The philosophy of Penn State’s School of Information Sciences and Technology (IST) is to build “Leaders for a Digital Global Economy”. The IST faculty at Penn State DuBois models that belief by developing a curriculum that helps students develop the following skills:
learning and managing the ever changing new technologies in the information technology field;
bridging the communication gap between business professionals and information technology professionals;
focusing on the application of technology as a solution;
learning to work on industry problems in a team atmosphere; and
polishing oral and written communication skills.
The Penn State DuBois campus offers three options of the IST Associate Degree (2 IST) and one option of the Bachelor of Science Degree (4 IST). The 2 IST degree options are networking, generalized business, and baccalaureate and the 4 IST degree option is the Information Technology: Integration & Application Option. Each option has the same core introductory courses. These courses include an introduction to IST, database design, webpage development, and networking. Along with these introductory courses, each student takes a software development course. This course consists of multiple industry projects that students will study and learn to manage.
The first 2 IST option is networking, which trains students for entry into the fields of network administration and systems support. Coursework includes PC hardware, networking essentials, network administration, and other supporting topics. The campus has an interactive networking lab equipped to provide students hands on activities to expand upon classroom theories of networking. These activities aid students in dealing with real world problems, situations and solutions and allow learning to happen beyond simply "chalk and talk” of the traditional college classroom. The layout of the lab is such that each row becomes a local area network containing five workstations and a server class machine in a server rack. Each rack contains network equipment including a switch, multiple hubs, and a router. This is very typical of what students will encounter in the workplace.
In addition to the network lab, the program has two other dedicated IST computer labs. The first lab is the software lab where students learn application skills including database and website development. The second dedicated IST computer lab is the teardown lab specifically designed to allow students to dismantle PCs, servers and other hardware devices, to create fiber optic cables and conduct other lab exercises needing specialized tools.
Having graduated with an IST networking associate degree from Penn State DuBois, the student will be able to do the following:
- install, manage, and troubleshoot PCs with multiple operating systems including Microsoft Windows, different flavors of Linux, and OSX;
- develop an in-dept network design;
- transfer the network design to Netcracker, a network simulator, and to test their design;
- run network cable (CAT 6 and fiber optic);
- design, implement, and manage networks using Microsoft Server and Red Hat Linux;
- configure and manage hubs, switches, routers, and other network equipment using Routersim and Network Visualizer (Cisco network simulators) and performing the same tasks on the actual equipment in the lab;
- plan and implement wireless networks;
- implement the following specialize servers:
- web servers (Microsoft IIS and Red Hat);
- email servers (Microsoft Exchange server);
- database servers (Microsoft SQL server);
- ftp servers (Microsoft IIS and Red Hat);
- Microsoft Dynamics Great Plains (GP);
- Microsoft Dynamics Retail Management System (RMS);
- use Microsoft Project to manage projects.
An overview schedule of the network can be found in the Recommended Academic Plan. Here is a partial list of possible job titles for which networking graduates may qualify (description of courses).
Through the generalized business option students can increase their knowledge of information systems while furthering their studies in the business areas of management, accounting, and marketing.
Lastly, Penn State DuBois offers a baccalaureate option that allows students to graduate with an associate degree in IST which then fulfills the requirements for the first 2 years of the Bachelors of Science degree in IST. Recommended Academic Plan (2Year Networking + 4IST Integration)
The DuBois campus offers the Information Technology Integration option of the 4 IST degree. The Information Technology Integration option prepares students to use information technology as solutions to industry problems. Appendix A6 contains the recommended academic plans for the major. Recommended Academic Plan (2Year Networking + 4IST Integration)
An IST degree student must complete an internship. For the 2 IST degree, students must complete IST 295A or 295B, both of which are one credit courses which entail 150 internship hours. For the 4 IST degree students must complete IST 495. IST 495 is a one credit course which entail 300 internship hours.
The intern is required to perform the following activities:
- keep a daily log;
- get a mid-point and a final evaluation from their internship supervisor;
- write a mid-point and final paper on the internship experience; and
- give a 5 to 10 minute presentation on their internship experience to an IST class.
A Penn State DuBois IST student has many resources at their disposal. These include hardware and software used in industry, online Information Technology Certifications preparatory courses, and other materials. Detailed lists of these resources can be found here.
After receiving an associate degree from Penn State DuBois, students have the ability to further their studies by enrolling in an IST four year degree at another Penn State campus including University Park. The Penn State DuBois campus offers students the introductory courses for the IST four year degrees. For students who want the baccalaureate degree and networking view courses from the networking option.
Penn State DuBois offers another option for those IST students who want a baccalaureate degree after receiving an associate degree in IST and wants to stay at the DuBois campus. The departments of IST and Business collaborated to offer an IST/Business 2+2 degree option. In four years, a student can receive an associate degree in IST and a baccalaureate degree in Business.
Another option for DuBois IST students is to earn a bachelors of Arts in Letters, Arts, and Sciences. Along with the associates in IST, the Letters, Arts, and Sciences program helps graduates prepare for careers that require creativity, thought, and the ability to work with a wide range of people. A suggested schedule for this option is available upon request.