Broward College was recently awarded a $3.2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to fund a fully online, self-paced Associate of Science degree projected to assist veterans, displaced workers and students who are looking to quickly advance their careers. The Computer Systems Specialist degree begins this fall and is the first degree program offered at Broward College that uses an innovative learning model called competency-based education.
Unlike the online programs currently offered at Broward College, the Computer Systems Specialist degree is a competency-based, self-paced option that allows students to advance through the degree program by demonstrating proficiency in each course through proctored assessments that can be taken at any time. To keep students on track, faculty advisors are assigned to monitor students’ success and provide one-on-one advising from the beginning to end of the program.
“This new program is intended to transform the lives of our students by allowing them to obtain a degree in the rapidly growing field in an accelerated format,” said Geraldine Klonarides, Director of Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) at Broward College. “Not only will our students leave this program
with an associate’s degree, they will also earn a certificate in information technology support and information technology analysis—two certificates included in the existing curriculum.”
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for IT experts is projected to grow 18 percent from 2010 to 2020 and will remain high as more innovation technologies are introduced to organizations, increasing job growth for Broward College’s computer science graduates. Salaries vary, depending on specific specialty and experience, but they are generally above average—2010’s median pay was $115,780 for computer and systems managers.
The fully online, self-paced degree will be delivered through Desire2Learn, a learning management system for online, blended and web-enhanced courses. Like Broward College’s on-campus and online degree programs, the new online competency-based program is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools' Commission on Colleges. Financial Aid is available for eligible students. Find out more about the Computer Systems Specialist program.