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Author Lunt, Barry ♦ Reichgelt, Han ♦ Ekstrom, J. ♦ Bailey, Michael ♦ Leblanc, Richard
Source ACM Digital Library
Content type Text
Publisher Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)
File Format PDF
Language English
Abstract The IT model curriculum represents an excellent starting point toward understanding more about IT as an academic discipline. The early 1990s saw the emergence of the Internet from the environs of the technical cognoscenti into the dot-com world with an interface for the masses. Additionally, the personal computer had reached the point that essentially everyone in all enterprises had one, and used it heavily. The increased complexity and importance of computing technologies for the success of organizations and individuals led to a growing need for professionals to select, create, apply, integrate, and administer an organizational IT infrastructure. Organizations typically filled these positions using individuals with widely varying backgrounds whose educational experiences often provided poor preparation for the demands of the position. The skill sets needed for the new breed of network and system administrators were not provided by the more algorithmically and analytically oriented computer science programs of the time. Moreover, information systems programs, with the business education requirements of their accreditation bodies, were equally unwilling or unable to include the technical depth required. In response to this new educational need, programs arose such as those from Purdue University and Pennsylvania College of Technology, which were called Information Systems (IS) and Computer Science (CS) respectively, but were something else entirely. These programs, and others like them, had sprung up independently and spontaneously to satisfy the needs of employers for workers with skills in networks, distributed systems, and beginning in the mid-1990s, the Web. By the peak of the dot-com boom in 2000, there were at least 17 institutions around the U.S. that had or were forming programs with similar characteristics, and which were most commonly called "Information Technology." The largest of them was at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) in Rochester, NY, with over 600 undergraduate students, as well as a sizable master's program. On the national level, other factors were developing that also contributed to the emergence of the IT discipline. The Computing Sciences Accrediting Board (CSAB), which had long been the primary accrediting body for CS education, was joining with ABET, which accredits engineering and technology programs. Within ABET both the newly formed Computing Accreditation Commission (CAC) and the Technology Accreditation Commission (TAC) had noticed the emerging IT programs, and were wondering under which commission IT would best fit. It was in this lively environment that a group was formed that would guide IT through the period of defining its own model curriculum, its place with respect to the other computing programs already extant, and its own accreditation criteria. The Society for Information Technology Education (SITE) was formed in December 2001, with participation from 15 institutions with programs that could be considered to be IT programs. SITE later became SIGITE (a special interest group of the ACM) in the summer of 2003. At this first meeting in December 2001 (the Conference on Information Technology Curriculum, or CITC-1), committees were formed to formulate accreditation criteria and a model curriculum; and a Delphi study was conducted to determine which topics the participants thought should be covered in an IT program. At this meeting, the community also started work on a succinct definition of the discipline of IT, an effort that eventually cumulated in the following definition: "IT, as an academic discipline, is concerned with issues related to advocating for users and meeting their needs within an organizational and societal context through the selection, creation, application, integration and administration of computing technologies." Another conference was planned for the following April and the momentum continued through CITC-2 (April 2002), CITC-3 (September 2002), and CITC-4 (October 2003), which was also SIGITE 2003.
Description Affiliation: Adaptive Computing, Provo, UT (Bailey, Michael) || Seattle University, Seattle. WA (Leblanc, Richard) || Southern Polytechnic State University, Marietta, GA (Reichgelt, Han) || Brigham Young University, Provo, UT (Lunt, Barry; Ekstrom, J.)
Age Range 18 to 22 years ♦ above 22 year
Educational Use Research
Education Level UG and PG
Learning Resource Type Article
Publisher Date 2005-08-01
Publisher Place New York
Journal Communications of the ACM (CACM)
Volume Number 53
Issue Number 12
Page Count 9
Starting Page 133
Ending Page 141

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Source: ACM Digital Library