Hannah Pederson, Reporter
Most students pursuing their degree have stumbled upon a roadblock in the form of some required courses only being offered once per school year.
Most often, this happens when they’re in a specialized program with highly specific requirements.
Computer Network Engineering is one of Pierce College Puyallup’s most popular programs, Donna Moran, program coordinator for CNE and CIS, said.
This degree requires strict adherence to a preset schedule in order to graduate in two years.
“If you miss a class with us, it immediately becomes a three year degree,” Moran said. “The way we work around that is the moment students say the word computer, they’re sent to us immediately.”
By looking at the overall success of the program, students can generally tell how much help they’ll receive in making sure a two-year degree doesn’t become a three-year degree because they didn’t know they had to take a particular course to graduate.
Moran and other faculty members just finished overhauling the computer science programs because the field updates often.
Since the field is highly specified and involved, students wouldn’t be successful by going straight into object oriented programming (CIS123) or similarly specified classes with little or no programming experience.
“The difference with our program is that it’s skill building, each class builds on the previous class, so you can’t jump around too much,” Moran said. “It’s like teaching synchronized swimming but you don’t know how to swim.”
Most students in the program either go straight for their bachelor’s degree or into the job market after earning their associate and are generally successful, Moran said.
“They do everything to help us, they make going back to school easy,” health information technology student Randy Thomas said. “It’s not as frustrating as people make it out to be.”
Moran is also the program coordinator for database management and design, a program tailored to Microsoft’s structured query language server program, which is an enterprise program intended for major corporations.
Database management and design breaks SQL Server into manageable courses, but walking into year two of the preset track with only at-home database design experience could be disastrous, Moran said.
“It’s like moving from a bike to a formula one car,” she said.
The computer science programs: CNE, HIT and database management are popular not only because of the industry demand, but because they enable students to graduate in a timely manner and have the necessary faculty support and specialized services.
“Donna’s an awesome adviser,” database management and HIT student Bridget Tembreull said. “They line it all up for you.”
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