International College To Offer Master of Science In Computer Information Technology Degree

International College will offer a master degree program in computer information technology starting with the summer 2002 academic term, which begins in May. It will be launched at both campuses in North Naples and Fort Myers.

As a Level III institution with the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, International College may add master degree programs that are consistent with the mission of the college.

The master degree program in computer information technology is designed to attract students with or without technical computer backgrounds. Students will initially have a choice of two concentration areas: Information Technology Management and Networking Technologies. Other concentrations will be added in the future.

Initially, the program will start off with four core classes. Two of those classes, “Web Applications” and “Network Operating Systems,” will be held at both campuses. A third, “Project Management,” will only be held at the North Naples Campus. “IT Policy & Strategy” will be made available to students online. The last day to register for the summer term is May 22.

To complete the program, students will need 33 or 36 graduate credit hours (11 to 12 courses), depending on whether they choose to do a thesis or take two electives. Students without a computer degree will be required to document competency in 5 basic areas or take 20 hours (5 courses) at International College.

Master of Science in Computer Information Technology Program Director Mike Nelson said what sets this program apart is the choice it gives students.

“Students can have a concentration of their own choosing. They determine how technical they want to be,” he said.

David Rice, Computer Information Technology Program Chair at International College, said the College decided to go ahead with the program after conducting a needs assessment that included local employers, area graduates with bachelor’s degrees, and students at International College pursing bachelor’s and associate degrees.

“Employers ranging from technical to non-technical areas came back with overwhelming support for our master of science in computer information technology degree program,” Rice said. “Bachelor’s degree graduates said now that they’re out in the real world, they need to know more about technology.”

Rice said the program is multi-faceted. For technical people like network managers and network consultants, the Networking Technologies concentration will prepare them for technology management positions within a company. The goal of the Information Technology Management concentration is to give non-technical people the background and skills needed to effectively manage technology within their organizations.

Rice has an even bigger hope for the program – attracting high-tech employers to the area because International College helped produce a more educated and skilled workforce.

“The first thing those companies ask is, ‘Will I find trained employees?’ The companies don’t come unless there is already a supply of skilled labor,” Rice said. “Local chambers and economic development councils will be able to continue to say International College produces a caliber of employee that can work in your organization. To assist the workforce in Southwest Florida to move to the next level of technology competency is a challenge and opportunity that International College is happy to accept.”

Terry McMahan, International College president, is enthusiastic about the program and the gaps it will fill.

“Computer Information Technology is our largest program. This is a natural extension of our continued growth,” he said. “The enthusiasm of our chair and faculty to expand the program is what got me excited.”

The Computer Information Technology Program will be the fourth graduate-level degree program offered by International College. International College launched a Master of Business Administration Program in fall 1999, a Master of Science in Criminal Justice in fall 2000, and a Master of Public Administration in the fall of 2001.

International College in Fort Myers is at 8695 College Parkway in the Renaissance Center and in North Naples at the intersection of Interstate 75 and Immokalee Road, east of Exits 17 off I-75.
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