Newly Expanded IT Degrees Hold Many Opportunities For Students


Jackson Miller, Assistant Editor

With so many degrees on the Northeast Community College campus how does a students decide on just one. The newly expanded Information Technology (IT) department entices students to “Build their own degree.” According to Richard Chrisman, information technology instructor, all freshman students enter the information technology program their first year and take the same set of 16 credit core classes. At the end of their first year those IT student will earn an IT certificate. Prior to the start of their second semester, students will choose two areas to focus on. There are many options including: web and visual application development, IBMi application development, Cisco networking academy,  information security, and technical support. ” In the past students were pigeon-holed because they were only able to have two choices in the information technology area, they could only choose computer programing or PC support and networking,” said Gigi Simonsen, information technology instructor.  Simonsen went on to say that the students did not like this set up because, there were some students in the PC support and networking program for example that only wanted the networking part, but had to take both. By the end of two years in the IT department the students will earn an associates of Applied science degree as well as three certificates in the IT areas they completed.

IT is hard work, but can sometimes be fun.
IT is hard work, but can sometimes be fun.

Classes for this new “Build Your Own Degree” program, take place in specially set up areas in the Kenneth J. Echtenkamp building,  and instructors say that they are enjoying the enthusiasm of students. ” I enjoy seeing the students light up when they realize that each classroom was set up in a particular design for their learning styles,” said Simonsen. Many new classes take place in this new building and when asked which class she enjoyed most, Simonsen said she enjoys her introduction to information technology class, because it has such a wide variety of projects that allows the students to showcase their abilities. “Any class where students are motivated to learn and are engaged and excited are the most fun,” said Chrisman.


For more information about the degree options in IT, go to the degree page at the Northeast website.


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