Garrett College receives approval for computer science degree



Garrett College has received official state approval to offer an Associate of Science degree in Computer Science.

The Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC) recently approved the new program, which the college will be able to immediately implement.  The program was created in response to discussions with Garrett County Public Schools regarding the need for a program for GCPS graduates interested in computer science.

The program is intended for students interested in going on to a four-year college or university to complete a baccalaureate degree in computer science.  College officials said the next step will be to formally articulate the two-year program with those offered at four-year institutions, starting with Frostburg State University.

“Frostburg is a highly respected university and our primary transfer partner,” noted Dr. Qing Yuan, Garrett College’s dean for academic affairs, who developed the program along with Professor Richard Lewis.  “This program will provide western Maryland students with a computer science education option that can transition right into any of FSU’s B.S. computer programs.”

Dr. Yuan said the degree addresses a field with strong projected growth both statewide and nationally.

“The state forecasts about 4,000 job openings a year in computer-related fields for the rest of this decade,” said Dr. Yuan.  “In addition, Forbes Magazine and Indeed.com have both identified Washington, D.C. as the number one city in the nation for job openings in the computer science field.  There are real opportunities for meaningful employment in the computer field.”

Professor Lewis said the program was developed with the goal of offering both theoretical and practical experience while serving students with interest in a variety of related fields.

“The program will lead students into their choice of a computer science, computer information systems, secure computing, or information technology degree,” said Professor Lewis.  “And, Garrett County high school graduates can take advantage of the Garrett County Scholarship Program, which provides up to two years of free tuition at Garrett College.”

Paul Edwards, director of secondary education for Garrett County Public Schools, said the new program provides a valuable option for the system’s students.

“This is an excellent opportunity for GCPS students, as we have a great articulation with Garrett College in regard to the computer science program,” said Edwards.  “This will allow our students to capitalize on whatever partnerships Garrett College creates with Frostburg State – or any other four year institution – as many of our students end up at FSU eventually, as well.  This is a high-demand field with excellent wage potential and is exciting for both the college and the high schools.”
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