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21st Century Technical Skills Training: Computer Systems Support

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2000 Annual Conference


St. Louis, Missouri

Publication Date

June 18, 2000

Start Date

June 18, 2000

End Date

June 21, 2000



Page Count


Page Numbers

5.4.1 - 5.4.12



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Paper Authors

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Cecil Beeson

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William Gay

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 3248

21st Century Skills Training: Computer Systems Support

Cecil Beeson, William Gay University of Cincinnati Clermont College

I. Introduction

This paper describes how a two-year access college determined the demand for education and training in a particular technology, computer support technology, and how it met and continues to meet that demand. Most institutions of higher education devote part of their efforts toward determining educational program needs of their respective service areas. When such need is discovered, the institution must then decide whether or not it is capable of meeting it. If it is capable of meeting the need, it must construct a plan and begin securing resources required for developing such a program. The University of Cincinnati Clermont College has undergone such a process many times in its effort to provide its service area with up-to-date and substantial new program offerings. This paper chronicles the birth, growth, and projected future development of one of UC Clermont College’s new technical programs: “Computer Systems Support (CSS).” For those considering development of a new, or significantly revised, technology-driven program, this article can provide a framework for planning and implementation.

UC Clermont College was founded in 1972 as an open-access two-year branch campus of the University of Cincinnati. Its service area includes the counties to the immediate east of Cincinnati. The College resides in one of those counties, Clermont. This county has experienced the largest rate of growth in terms of population and industrial development of any county in the state of Ohio. Some of the industries represented in the county such as Structural Dynamics Research Corporation, Ford Motor Company, and Cincinnati Milacron are on the cutting edge of technology. At its inception UC Clermont offered two-year transfer programs such as liberal arts or business, but its array of technical programs was nearly nonexistent. As time passed the College gradually developed programs in Hospitality Management, Electrical Engineering Technology (EET), and Industrial Engineering Technology. When these programs were initiated, little effort had been made to determine the need for the programs.

II. The next step

The exponential increase in the number of computer systems of the 1980’s and 1990’s suggested the need for computer hardware maintenance technicians. The tendency toward networking of computers, be it intranet or the Internet, also required a support technician with the software skills necessary for maintaining, updating and modifying a computer network. That person would also need skills in multimedia software and hardware. A global need for engineering technologists with this training was apparent.

Beeson, C., & Gay, W. (2000, June), 21st Century Technical Skills Training: Computer Systems Support Paper presented at 2000 Annual Conference, St. Louis, Missouri. 10.18260/1-2--8146

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