May 03, 2010
Rockford, Ill. — Officials from Northern Illinois University and Rock Valley College today announced that the university will start this fall to offer a bachelor of science in applied management degree with an emphasis in computer science at NIU-Rockford.
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.
The program allows individuals with associate’s of applied science degrees in computer-related fields to apply that coursework toward bachelor’s degrees. Prior to the creation of the BSAM, those students essentially had to take a much longer path if they wanted to earn bachelor’s degrees.
All classes will be held at NIU-Rockford. Rock Valley College faculty will teach general education courses (at RVC rates) and the upper-level degree-specific courses will taught 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.
“To be successful in the computer industry today, and tomorrow, individuals must have exceptional technical skills, management skills and excellent communication skills. Northern Illinois University’s new BSAM degree builds these skills on the foundation of a computer degree from Rock Valley College,” says Greg Wear, associate vice president of Academic Affairs at RVC.
Nicholas Karonis, chair of the Department of Computer Science at NIU, adds that such a combination of skills is much sought after right now. “Despite the recent economic downturn we haven’t noticed any significant drop in the demand for individuals with computer science degrees,” he says. “Even more in demand are individuals with the combination of technical and business skills students which will develop in this program. They will graduate prepared to step into middle management roles and progress from there.”
The new program is one of several new degree completion options offered by NIU. The university is leading a movement in Illinois to create more pathways for community college students to complete four-year degrees, says NIU President John Peters.
“We’re thrilled to be working with Rock Valley 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 provide educational offerings close to work and home,” Peters says, noting that NIU also will begin offering BSAM programs designed for public safety professionals at Harper College (Palatine, IL) this fall and at Oakton Community College (Des Plaines, IL) this summer.
The BSAM in Computer Science also will be available at Kishwaukee College and Oakton Community College. Individuals with approved AAS degrees in computer related fields are eligible to enroll any of the three programs. All individuals enrolled 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