International College Offers New Degree in Information Systems Management

International College is making it easier for students with acceptable credits from multiple schools to earn a bachelor’s degree and learn about technology.

International College launched a bachelor degree program in Information Systems Management (ISM) for the Winter Term, which began Jan. 16. It is being offered at the Naples and Fort Myers campuses. The College also offers more technical curriculum through its bachelor and master degree programs in Computer Information Technology (CIT).

The ISM program is designed to attract students who have earned a bachelor’s or associate degree in approved areas of study from a recognized college or university, but who also wish to learn technology and management skills. The curriculum provides more of a business approach to technology with less emphasis on hardcore technical requirements.

“We found there were individuals interested in the computer field with degrees in other programs who would have had to take three more years of schooling in order to earn a bachelor’s degree,” said Jeanette Brock, J.D., Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs. “I believe the Information Systems Management program and Computer Information Technology program cater to two distinct markets – students who want to manage the systems within industry and students who want to be hands-on with technology.”

Computer Information Technology Chair Dave Rice said he’s excited about the new program’s greater flexibility in allowing students to transfer certain credits in from other institutions. To complete the program, students need a minimum of 84 credits in liberal arts, business and computer technology, in addition to 36 hours earned at International College.

“We’re trying to assist adults in degree completion and decrease frustration when they transfer from one institution to another,” Rice said. “Most people who come to us are between associate and bachelor’s degrees. Because of job transfers, family circumstances and other reasons, students have collected credits in various degrees of study. This program brings together all their previous academic experiences under a unifying degree completion program in technology.”

Bonita Springs resident Joseph Gonzalez wasn’t sure what he’d do with the dozens of credits he accrued from three San Diego schools after quitting pre-med. He earned an associate degree in Human Anatomy and received several credits in microbiology classes.

“I decided the medical field wasn’t really what I wanted for myself,” Gonzalez, 36, said. “The primary thing that attracted me to International College was that my credits transferred in, and I can now finish earning my bachelor’s degree.”

Another aspect that intrigued Gonzalez is that the ISM program prepares him for entry into the masters program in Computer Information Technology. Students must take five core information systems courses as part of the program: web design, database, design and problem solving, business information systems, and introduction to networking. These core courses are needed to enter the graduate program.

Gonzalez, who works as a communications engineer for a local broadcasting company, said he wants to understand the academic principles behind technology. Everything he knows now was self-taught.

“I have areas I’m proficient in and areas I have no exposure to at all. At International College, I’ll be exposed to a wide range of knowledge,” he said. “I also see this as a way to move up from my current position. Working in the industry, I know there are not enough qualified technicians out there. If you have the qualifications and experience, you can virtually go anywhere and do anything.”

Ultimately, that’s the goal of the program – to give non-technical students the background and skills needed to effectively manage technology within their organizations, Rice said.
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