Advisement Intro

Hi all,

First please note this Advisement menu section is getting lengthy so you may have to scroll down to see all the menu items in this “Advisement & Transfer” menu structure. This Advisement menu system content includes information for new and present students (transferring into and out of HVCC including articulation agreements with 4-year schools) and information specifically for existing students (degree/curriculum advisement plan sheets, course offering by semester, course outlines, the lowdown on SUNY GenEd and Liberal Arts & Science (LAS) requirements required at every College).

So moving on, this page is constantly evolving to provide relevant, up to the minute advisement information not only about the HVCC CIS programs but also to any prospective student or educator that is confused about the increasingly complex and sub-discipline specific nature of the emergent and transitory CS/CIS/MIS/IT field (also presented below is Information Assurance and Computer Security, Game Design and Computer Engineering).   What follows is typical of the questions I am asked by students entering the program and the information I would provide in an advisement session however note that I actually provide significant information up-front as it provides a necessary foundational understanding.

It is best if you read through the entire document however I provide some jump links (i.e. anchor tags) within this document directly below this paragraph if you absolutely know what you want.  If you directly navigate to the links below and find you still have questions, it is likely your questions are answered in other components of this document so I again recommend you read this entire page.  Lastly I encourage you to explore the related content in this Advisement menu system to further illuminate your options.

Jump links within this document (back button will return you here if you follow them)

It is also likely you landed on this page directly and missed the introductory information on the  home page so note that you can translate every page on this site using Google Translation Services (on the left), print and email every page (at the bottom of each page) and even subscribe to the site to capture the evolving content.  Also recall that you can search within any Web page using CTRL-F in Windows or Linux and COMMAND-F in Mac.

Lastly, note if you are planning on attending HVCC note that you have chosen a stellar program within a stellar institution as Hudson Valley’s Computer Information Systems programs are ranked among the most productive in the country.  Community College Week’s   2011 Top 100 Degree Producers  issue ranked Hudson Valley Community College 13th among all two-year schools and 39th overall among all associate degree granting institutions in the number of Computer and Information Sciences and Support Services degrees awarded.  To provides stellar advisement assistance, we also offer you dedicated Business Advisement Center.  the If you are not choosing HVCC, please know that I remain open to your advisement questions and hope to assist you in realizing your goals.

CS vs. CIS vs. MIS vs. IT vs. Computer Engineering degree differences

First, students, parents and even educators often have alot of confusion about the difference between Computer Science (CS), Computer Information Systems (CIS), Management Information Systems (MIS) and Information Technology (IT).  Well, CS is the theoretical study of computing and can have very little direct application (e.g. theoretical networking, DBMS etc. with very little hands on).  If you are interested in CS, you should be taking 3 semesters of Calculus and 4 semesters of Physics.  Also note that CS is a 4-year degree however due to its theoretical nature (very little applied material)  you should minimally be thinking about pursuing a Masters Degree.

At the other end of the spectrum (opposite of the highly theoretical CS), IT is very much skills based (e.g. hands on networking, Web development, etc.) with less theory. You can think of IT as directed problem solving.

In the middle between CS and IT are CIS and MIS.  CIS blends theoretical CS, with Business and IT and therefore probably presents the most career opportunities.  If you are in my CISS 100 you know I stress the integrated nature of information technology, business and society/culture as any change to one component invariably effects the other two.  Also, business must drive meaning that we implement technology to solve business problems maximizing return on investment (ROI) rather than implementing technology for technologies sake.  At the core of this are analytics that are comprised of feedback, measurements and statistics.

With this integrated and holistic perspective, you see why I believe CIS is the most appropriate program for the vast majority of students.  Lastly the difference between CIS and MIS is that CIS focuses more on CS and IT whereas MIS focuses more on business.  Having said this I believe MIS is more appropriate at the graduate school level as you need a solid computing undergraduate curriculum to understand the technology.  To illustrate this I ask, how can you lead a team of programmers if you are not an expert programmer yourself?

Lastly, Computer Engineering is Computer Science with a specific focus on Computer Architecture (this would also apply to Nanoscale Science/Technology).  If you are interested in CE, similar to Computer Science which is also minimally a 4-year degree, the best advice is to determine the 4-year school and program and then work backwards by determining what freshman and sophomore courses are in the 4-year curriculum.   At HVCC this can be accomplished through the Engineering Science degree ( and ensuring you take  CISS 110, CISS 111, CISS 280 and Math 183.  CISS 100 is also recommended to put the entire field/discipline in context.

Note CE programs normally only exist at top level schools (e.g. RPI, RIT, Buffalo, Stonybrook, New Paltz, SUNY Polytechnic, etc.) therefore you should be shooting for 3.25 GPA or greater to transfer.  As an example curriculum: SUNY Polytechnic Nanoscale Science requires: MATH 183: Discrete Math (counts as CSS elective), MATH 180: Calculus I, MATH 190: Calculus II, MATH 210: Calculus III, PHYS 150: Physics I, PHYS 151: Physics II, CHEM 120: Chemistry I, CHEM 121: Chemistry II and then for the CS component: CISS 100, CISS 110, CISS 111, CISS 210 and CISS 280. CISS 290 would also be beneficial.



Degree Differences

Ok, so we have established an understanding of the various over-arching computing disciplines and types of programs (e.g. CS, CIS, MIS, IT).   Having established this please note that variations exist as you will find CS curriculums that look like CIS curriculums and even IT curriculums that look very much like CS curriculums.  The next question is which CIS program to choose from various HVCC offerings.  This has two components, choice of A.S. or A.A.S. degree and then if A.A.S. which specific curriculum (e.g. CIS, Web or Networking).

2 -Year A.S. & A.A.S. degree differences

First there are two different types of degrees offered by the HVCC Computing and Information Sciences department, the Associate in Science (A.S.) that is intended for students that wish to transfer and the Associate in Applied Science intended for students that wish to work following graduation however note the A.A.S. is highly transferrable.

Generally the difference between A.S. and A.A.S. is the number of Liberal Arts & Sciences (LAS) credits that are required for the particular degree program.  An A.S. program will require 32-33 credits of Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS) whereas an A.A.S. only requires ~20 credits of LAS coursework.  The higher number of LAS courses in the A.S. is driven by the 4-year institutions that want the student to complete the majority of their LAS coursework a the 2-year school so that they can take the 4-year school’s upper level CIS courses at the 4-year school.  While this is appropriate and necessary it can render the selection of a curriculum more complex since few 4-year schools have the applied skills that HVCC offers (e.g. DBMS in Oracle, Cisco Networking that goes through the CCNP, etc.).  This is addressed below however note that it is possible to migrate between the various CIS programs with either no or minimal loss of progress (i.e. the introductory courses are required by all programs).

Ok, so here we go, let the Advisement Session begin:


First and most important advisement question: What is your primary goal following graduation – #1. transfer to a 4-year institution or #2. work?   This question guides everything and you must decide on your primary goal.

Answer #1: Transfer to a 4-year institution, Computer Security and Computer Gaming => Computer Information Systems A.S. (CSS)

If your answer is transfer or if you are interested in Computer Security or Computer Gaming , you should be looking at the Computer Information Systems CSS A.S. degree… no ifs ands or buts.  Note, the minimum Math acceptable for the CSS degree is Math 150 and if you are not in line to take Math 150 in your 1st semester you will not be accepted into the CSS program and you will have to begin in one of the A.A.S. programs (see below).  This requirement is established since Math 150 is the lowest level Math that will transfer to a 4-year program without exception (it is possible that some institution will accept lower level Math courses but the CSS A.S. program is intended to transfer to any 4-year program).  Also note that the 4-year institutions determine transfer equivalency.

While we’re on the subject of Math in Computing curriculums, note that 4-year Computer Science (CS) programs typically require several semesters of Calculus including Differential Equations.  CIS, MIS and IT programs typically do not require this however if you seek to attend a top 4-year institution in CIS or IT (e.g. RPI, UAlbany, etc.) you should plan on taking two years of Calculus and this is best done at HVCC due to our stellar support (i.e. the Learning Assistance Center).

Also note the CSS A.S. program is the necessary curriculum for students that wish to go into Computer Security and Forensics and Computer Gaming. These degrees require too extensive a knowledge base to be completed at the 2-year College level so the HVCC CIS department responsibly leaves these to the 4-year institutions (We have a stellar agreement with UAlbany’s new Digital Forensics 4-year B.S.).

Now having introduced these two “hot” destination degrees, note that students that seek these areas must be prepared to STUDY, STUDY, STUDY.  The last thing I want to do is discourage a prospective student but these areas are respectively dire and competitive.  To illustrate this consider that one exceptional hacker is worth 10,000 good programmers proved by the Chinese teen who broke into the Pentagon.  If you choose to pursue Computer Security you better be prepared to dedicate your life to studying and remaining abreast of technology.

With respect to computer gaming, I know this analogy is dated but it illustrates my point.  Have you ever looked at the games in Borders or Barnes & Noble?  There is typically a single aisle of games whereas there are countless aisles of music.  Citing this, how difficult is to make it in the music industry?  Game programmers are the “rock stars” of programming so again, be prepared to study, study, study and BTW – study Calculus as games such as World of War Craft require that you know your vector transformations down pat.

The follow-up question for prospective CSS students is: Have you chosen a 4-year school to transfer to?

If your answer is no, your first task is to responsibly choose destination schools and programs.  This cannot be delayed as we cannot provide you with advisement if you do not specify a school and program since we need to match up course equivalents and of course we cannot do this if you do not specify a destination program.  Note that I also stated “responsibly”.  If you select RPI or MIT or UAlbany please know that the minimum GPA to get into one of these schools is 3.25 and you will need several semesters of Calculus.

Again note the 4-year institution defines course transferability and entrance requirements to the 4-year institution and program however we work closely with 4-year schools to develop Articulation Agreements that establish both course transfer equivalencies and entrance requirements.  Our existing HVCC Articulation Agreements with 4-year Colleges and Universities are located here and the page will open in a new tab to preserve your place in this navigation:

Note that in the absence of an articulation agreement, the 4-year College determines what may be transferred.  Anything that I state is speculation however students who wish to transfer to 4-year Computer Science should take the following generic curriculum to maximize their preparation and program admission chances.

Mathematics (4 semesters of Calculus is generally required):

MATH 180 – Calculus IMATH 190 – Calculus IIMATH 190 – Calculus IIIMATH 220 – Differential Equations

Physics (2 semesters minimum but recommend 4 semesters at HVCC)

1. PHYS 150 – General Physics IPHYS 151 – General Physics IIPHYS 250 – General Physics IIIPHYS 251 – General Physics IV

Now for the other Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS) courses, students should take 2 semesters of Economics (ECON 100 & ECON 101), 2 semesters of English (ENGL 101 & ENGL 104 or ENGL 106), 1 semester of a Foreign Language, 2 semesters of History and 1 semester of a Social Science.

Lastly, Computer Information Systems (HVCC CISS courses) for Computer Science students.  Students should take CISS 110 – Programming and Logic I and CISS 111 – Programming and Logic II (Data Structures) and the 3 courses below should be substituted for CISS 100, CISS 101 and CISS 210.  Note this substitution requires that the student must state Computer Science transfer as their goal at the outset of their advisement session and concurrently register for Math and Physics courses presented above.

CISS 280 – Assembly Lang & Computer ArchitectureCISS 290 – C++ ProgrammingMATH 183 – Discrete Mathematics

Answer #2 to the First Most Important Question: I intend to w ork (but read through for transfer information as well).

If your answer is work, then the next question is which A.A.S. program

Now while choosing one of these programs out of the gate may seem daunting, please relax.  Choosing one of these curriculums (or even CSS) does not lock you in to a particular program as it is very easy to transfer between these programs during your 1st year without losing any time since the introductory courses (e.g. CISS 100, CISS 101 & CISS 110) are required by every program.  Note you can even transfer into the CSS A.S. program and this is often done by students that seek the CSS program but lack the Math 150 entrance requirement.

Transferring with a A.A.S. degree

Note that I also included transfer in this section as our A.A.S. degrees have stellar transferability beyond most 2-year programs evidenced by our articulation agreements (located here) however the transferability of A.A.S. curriculums is not universal (e.g. RPI, MIT, etc.) and 4-year institutions like transfer students to have completed 30 LAS credits.

To illustrate the high transferability of the A.A.S. curriculums, consider that several upper level HVCC CIS courses found in the A.A.S. curriculums are the only community college courses to receive junior level credit at UAlbany and RPI.  Again note that the 4-year institutions determine transfer equivalency and as a result of the increased advisement complexity and uncertainty, we recommend the CSS program for students that wish to transfer.

So the question becomes, why would a student that wishes to transfer choose an A.A.S. curriculum and this answer is simple.  In a nutshell our A.A.S. curriculums are often more advanced and applied than 4-year curriculums and these skills (Oracle DBMS, Cisco Certification, mobile Apple ios & Android programming, etc.) are the marketability component of graduates.  As an example, our System and Network Administration (CSA) program teaches through the Cisco Certified Network Professional curriculum and the only other 2 programs in the state to go this far are SUNY Alfred and RPI.  Our database management systems curriculum is also rather unique in that we teach the applied component in the industry standard Oracle.  We were the first in the area to present today’s n-tier Web architecture by presenting client-side programming in JavaScript, server-side programming with PHP and MySQL and information management in XML in 2002.  We have maintained this leadership position by being the 1st local institution to develop and deploy a mobile computing curriculum with Android and Apple ios and as a result, the NYS CIO’s and Governor’s office reached out to us to partner with mobile app development.

I provide additional information about the various programs beyond the HVCC College Catalog and publications below to help you understand the difference between the programs but first, note all Computer Information Systems programs have a strong computer information system core. As introduced above, this common CIS core allows students to seamlessly transfer between the different degree programs as their goals become more defined. Core course work includes Programming and Logic, Analysis and Design of Information Systems, Project Management, Decision Support Systems and Database Management. Suffused throughout all CIS programs is a focus on people, processes, systems, security, collaboration and ethics.

Now for quick navigation I repeat the jump links to the individual programs here:

System and Network Administration  A.A.S. (CSA)

The Computer Information Systems: System and Network Administration Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S) is a highly relevant and technical curriculum and contains the Cisco Network Academy. The Hudson Valley Community College Cisco Network Academy is one of the select few programs in New York State to teach both the Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA)?and Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) curriculum, as most colleges only teach through the CCNA. This degree goes beyond the standard Cisco curriculum is as it focuses on theoretical networking content to provide students with the conceptual understanding to remain abreast of emergent and evolving technology. To this extent, the Cisco curriculum is used as an application platform to support the program’s theoretical content. To provide a curriculum map for prospective students, the CCNA material is presented in CISS 120 and CISS 121, while the CCNP material is presented in CISS 270 and CISS 271.

Necessarily, the System and Network Administration curriculum focuses on computer and network security throughout the curriculum and includes two specific security courses as this is a component of today’s systems administrator’s responsibilities. Detailed descriptions of these security courses can be found in the  Course Description  section of this catalog. Students interested in computer and network security or computer forensics and information assurance are advised to pursue the Computer Information A.S. program and transfer to a four-year program as identified on the Computer Information Systems A.S. page. This curriculum also contains voice over IP (VOIP) and mobile computing technologies components.

Minimum math for this program is MATH 130.  Following this, BADM 220 Statistics and MATH 131 are recommended. MATH 155 is not acceptable for any CIS related program.

The CSA curriculum (i.e. degree requirements and suggested course sequence) is here:

If you really like to plan, the course offering by semester is located in the Advisement menu structure above or for your convenience the direct link is:

Additional information on the Cisco Network Academy and HVCC networking and security resources.

Web Design and WWW Programming  A.A.S. (CWW)

The Computer Information Systems: Web Design and WWW Programming Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) is a highly relevant Web design program that focuses on today’s W3C standards-compliant and multimedia-rich dynamic Web 2.0 and Web 3.0 functionality.  Note this degree is ideal for students with previous degrees as they are able to extend their previous expertise and apply it to today’s technological environment.

The Web Design and WWW Programming program has evolved with the Web and has led the way by incorporating dynamic client-side and server-side content and presentation before any other program in the area. Additionally, Hudson Valley was the first college in the area to incorporate XML in its curriculum, as this provides the foundation of today’s Ajax-driven rich internet applications (RIA), Web services and service-oriented architectures (SOA).  In fall 2012 the CIS curriculum was the first local institution to adopt and present HTML5.

The Web Design and WWW Programming program focuses on best practices systems analysis and design, user-centered design (UCD), W3C standards-compliance and accessibility. Currently, the Web Design curriculum includes the following core technologies:

  • HTML5
  • XML & XSL
  • CMS w/Wordpress
  • Java
  • JavaScript
  • Ajax
  • PHP
  • MySQL
  • ios/Swift
  • Oracle

The Web Design and WWW Programming curriculum also includes courses in information systems (IS) analysis and design and project management. Students may also take courses in Perl, C++, networking, operating systems and mobile computing technologies. Note that in accord with the emergent and transitory Computer Information Systems discipline, the CIS department and Web Design and WWW Programming degree will remain abreast of emergent theories and technology and rapidly prepare and present new curriculum material as necessary.

Minimum math for this program is MATH 130 and 131. MATH 155 is not acceptable for any CIS related program. Degree requirements may be completed during the day, evening or online.

The CWW curriculum (i.e. degree requirements and suggested course sequence) is here:

If you really like to plan, the course offering by semester is located in the Advisement menu structure above or for your convenience the direct link is:

Additional CWW Information

Today’s Internet and World-Wide Web

We have witnessed a remarkable acceleration of technological innovation and economic globalization. This has been attributed to the emergence of the Internet and Web technologies that provide a standardized, platform-independent, accessible and converged communications architecture and infrastructure. The emergence and rapid evolution of this digital communications channel and its technologies have enhanced and shortened the physical and service B2B, B2C and C2C global supply and value chains through XML-based Web services and service-oriented architectures (SOA). This has leveled the global market space by lowering entrance barriers, increasing competition and providing ubiquitous access to information to anyone with Internet access. We are now seeing the explosive growth of mobile computing technologies and just-in-time information and multimedia rich HTML 5 will enhance this initiative. Equally important, Web information and metrics have proven to be increasingly important to senior decision makers as they now form the basis of marketing analytics and business intelligence (BI). In short, we now acknowledge that the Web and Internet are now integral and requisite components of business and the proper use and application of these technologies can lead to the competitive advantage critical to sustaining profitability.

Web Design History

We can trace the history of Web design by noting that at its inception, it was a simple two-tiered client-server (C/S) architecture where a Web server responded to client requests by delivering static HTML-based Web pages to the client’s browser for rendering. In this early stage of the boom, most of the effort was spent on graphic design as Web developers saw the Web as a traditional one-way medium much like radio or television. Needless to say, this Web 1.0 model did not succeed (e.g., bust) and we have moved on to providing users the rich, dynamic multimedia-based experience we now take for granted. To provide users with this richer virtual experience, it was necessary to develop dynamic personalized content and functionality equivalent to desktop computing. From an architectural standpoint, this required that we evolve to a component-based, multi-tiered architecture (e.g., Web Services, SOA and RIA) in contrast to the two-tiered C/S model and in an effort to provide users with the necessary functionality and responsiveness they expect.

Multi-tiered Architectures and Rich Internet Applications

A basic three-tiered, multi-tiered architecture is characterized by a first-tier presentation layer (e.g., Web browser that accepts input and displays results), a middle-tier, server-side application layer composed of business logic and a third-tier backend database layer responsible for data mapping, access, storage and manipulation. The three-tiered architecture represents an improvement when contrasted with the two-tiered model, as it removes the business logic from the client- and server-side layers and places them in the middle-application layer. Moving the business logic to middle-tier, server-side application servers provides a flexible and adaptable framework capable of supporting existing and emergent heterogeneous platforms (e.g., browsers, handhelds, mobile phones). Critically important to our dynamic environment cited above, an n-tier architecture separation provides the agility and flexibility necessary to design and implement new functionality in accord with today’s rapid time-to-market constraints.

Web 2.0 and Web 3.0

Recently, we have witnessed another revolution, often called Web 2.0. As a basis, Web 2.0 functionality is able to take advantage of Metcalfe’s network effect by building applications that promote asynchronous communication, collaboration and collective intelligence. While the term Web 2.0 is nebulous, many authors define it as a participatory, full-duplex, conversational medium characterized by user forums, blogs and Wikis. Many leading companies (e.g., IBM, Wachovia) are now deploying Web 2.0 functionality to enhance communication and collaboration and to increase their dynamic capabilities. Web 3.0 is moving beyond storage and presentation of information and represents a large leap forward as it works at the semantic level. With this basis, the evolution of Web technologies is really about creating a knowledge-based network rather than a data or information network.

Mobile Computing

Note that in accord with the emergent and transitory CIS discipline, the CIS department and CWW degree will remain abreast of emergent theories and technology and rapidly prepare and present new curriculum material as necessary.  Evidence of this is our introduction (first in the area) of a Mobile Computing Technologies curriculum (Andoid and Apple ios).  In summary, you can be assured that we will develop and deploy the latest emergent technologies in our curriculum.

Computer Information Systems A.A.S. (CIS)

The Computer Information Systems Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) program is offered to students whose primary goal is to gain employment in the information technologies, however is should be noted that the degree transfers well to Computer Information Systems and Information Technology Management four-year degree programs. The program provides student with a strong foundation in: (a) programming and logic, (b) information resource management, (c) systems analysis and design, (d) database management systems (DBMS) in Oracle and, (e) project management. Tailored specialization can be obtained by taking CIS elective courses that include: (a) highly relevant programming languages (e.g., Java, C/C++, COBOL, VB.Net, Perl, Java and Assembly Language), (b) system and network administration (e.g., Windows, Linux, computer and network security and the Cisco networking curriculum that includes the CCNA and CCNP),(c) Web programming using Java, Javascript and Ajax on the client-side and PHP, Perl, Java and MySQL on the server-side DBMS, (d) mobile computing, and (e) web design in accord with today’s accessible, W3C standards-compliant and user-centered design (UCD) principles.

The coursework in the program increases employment opportunities in computing environments of public and private businesses. Common job titles for students completing the Computer Information Systems A.A.S. degree include:

  • Software Engineer
  • Application Programmer
  • Systems Analyst
  • Web Designer/Developer
  • System and Network Administrator
  • Computer Technician
  • Help Desk Support

Minimum math for this program is MATH 130.  Following this BADM 220 Statistics or MATH 131 are advised. MATH 155 is not acceptable for any CIS related program. Degree requirements can be completed on a full-time or part-time basis, with courses available during the day, evening and online.

The CIS curriculum (i.e. degree requirements and suggested course sequence) is here:

If you really like to plan, the course offering by semester is located in the Advisement menu structure above or for your convenience the direct link is:

Computer Information Systems A.S. (CSS)

The Computer Information Systems Associate in Science (A.S) is a flexible degree designed for students who wish to transfer to Computer Science, Computer Information Systems, Management Information Systems, Information Technology or Informatics (e.g., Bio-Informatics, Medical Informations, etc.) programs at a four-year institution upon completion of their associate degree. Complementing the Computer Information Systems A.S. degree are many articulation agreements with four-year institutions that guarantee transfer to the collaborating college or university if the articulation specifications are satisfied. Local institutions include RPI, the University at Albany, SUNY IT, The College of Saint Rose and The Sage Colleges.

This program is particularly relevant for students seeking careers in computer and information security and game design as these disciplines require a four-year degree. Students interested in computer and information security are urged to investigate four-year security programs at RIT, SUNY IT and the University at Albany’s Information Technology Management program, which houses the Center for Information Forensics and Assurance (CIFA). Students interested in the highly competitive game design field are urged to investigate four-year game design programs at RIT and RPI.

Common job titles for students completing Computer Information Systems A.S. degree include:

  • Software Engineer
  • Application Programmer
  • Systems Analyst
  • Web Designer/Developer
  • System and Network Administrator
  • Computer Technician
  • Help Desk Support

Minimum math for this program is MATH 150. MATH 155 is not acceptable for any CIS related program. Degree requirements can be completed on a full-time or part-time basis, with courses available during the day, evening and online.

The CSS curriculum (i.e. degree requirements and suggested course sequence) is here:

If you really like to plan, the course offering by semester is located in the Advisement menu structure above or for your convenience the direct link is:

Information Systems Certificate (ISC)

The Information Systems Certificate program provides students the essential background needed to analyze, design and develop Unix, Windows and mobile-accessible information systems. Courses include: (a) highly relevant programming languages (e.g., Java, C/C++, COBOL, VB.Net, Perl, Java and Assembly Language), (b) system and network administration (e.g., Windows, Linux, computer and network security and the Cisco networking curriculum that includes the CCNA and CCNP), (c) Web programming using Java, Javascript and Ajax on the client-side and PHP, Perl, Java and MySQL on the server-side DBMS, (d) mobile computing and, (e) Web Design in accord with today’s accessible, W3C standards-compliant and user-centered design (UCD) principles.

The Information Systems Certificate includes most of the core CIS course requirements of the Associate in Applied Science degree program in Computer Information Systems. In many cases, the Information Systems Certificate is accepted for advancement in civil service environments. The growing popularity of client-server information systems and personal computers in the home has created a demand for the knowledge and skills transferred by this program. This certificate was designed with the mature returning adult in mind. It is becoming common for those with an academic credential in another concentration to find themselves in a professional environment where computing and allied technologies are used in all business operations and communications. Certificate requirements can be fulfilled through day, evening or online courses.

The ISC curriculum (i.e. degree requirements and suggested course sequence) is here:

If you really like to plan, the course offering by semester is located in the Advisement menu structure above.

Frequently Asked Questions and Answers


Transferring into CIS from another program or school

If you have College transfer credit, you must apply and submit your official transcripts for the transfer College credit to be evaluated.  We can accept up to 50% of a degree’s required credit using transfer credit. If you have a 4-year degree and sufficient Liberal Arts, Math and Science this can often leave you with only CIS classes to complete.  Again please note we cannot provide any evaluation or advisement until your official transcripts are submitted to the Admissions as this would be pure speculation.

What if I don’t meet the program entrance requirements? => BSA Entrance Program

Should you not meet the program’s entrance requirements, you may enroll in the Business BSA program.  Enrolling in this program allows you to register for and take CIS classes during which you will be evaluated for CIS admission.  If you earn a grade of B in the introductory CISS 100 and CISS 110 and meet the mathematics entrance requirements (Math 130 with a B or better) you will be automatically admitted to your CIS program.

What Math courses should I take and why is Math important

Computer Science’s foundation is in mathematics (e.g. predicate calculus, relational and boolean logic, functions, etc.).  With this basis the more Math you take the better and this includes both your present and future success.  Mathematics requirements are addressed above but another foundational course not mentioned above is Probability and Statistics.  Consider that contemporary business analytics, Web design and even network design is reliant on statistics.  Predictive business analytics are being used to guide organizational activities and note that much of this data is coming from unstructured and social data (i.e. Big Data). Web design must include analysis of Web analytics to recurrently improve design.  Lastly end user bandwidth requirements are continually evolving with the emergence of Web conferencing, streaming, etc. but it is fiscally infeasible to design a network providing every employee with unlimitied bandwidth so we must apply statistical methods to approximate requisite bandwidth.


I often get questions from students that want to work on the physical parts of the computer and I quote a recent student that stated they want to “build, fix and program systems.” 

First, building and fixing a computer is covered in the A+ curriculum which maps to a single course (CISS 105 – IT Essentials).  Obviously we cannot base an entire degree on the content of a single course so we go far beyond that and prepare students for substantial advancement throughout their careers.  There are 2 paths to this outcome, one is the CSA program introduced above but this focuses on Networking so the better option would be CIS and choosing the following elective sequence: CISS 105 – IT Essentials, CISS 150 – Operating systems, CISS 280 Assembly Language and CISS 290 C++ programming.  CISS 280 and CISS 290 are particularly relevant since they are the predominant Operating System programming languages.

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