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Information Technology Leadership

Professor: Hannon

Associate Professors: S. Fee, Holland-Minkley (chair), North

Visiting Assistant Professor: Lombardi

The Information Technology Leadership Program has the dual mission of preparing students to take a leadership role in the area of information technology independent of the career or graduate education paths they pursue and of advancing the uses of information technology across the Washington & Jefferson curriculum. Designed to be an interdisciplinary program, the ITL curriculum comprises aspects of history, sociology, psychology, communication, art, design, science, and mathematics. The program stresses problem solving and oral and written communication skills while addressing issues in computer literacy, systems design, visual culture, interface design, and computer security.

MAJOR REQUIREMENTS: A minimum of 10 courses, including ITL 100 , 102 , 112 , 301 , and 400  (the capstone experience), and at least three courses in one area of emphasis: computer science, data discovery, or new media technologies. These three emphasis courses must include a required 200-level course (221 , 241 or 271) and two 300-level courses in the same emphasis. At least one of the remaining two elective courses also must be at the 300 level or above. Majors are strongly encouraged to pursue at least one professional internship during their course of study.

MINOR REQUIREMENTS: A minimum of six courses, including ITL 100 ; either 102  or 112 ; one of 221 , 241 , or 271 ; and three others, at least two of which must be at the 300 level or above.

AP Policy: Students scoring a 4 or 5 on the Computer Science A or AB test will receive credit for ITL 102 upon successful completion of ITL 221.

ITL Emphasis Descriptions

New Media Technologies
Students in the new media emphasis focus on how people communicate meaning through innovative contexts capitalizing on various new media, including static and multimedia web documents, digital images, and digital video and audio. Visual literacy and creative problem solving are stressed; students are asked to reflect on their consumption and critical understanding of new media content. A wide range of fields are drawn from, including graphic design, educational technology, media studies, photography, human-computer interaction, film studies, electronic publishing, project management, and multimedia production. In conjunction with the core courses in the ITL major, this emphasis will prepare students to take a leading role in the planning, development, evaluation and implementation of new media productions, or to pursue graduate education in the fields of graphic design, educational technology, communication, or other information technology-related fields.

Data Discovery
Students in the data discovery emphasis will focus on the ways that computers can help humans understand complex social behaviors or scientific phenomena. In addition to learning how to acquire data for digital manipulation, students will learn how to access large datasets for specific purposes and to convert that data into human-useable form. Students will be encouraged to connect these skills to interests in a related minor or double major, using the data discovery techniques of data management, analysis, mining, or geographic information systems to complement their broader educational objectives. In conjunction with the core courses in the ITL major, this emphasis will provide the technology preparation necessary for careers in such fields as market research, business analysis and data mining, spatial analysis, and concept development. This emphasis is especially suited for students with a minor or a double major in one of the sciences or social sciences or for students considering graduate education in one of those fields.

Computer Science
Students in the computer science emphasis focus on how we represent and work with diverse information in the presence of information technology. They will learn about the connections between how we choose to organize our data and how we choose to compute using our data, including considerations of space efficiency and time efficiency. Students apply these concepts in a range of domains within computing and develop skills in selecting the appropriate techniques for the given context. They will also learn to balance ideal visions for large scale systems with real-world considerations such as development time, resource limitations, security, reliability, and maintainability. In conjunction with the core courses in the ITL major, this emphasis will prepare students to pursue a career or graduate education in areas such as software engineering, information systems management, information security, computer science and other computational fields.

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