March 23-24, 2000

ITEM 106-2705-R0300 Approval of Proposal to Offer an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Computer Systems Technology; Montana State University-Billings, College of Technology

THAT: The Board of Regents of Higher Education authorizes Montana State University-Billings, College of Technology, to award an Associate of Applied Science degree in Computer Systems Technology.

EXPLANATION: The Information Technology (IT) industry is growing at an incredible rate. The College of Technology needs to be able to provide trained technicians to support the expansion of area computer commerce, provide training to potential employees and thereby provide additional opportunities for students. Currently, training of this type is limited in the Billings region. Two of these programs in Billings have been terminated with the recent closing of the May Technical College and Education America.

Graduates of the program assume positions of Computer Support Specialist to provide technical assistance and training to computer system users. Computer support specialists investigate and resolve computer software and hardware problems, answer clients= inquiries in person and via telephone concerning the use of computer hardware and software. They must also be articulate in supporting networking, printing, word processing, programming languages, electronic mail, and operating systems.

The curriculum for the Computer Systems Technology degree includes the required classes to prepare students for obtaining Microsoft and Cisco Certification through required testing.

This program would draw students interested in pursuing this field of employment, students from the local Cisco Academies and students from Tech Prep Agreements with high schools. Students previously attending May Technical College and Education America would be able to pursue their chosen field at MSU-Billings.

Proposed Starting Date: Fall, 2000

ATTACHMENT: Program Proposal