Bryan Alexander, Assistant Professor of English, 318-869-5082 or firstname.lastname@example.org; Dr. Mark Schlatter, Assistant Professor of Mathematics, 318-869-5206
or email@example.com; or Lynn Stewart, Centenary News Service,
318-869-5120 or firstname.lastname@example.org or consult the Information Technology
Studies site at http://www.centenary.edu/~balexand/ITS_main.html
Centenary Becomes One
of Nation's First Liberal Arts Colleges to Add Minor
in Information Technology
SHREVEPORT, LA -- Centenary
College of Louisiana, recognized for producing leaders with critical thinking
skills, will expand its traditional liberal arts offerings to explore the
developing world of the Internet and new media.
With its new program
in Information Technology Studies approved Jan. 29 by the faculty, Centenary
becomes one of the first U.S. colleges to combine a liberal arts curriculum
with reflective perspectives on information technology. On Feb. 8,
Brandeis University approved a similar program, combining its liberal arts
curriculum with a minor in Internet Studies, a program Brandeis described
as the first of its kind in the nation. Course offerings for both
programs will begin in Fall 2001.
Technology Studies (ITS) minor will equip students with both technological
skills and the ability to think critically and contextually, officials
said. Unlike a traditional Computer Science program, which focuses
largely on technical skills and specific programs or languages, ITS will
emphasize how to learn as well as how to study, select and assess new information
"This minor will incorporate
the strengths of a Centenary education with the skills and knowledge of
information technology," said Dr. Mark Schlatter, assistant professor of
mathematics. "Students with the minor will not only be prepared to
work with digital technology and multimedia, but will have the capacity
to think critically about the work they produce."
"ITS is interdisciplinary,
drawing on approaches and ideas from a variety of fields, while teaching
students how to synthesize and move between disciplines," said Dr. Bryan
Alexander, assistant professor of English.
Alexander and Schlatter
are the faculty advisers for the new program. The two professors
recently presented the ITS program to a meeting of the Associated Colleges
of the South, where the assembled deans, professors and librarians enthusiastically
praised the program. Many professors and deans have solicited their collaboration
on designing such programs with their schools and representatives from
college consortia in the Midwest, the Great Lakes and the Northeast have
also joined in the praise, finding the Centenary program progressive and
The ITS minor combines
required courses in computer science and English with an internship and
three elective courses chosen from specific psychology, economics, sociology,
geography and computer science offerings. The program also suggests
that students coordinate work in their major with a report on their ITS
work in a public forum. In addition, it suggests that students take
the TEK.XaM certification, which provides objective credentials concerning
skills in database usage, Web research and site design, presentation software
and general computer proficiency.
The ITS program also
includes an innovative new course. Computer Science 106, "Introduction
to Information Technology" will introduce students to networked computing
and new media through the matrix of the liberal arts. This class
includes both practical computing skills and critical thinking, including
historical, design and ethical features."
"The minor requires
students to move between disciplines, divisions and fields, while being
flexible enough to attach to and enhance student work in any major," Alexander
said. "Information technology, in the age of the Internet, is clearly a
new and important aspect of contemporary life, altering many of the ways
we communicate with each other."
ITS also takes advantage
of student interest and experience, Alexander noted. "It recognizes
student desires to thoughtfully learn the technologies of today's wired
world…from within a liberal arts approach."
For further information about ITS, click on http://www.centenary.edu/~balexand/ITS_main.html, visit Dr. Alexander's home page at http://www.centenary.edu/~balexand/or call 318-869-5082.
Dr. Bryan Alexander,
Assistant Professor of English, 318-869-5082 or email@example.com
Dr. Mark Schlatter,
Assistant Professor of Mathematics, 318-869-5206 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Studies at http://www.centenary.edu/~balexand/ITS_main.html
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