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Implementing A Bachelor's Of Science In Information Technology Degree Program In An Engineering School: Lessons Learned

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

Current Issues in Information Technology

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.662.1 - 8.662.9



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Paper Authors

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Lloyd J. Griffiths

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Anne J. Marchant

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E. Bernard White

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

Session 2558

Implementing a Bachelor’s of Science in Information Technology Degree Program in an Engineering School: Lessons Learned Lloyd J. Griffiths, Anne J. Marchant, E. Bernard White School of Information Technology and Engineering George Mason University Fairfax, Virginia 22030

Abstract Designed for the student who does not enter with a formal training in computing as well as for the student who might not have a love for theoretical aspects of the mathematical and natural sciences, our new Bachelors of Science in Information Technology (BS-IT) program is perfectly suited for would be IT professionals focusing on the application of computing and information technologies in other disciplines. Formally offered this fall 2002 semester, it is far too early to assess the BS-IT program based on some of the criteria used for our existing IT&E programs such as feedback from students, faculty evaluation of curricula and quality of students attracted to the programs, graduate school acceptances, employment offers and subsequent successes. Some preliminary results are available in several important areas, however, and this paper has been written in the hope that other universities that are contemplating and/or in the early stages of implementing a BS-IT major (or other non-traditional undergraduate program) in an engineering school might benefit from the lessons that we have learned early on. Most notable are changes in preconceived notions widely held by some IT&E faculty and administrators as to the impact that the BS-IT program would have on the following: student enrollment and their persistence in our existing calculus-intensive IT&E majors; integrity of existing degree programs in related disciplines such as computer science and management information systems; relationships with other GMU schools and colleges offering related IT study options; overall quality, number, and diversity of students who are preparing for careers in the IT profession; availability of resources to support both the BS-IT program and existing programs; and IT&E’s growing reputation as a broker of first class IT educational programs and research.

I. Overview of Paper Our School of IT&E was established in 1985. Until recently, the School of IT&E offered undergraduate majors in the following highly technical core-competency areas: Civil and Infrastructure Engineering (CIE); Computer Science (CS); Computer Engineering (CpE); Electrical Engineering (EE); and Systems Engineering (SYST). With the explosion of knowledge within the sub-disciplines that comprise computing and information technology, virtually any existing as well as emerging sub-discipline contains far more material than can reasonably fit into a single course - or in some instances, even

Griffiths, L. J., & Marchant, A. J., & White, E. B. (2003, June), Implementing A Bachelor's Of Science In Information Technology Degree Program In An Engineering School: Lessons Learned Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--12676

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