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Computer Information Systems

Program Description

Computer Information Systems (CIS) is a two-year program that leads to an Associate in Technical Arts (ATA) degree. The program offers a degree in CIS and four certificates: Computer Information Systems, Computer Applications Support Technician, Network Technician, and Database/Programming. The program is offered in an eLearning (online) format which is recommended for self-motivated students with strong computer skills.

The CIS program is designed to expose students to a broad spectrum of disciplines within the field of information technology, i.e. operating systems, hardware support, network administration, application software, database design and programming. With successful completion of the program, students will have discovered the area which best fits their interest and aptitude, and be ready to pursue an entry-level position or further education. The opportunity to transfer this technical degree to a four-year university to complete a Bachelors degree is currently available. Contact the CIS Department Chair at the Whidbey Island Campus for more information and alternative suggested schedules.

Program Learning Outcomes

Graduates of the Computer Information Systems program will

  • Be prepared for an entry-level position in the Information Technology field, such as a computer technicians, network technicians, installers, troubleshooters, help desk support personnel.
  • Demonstrate proficiency to install, configure and administer current popular network and client operating systems, printer, routers and other internetworking devices. 
  • Demonstrate knowledge of data protection and network hardening techniques.
  • Understand the ethical responsibilities and consequences of IT-related work environments.
  • Understand the fundamentals (variables, sequence, decision/iteration control structures, intrinsic functions, data structures, testing and debugging, event, sub function & procedures) of computer programming.
  •  Understand basic database design; recognize and correct flaws in existing database applications.
  • Create business spreadsheets and documents conforming to acceptable business practice.
  • Use business databases, creating additional objects as required, improving performance and output.
  • Effectively use computers to automate business information systems.
  • Demonstrate critical thinking, teamwork, communication, technical and information literacy skills.
  • Meet Social Science, Humanities, Written Communication, and Quantitative Reasoning distribution area outcomes.

Career Opportunities

Businesses and industries need skilled workers to design, operate, manage and support their computer systems. This program is designed to prepare students for positions in many areas of the computer industry. Students are prepared for entry-level jobs in software and hardware support, computer network support, installation, security and administration, computer programming, database design and support, and a variety of other exciting positions.

Work Experience in the Field

Students will participate in Cooperative Education (CIS 199), which is supervised work experience in an approved work environment. Credits and grades are based on hours worked, work performance, and completion of the learning objectives specified in the learning contract. Concurrent enrollment in the Cooperative Education seminar or arranged seminar is required. A special project may be substituted for Cooperative Education with the approval of the Department Chair.

Placement Rate

Placement and Completion Data

Contact Us

Doris Dunn
Department Chair
360.679.5315

Email Doris