and users; and 3) technology or the design and operation of basic information technology devices. This course fulfills the general education requirements of a social science (GS). Students will develop research and analytical skills to evaluate technologies and understand how those technologies function in larger socio-technical systems. The ethical, legal, and social issues associated with information science and technology is an on-going theme throughout the course.

IST 111 - First-Year Seminar in IST (1 credit). IST 111Facilitates student's adjustment to the high expectations, demanding workload, increased academic liberties, and other aspects of the transition to college life. IST topics include: resumes, internships, academic schedules, current trends/controversies of IT in business and government.


IST 250 - New Media & the Web (3 credits).IST 250 Provides an introduction to how the world wide web utilizes new media technologies. Students will acquire a sound conceptual understanding of how simple to complex web sites are constructed, and how this knowledge can be applied in their professional career. There are three major course objectives. Students will: (1) perform a written critical evaluation of web sites; (2) work as a group with a campus/local organization/business to develop a moderately complex web site; and (3) collaborate in discussions of Internet topics with peers, experts, and faculty via interactive technologies.

1st Spring Semester

IST 210 - Organization of Data (4 credits).IST 210. Provides an introduction to the storage, retrieval, manipulation, analysis and display of information. This course includes an introduction to data structures, physical storage devices and access, database models and database management systems architectures, database analysis and design, query languages, user interface design, database administration and policy and social concerns in data management. This course provides student access and use of a robust commercial database management system like Microsoft SQLServer. Significant computer lab work is required.

IST 220 - Telecommunication and Networking (3 credits).IST 220. Provides an introduction to digital networking and telecommunications and their applications in information systems. Special emphasis is placed on local and wide area networking applications, hardware, and software; the OSI models; industry standards; topologies; protocols; internetworking devices; communications management; security and recovery; information system applications; and the selection of telecommunications and networking systems based upon case studies; and evolving Internet Protocol (IP) technologies.

2nd Spring Semester

IST 260W - System Analysis & Design (3 credits).IST 260W. Provides an introduction to system analysis and design (SAD). It covers the SAD process, but is independent of any specific system development life cycle (SDLC) methodology. The objectives of the course include: (1) teaching students the importance of teamwork, project management, and oral and written communication skills; (2) teaching students a systems design strategy that emphasizes customer requirements at all stages of the process; (3) introducing students to the object oriented design process; (4) giving students a full design experience with a case study; and (5) showing students examples of the writing required for systems design and requiring them to write individual and team reports as well as give oral presentations on their designs. The "W" suffix indicates a writing intensive course.

Any 2nd Year Semester

IST 295 - Internship (1-3 credits).IST 295. Provides students with internship opportunities within a business, government or community organization. Specific duties vary with each internship. The internship must consist of a minimum of 150 hours (1 credit) of meaningful information and technology related tasks. A written report by the student, detailing the work accomplished during the internship, is required. The objectives of this hands-on experience include: (1) teaching students the importance of teamwork, project management, and oral and written communication skills; and (2) exposing students to the workplace and providing them with meaningful information and technology related experience.