Preparing the Next Generation: The Computer Literacy Summer Program

ACANS News & Information Center

Preparing the Next Generation: The Computer Literacy Summer Program

Students practice before tomorrows test in BCIS 110 classroom.Students practice before tomorrows test in BCIS 110 classroom.

As the temperature rises, the month of June ushers in another school session and the University is set back in full motion. Beyond the college students who are getting ahead or catching up during summer school, the NMSU campus is host to several programs that focus on introducing middle and high school age students to the college environment, while inspiring their interest in the many different areas of study available on the main campus. One such summer program is the Computer Literacy Class that is being taught through the College of Business.

The Computer Literacy Class is more than just another summer camp for the students who attend, it is “an intense month of classes that enables the student to take a course equivalent to BCIS 110G,” states Dr. Janice Black, Associate Professor of Management in the College of Business and the Program Director and Support Instructor for the course. The BCIS 110G course being taught includes a general introduction to the campus and the computer labs that are available on NMSU’s main campus.

Students enrolled in the course will meet on campus from June 5th through June 30th. The program, that is open to students who will be attending high school next year, meets in both a regular classroom and in a computer classroom in the Business Complex Building. Dr. Jim Nelson, Associate Professor of Information Systems in the College Business and the lead instructor of the course, says “We are running a program to introduce high school students to University level classes, and I am providing instruction in BCIS 11OG, which is basically the same as CS 110. It will be a distance education interactive class, allowing the students to learn to use WebCT, and they will be using exactly the same text book and the same exercises as the students in BCIS or CS 110.”

The 20 plus students who are enrolled will also have the opportunity to experience campus life during the four week course, “The students will have some face to face lectures, some on-line lectures, a bunch of projects, and some campus tours,” Dr. Black explains.

The reason for the varying types of lecture and work on campus is, as Dr. Nelson says, because “this course has been developed in order to get students involved in university education early on, and get them excited about college. ”

Dr. Janice Black faciliates students during web search.Dr. Janice Black facilitates students during web search.

At the completion of the course each student will earn one high school credit if they attend the Las Cruces Public schools (other schools may also grant credit but the program has no agreement with them). Also, Dr. Black says that another advantage of the course is that “if a student earns at least a B in the course, Dr. Brook (Associate Dean of the College of Business) will waive BCIS 110G for them if they later enroll in NMSU as a Business major.” This course represents the first in a series of summer courses that students will be able to take and earn either high school credit, college credit, get a course waived (informal college credit), or both high school and college credit.

This is the first year that the full program will be taught, making it a stepping stone for the Open Doors program which is funded by NMSU, The College of Business, through student fees, and volunteers. The students currently participating in the course will be able to enroll in subsequent years for other course offerings. The course costs $150 per student, and books for the course are donated in part by Thompson Publishing.

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