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2018-2019 Undergraduate & Graduate Catalog

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Information Technology - Program Description

For additional information about opportunities your college offers, please refer to the Seymour and Esther Padnos College of Engineering and Computing section in this catalog.


Degrees Offered

Undergraduate and graduate computing programs at Grand Valley State University are offered by the School of Computing and Information Systems. Computing programs prepare students for a rewarding career that is in high-demand.

One of the strengths of the computing programs at Grand Valley is flexibility. We offer B.S. degrees in computer science, information systems, and information technology. All programs share faculty, courses, and laboratory resources. Also, by choosing electives and minors in related subject areas, students can further tailor their degrees to fit their individual needs and career goals. We offer minors in computer engineering, computer science, data science, healthcare information systems, information security systems, information systems, and information technology.

The IT degree will provide students with the fundamental computing background and tools necessary to build and maintain the enterprise's computing infrastructure including system administration, cybersecurity, cloud computing, cyber forensics, and incident response and Web-systems integration as well as incorporating modern technologies to problem solving and decision-making.

GVSU's IT program embraces the value of hands-on learning through the incorporation of discovery-based learning approach centered on hands-on lab experiments supplemented by research activities and collaboration with professionals from multiple computing disciplines during their internships and capstone project.

School of CIS Mission

The mission of the School of Computing and Information Systems is to provide the GVSU student community with the intellectual foundations and experiences necessary to use information technology effectively in their chosen careers.

To enable students to attain this goal, the CIS faculty have two primary responsibilities. First, we offer a solid conceptual foundation required for a career in information technology. Second, we provide direct, experiential knowledge of technology necessary to be a productive user/producer of information technology.

To achieve these goals, we

  • work continuously to keep our curriculum relevant to our mission;
  • ensure that work-relevant experience is part of every class;
  • establish and nurture industrial contacts;
  • establish an integrated, supported co-op experience for CIS majors; and
  • provide all students, regardless of their major interests, fundamental knowledge of computers and information processing

Information Technology Student Outcomes

Three years after graduation, our typical computer science alumni are expected to be computing professionals who:

  • Use technical communication and teamwork skills to solve problems and develop software systems.
  • Continue to develop their professional knowledge and skills.
  • Behave ethically while contributing to their profession and to society.

By the time of graduation, information technology students will be able to:

  1. Analyze a complex computing problem and to apply principles of computing and other relevant disciplines to identify solutions.
  2. Design, implement, and evaluate a computing-based solution to meet a given set of computing requirements in the context of the program's discipline.
  3. Communicate effectively in a variety of professional contexts.
  4. Recognize professional responsibilities and make informed judgments in computing practice based on legal and ethical principles.
  5. Function effectively as a member or leader of a team engaged in activities appropriate to the program's discipline.
  6. Identify and analyze user needs and to take them into account in the selection, creation, integration, evaluation, and administration of computing-based systems.

The School of Computing and Information Systems Advisory Board

The School of Computing and Information Systems Advisory Board (CISAB) is composed of the school's director and leading computing and information systems experts in West Michigan. The board meets twice each year and advises the school on curriculum development and continuing education. It serves as an important interface between the school and the computing community.

Admission to the Information Technology Major

Admission to major standing in information technology (IT) is competitive and requires an application for admittance into the major. Applicants must meet the following criteria:

  1. Overall GPA of 2.5 or above in all Grand Valley State University coursework.
  2. Completion of each course in the IT foundation with a grade of C or above (C- is not sufficient).
  3. GPA of 2.5 or above in the IT foundation.

The IT foundation includes CIS 160, CIS 162, MTH 125 (or MTH 225), STA 215 (or STA 312), and COM 201. Completing the IT foundation courses require programming, analytical reasoning, and communication skills. These skills are important to excel in the computing field.

The IT foundation GPA is calculated on no more than one repeat per course. Achievement of the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission to the major. The School of CIS will also consider internship availability and the applicant's suitability for internships before granting admission. Transfer students must complete at least six hours of CIS coursework before applying, but should consult with a CIS advisor before scheduling their first semester.

Note: While admission to major standing in information technology may be achieved with completion of the computer science or information systems foundation instead of the IT foundation, it is still necessary to complete all the required courses of the information technology major.

The following program is available:

Bachelor of Science in Information Technology

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