Colorado State Launches Computer Science Boot Camp Track

(Photo: Skitter Photo, Creative Commons)

(Photo: Skitter Photo, Creative Commons)

Colorado State University-Global Campus (CSU-Global) has introduced an online certificate of completion and degree specialization program in computer science.

The “boot camp-style program” helps novices with computer programming. Its designers hope that it will bridge “the gap between non-accredited accelerators and traditional semester-long programs.”

According to Leila Meyer of Campus Technology, the program consists of five 8-week courses, including three programming courses, one course in data structures and algorithms, and one course in platform-based development. The program trains its participants to “design a simple Web and mobile app, and have mastered basic software development.”

“Software development is becoming an important segment of the Colorado economy,” said CSU-Global Executive Vice President and Provost, Dr. Jon Bellum. Colorado will need “qualified employees who have the technical ability as well as the critical thinking and problem-solving skills that come with our new program …”

Students can either complete the certificate as a standalone program or as part of their Bachelor’s of Science in Information Technology. Colorado will need roughly 8,000 software developers by 2022, and the goal of CSU-Global’s program is to satisfy that rising demand. The course began in March 2016.

The course’s webpage emphasizes the necessity of developing programming skills in the current marketplace, saying, “Computer Programming is a skill that spans disciplines, as companies and organizations all over the world become even more reliant on technology. Whether you intend to develop your programming skills in particular or simply build an understanding of the various languages, how they’re used, and what they do, this Certificate of Completion can be a great way to get ahead and enrich your versatility as a professional.” More information about the course can be found here.

CSU-Global was created by the Colorado State University System Board of Governors in 2007. It is the first 100% online state university in the United States. The mission of the digital university is to facilitate students’ success in the global marketplace through “career-relevant education.” At the university, students are able to obtain both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees.

CSU-Global encourages students to develop their technology skills while working full time at a job in which they can directly apply their coursework to their work. The new program also aligns with the exam needed to obtain Oracle’s Java SE 7 Programmer certification.

The online university claims to “set the standard for quality innovation in higher education through its expert faculty trained in working with adults in an online learning environment, and through its dedication to student retention, graduation, and workplace success.” The university is yet another sign of the increasing digitization of American higher education.

Currently, many colleges and universities are wrestling with trends in education that suggest increased online and distance learning, vocational training, and expanding the use of technology in the classroom. CSU-Global serves as an example for policymakers and educators of how to effectively blend technology and education as they prepare their students for a globalized marketplace.