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New Academic Program Built for App Developers

Behind every good App is a developer with skills, knowledge and understanding of the programs to create it. We have recently launched a computer science program with two concentrations to help future app developers invest into their career. We recently had a question and answer time with two of our instructors from this program. Enjoy our chat with Dr. Miller and Professor Fritz.

Tell us about your program.
Dr. Miller: The program I instruct is the new Bachelor of Science program in computer science that we created last year and started enrolling students in the 2019-2020 academic year. We have two concentrations: software development and network and systems administration. My coursework mainly focuses on software development. Software development revolves around finding the requirements for a system, modeling a logical model of the system, creating the data structures and coding the physical system, testing the system and implementation. This is huge in the world today because much of what we do in our lives is focused around computers as well as the use of apps with phones and tablets. App is short for “application software.” Application software is any software a person utilizes to interface with a computing device depending on what they want to accomplish on the computer.

Professor Fritz: The program that I teach in is the Bachelor of Science in Computer Science. The program itself has two different concentrations that you could focus on or you could even do both! Our concentrations are software development and network and systems administration. While I teach a variety of courses for the entire program, my focus and specialty area is in network and systems administration. The program and concentrations focus on getting students ready for the workforce with a variety of different learning methods. Tiffin University is a Certified Cisco Academy, which allows students in the network and systems administration concentration to gain real-world hands-on experience with equipment and hardware that is utilized in the industry.

Why is it relevant in today’s workforce?
Dr. Miller: Based on the Bureau of Labor statistics there are several positions out there for this field including web developer, database administrator and software developer. According to the latest statistics these positions will grow in double digit percentages much faster than average over the next decade. I have had several graduates report back to me they started in the field well over $50,000.

Professor Fritz: The outlook for computer science is a rapidly growing field. With the new technologies that are being created, this has led to increased demand for computer science jobs that are needed. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of computer science and technology occupations is projected to grow 12 percent from over the next decade, which much faster than the average for all occupations.

What kind of jobs could students expect to get after graduation?
Professor Fritz: Students can work in a variety of different roles after graduating. Some of the jobs listed with the Bureau of Labor Statistics are: computer network architects, computer programmers, web developers, database administrators, software developers and computer support specialists, to name a few. Students in our program have started off with salaries well exceeding 50k to start in entry level positions locally.

Group of TU students and professors standing together in front of a large indoor curly slide

What classes are you most excited about?
Professor Fritz: Since I am focused on the network and systems administration concentration, I am most excited about the Cisco classes that are offered. The networking classes utilize the Cisco curriculum which allows the students to be successful by setting them up for being able to take industry certifications after completing the courses.

What makes our program different from other programs at other universities?
Professor Fritz: Our program offers exciting opportunities for students to be able to learn and demonstrate the newly gained knowledge that they have obtained. Also, our computer science program itself is focusing on preparing students to be able to take industry certifications. While the student will graduate with a degree, it also important for the students to be able to demonstrate competency in the subject area. By allowing students the opportunity to take certification exams we are setting students up for success to demonstrate this knowledge to potential employers. The students also could take most of the certification exams right on campus without having to leave the University.

Group of TU students and professors standing together inside a room with lots of windows

What kind of activities and experiential learning are featured in your classes?
Professor Fritz: Our program itself offers the ability to demonstrate hands on learning by working with real equipment and software that is utilized in the industry. Also, our students are required to take an internship which offers them the ability to see real world scenarios and what life would be like while working in the industry. Students also have the ability to join different clubs that offer an insight to real world learning. Our program features the Tiffin University ACM (Association of Computing Machinery) Student Chapter or what we call technology club. This is one of the many different clubs on campus that students can be involved with to help facilitate their growth and experiential learning.

Dr. Miller: A huge idea in academics today is experiential learning. Experiential learning can come in the form of taking certifications that have been built into the program. Students can also use the research class to expand on ideas they have and complete a project based on those ideas. We are in the process of talking with several large organizations with the hopes of forming partnerships for internships and graduate positions. We have discussed with these organization, the new research class can be used by a student to help that student prepare and learn software techniques for the organization’s internship program or training for a position with a company. We also utilize many traditional methods of experiential learning such as fields trips and guest professional speakers.

What kind of students would like your program?
Professor Fritz: Students who are excited about technology and that self-driven are the students that usually excel in this field of study.

Should students have any background knowledge/passion in a certain field before starting your program?
Professor Fritz: While we have two distinct concentrations, both concentrations are focused on ensuring student success and to be able to gain the industry standards that are currently being utilized. To help students excel in technology courses I would place a strong emphasis on STEM related courses with a focus on mathematics.

Professor Owen Fritz began with Tiffin University in the Fall of 2015 as an affiliate professor for the School of Business in the areas of Computer Information Systems and Economics. In the spring of 2018, he became a full-time faculty member within the Computer Information Systems program. Owen is proud to have worked alongside Dr. George Miller in bringing Microsoft Office Certification programs to Tiffin University so that students can display the skills acquired from the University as they enter the workplace

Dr. George Miller, an undergraduate TU alumni, is an Assistant Professor of Computer Information Systems at Tiffin University. He started with Tiffin University as an adjunct instructor in 2012 and went full time in the fall of 2016.

For more information on the Computer Science Program click here.