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May 03, 2010

NIU, Kishwaukee College to offer
bachelor’s degree for computer technical specialists

Thomas Choice and John Peters
Kishwaukee College President Thomas Choice
and NIU President John Peters announce
a new degree completion project.

Malta, Ill. — Officials from Northern Illinois University and Kishwaukee College today announced that starting this fall the university will offer a bachelor of science in applied management degree with an emphasis in computer science at the Kishwaukee campus in Malta.

The new bachelor of science in applied management (BSAM) degree, recently approved by the Illinois Board of Higher Education, provides a convenient and affordable way for individuals pursuing careers in computer information technology and systems to earn an accredited bachelor’s degree.

“Kishwaukee College has always enjoyed a positive relationship with NIU,” says Dr. Tom Choice, President of Kishwaukee College, “and we look forward to working closely with our colleagues at the university as we partner on this program. The addition of the BSAM degree provides yet another opportunity to keep a college education within reach for the students in our district.”

The program allows individuals with an associate’s of applied science degree in computer-related fields to apply that coursework toward a bachelor’s degree. Prior to the creation of the BSAM, those students essentially had to take a much longer path if they wanted to earn a bachelor’s degree.

Kishwaukee College students will be able to complete all coursework at the school’s Malta campus, with general education courses delivered by Kishwaukee faculty, at Kishwaukee’s rates, and the upper-level degree-specific courses delivered by NIU faculty, at NIU rates. The bachelor’s degree will be awarded by NIU. Students enrolled will take courses related to software development and engineering, database and systems management and computer security. They will also have coursework in management skills, communication, accounting and financial principles.

“The program is designed to sharpen both technical and leadership skills,” says Nicholas Karonis, chair of the Department of Computer Science at NIU, adding that such a combination of skills is highly attractive to employers.

“Despite the recent economic downturn we haven’t noticed any significant drop in the demand for individuals with computer science degrees,” Karonis says. “Even more in demand are individuals with the combination of technical and business skills that students will develop in this program. It will prepare them to step into middle management roles and progress from there.”

NIU is leading a movement in Illinois to create more pathways for community college students to complete four-year degrees, according to NIU President John Peters.

“We’re thrilled to be working with Kishwaukee College to offer the Bachelor of Science in applied management degree, which is designed to meet the needs of working professionals in our region and to provide educational offerings close to work and home,” Peters said.

“NIU is taking a leadership position in developing ways for the residents of our region to increase their credentials to meet emerging needs in the economy and better prepare themselves for the future,” he added, noting that NIU will also begin offering BSAM programs designed for public safety professionals at Harper College this fall and Oakton Community Colleges this summer.

The BSAM in Computer Science will also be available in partnership with Rock Valley College, with students completing coursework at the NIU-Rockford Center, and at Oakton Community College in Des Plaines. Individual with approved AAS degrees in computer related fields are eligible to enroll in either program. All individuals in the program will be able to complete the general education component by taking courses at their local Illinois community college.

For more information, visit www.bsam.niu.edu or call Amanda Carrier at (815) 753-7097.

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Media Contact: Joe King, NIU Media Relations and Internal Communications
Phone: (815) 753-4299
Email: joking@niu.edu