Villanova Department of Computing Sciences

CSC Department to offer FIT Certificate

Posted: 2012/11/29

Recognizing the need for all educated people to have a level of fluency in information and computing related topics, the Department of Computing Sciences offers a new option for obtaining that fluency and for documenting the accomplishment with a certificate. 

 The certificate addresses the goals set forth in a report from the National Research Council:.   

FIT individuals, those who know a starter set of information technology skills, who understand the basic concepts on which information technology is founded, and who have engaged in the higher level thinking embodied in the intellectual capabilities, should use information technology confidently, should come to work ready to learn new business systems quickly and use them effectively, should be able to apply information technology to personally relevant problems, and should be able to adapt to the inevitable change as information technology evolves over their lifetime. [1]

The FIT certificate recognizes that most of our graduates will not aspire to careers in computing, but that all will have many occasions to draw on the problem solving approaches and the higher level thinking abilities inherent in the computing field.  Unlike other options for a major, minor or concentration, the FIT certificate comprises only courses with no prerequisites, courses that are accessible to any student at the university.

The certificate requires four courses.  One required course, Databases for Many Majors addresses the universal need for understanding of database technology, how to use it, and how databases are constructed and used.  An additional required course serves as a capstone and requires both that the student bring together the concepts learned in the other courses and that the computing topics be connected with the student’s major field.  The capstone requires that the student’s advisor or someone else in the student’s major department provide some input on the chosen topic area for the capstone experience.  This addresses the growing interest in interdisciplinarity. 

 The remaining two courses for the certificate come from a list of courses that have no prerequisites and are thus accessible to all students at the university.  Choices include Computing and the Web, Computing with Images, Information Security and Protection, and others.  The choices offer diversity and will appeal to most students.

 In summary, the FIT certificate provides a fundamental understanding of the computing technologies of the 21st century. It prepares students for general understanding of the technologies that will greatly influence the way they live and work, and the ties that understanding to their chosen major field of study.

 

[1] Committee on Information Technology Literacy, National Research Council

Being Fluent with Information Technology

1999 The National Academies Press