Computer Information Systems (CIS)
WCC Awarded Grant to Develop Degree Pathway in Cybersecurity!
WCC recently received a three-year, $500,000 Capacity Building CyberSecurity grant from the Scholarship for Service program at the National Science Foundation. The grant will fund faculty in WCC's Computer Information Systems program to develop a new cybersecurity two-year degree in collaboration with WWU and UW, who in parallel will develop new four-year degrees. WCC will also work with area colleges and regional high schools to articulate courses and to introduce younger students to this exciting high-demand, high-wage field. Check back here for details.
CIS Program Adds Prerequisite Courses
As part of a continued effort to facilitate student success in the CIS program, basic skills in Math, English have been added as prerequisites beginning in fall, 2013. Please continue reading for more information on these new requirements.
WCC Awarded NSF Grant to support CyberWatch Center
WCC, along with a consortium of west coast institutions, will share a $3 million grant awarded by the National Science Foundation to establish a west coast cybersecurity region. WCC's role, under the direction of CIS Program Coordinator Corrinne Sande, will be to support the establishment and operation of the CyberWatch West Center to address challenges and concerns in education and the regional business industry, specifically the shortage of information security professionals. The Center will also work to enhance business and team-work skills among information technology professionals and enhance cybersecurity curriculum at many higher education institutions. For a full press release, click here.
CAE2Y Designation awarded
WCC was recently named a Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education (CAE2Y), one of only 13 community colleges nationwide. This award was made in recognition of the caliber of the CIS curriculum, credentials of its faculty and nationally-recognized program certifications. As a Center of Academic Excellence, WCC benefits from standardized curricula, articulation to four-year institutions and other factors. See additional degree, certificates and endorsement information below.
NSF grant awarded for Cybersecurity Camps for high school students
Click to view Camp Flyer.
WCC was recently awarded a National Science Foundation grant to host cybersecurity camps for high school students on WCC's campus. This project is focussed on increasing awareness and interest of the emerging and growing field of information security through hands-on activities and a cyberdefense competition. The first camp filled to capacity, with all 24 students completing camp successfully. The next camp will be held winter quarter, 2013. For a press release about this project, click here. For more information click on the Cybersecurity Center link or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
CIS Program Credentials and Partnerships
The CIS program is a CISCO Networking Academy and is one of only four colleges in Washington State to earn the prestigious endorsement of the Committee on National Security Systems for the 4011 INFOSEC certification. The Committee on National Security Systems (CNSS) also recently recognized WCC as meeting the national training standard for System Administrators, CNSSSI No. 4013 Entry Level. Students earning these certifications can demonstrate to employers that they have completed courses that meet national standards established by the National Security Agency (NSA). WCC is also a member of CyberWatch and CyberWatch West, consortia that are focused on building a stronger information security/assurance workforce. For more information about any of these partnerships, see more detail below.
What can I do with a CIS degree or certificate?
The CIS program is designed to prepare students for careers in technical support, network administration, or information security. The program has been developed in alignment with the industry based skill standards as outlined by the National Workforce Center for Emerging Technologies (NWCET.org) and incorporates Cisco Systems networking curriculum. Whatcom Community College is a Cisco Academy and offers networking courses that prepare students for the Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) industry certification.
For students wishing to continue their CIS education and transfer to a four year college, WCC has two transfer agreements in place. For more information contact a Program Advisor.
At this time, no information sessions are scheduled. Instead, you are invited to contact Entry and Advising for information and planning. Entry and Advising is located in LDC 116. You can also contact Entry and Advising at 360-383-3080 or by email at email@example.com.
Degree and Certificate Information [PDF Format]
- Associate in Science Degree / Computer Information Systems
- Certificate / CIS - Network Administration ---Click here for Gainful Employment details.
- Certificate / CIS - Technical Support ---Click here for Gainful Employment details.
- Certificate of Proficiency/Information Security Professional
What is the Computer Information Systems program?
The Computer Information Systems program offers an Associate of Science Professional/Technical degree that prepares students for the fields of Technical Support, Networking, or Information Security. In addition to the degree, there are also two 46-58 credit certificates available: Network Administration and Technical Support. As part of their program, students completing the Technical Support certificate will be prepared to take the Comp TIA A+ certification exam. Students completing the Network Administration certificate will be prepared for the CCNA (Cisco Certified Network Associate) exam.
Students may also complete the Certificate of Proficiency/CIS Information Systems Security , which is certified as mapping to the CNSS (Committee on National Security Systems) National Standards 4011 and 4013.
Students in the CIS program participate annually in the Pacific Rim Cyberdefense Competition held at the University of Washington. Click here to view a short film of the first competition held in 2007.
What are CISCO and the CCNA Certifications?
Cisco Systems is the world leader in internetworking products. The CCNA is the Cisco Certified Networking Associate certificate. The CCNA is a certificate that indicates the individual is qualified for an entry level networking position. The goal is that students who complete a certain series of courses (CIS 226, 227, 228, 229) will be qualified to take and pass both the Network + and the CCNA exams, and thus earn these industry wide recognized professional certifications .
What are the 4011 and 4013 Certifications?
WCC's Computer Information Systems program is one of only four college programs in Washington State to earn the prestigious endorsement of the Committee on National Security System (CNSS) for mapping their curriculum to the defined specific sets of skills that are needed by governmental agencies to keep their digital information secure. These sets of skills are defined in National Standards 4011 (for Information Security Systems Professionals) and 4013 (for Systems Administrators). Students successfully completing WCC's 25 credit Certificate of Proficiency/CIS Information Systems Security will be ready to sit for exams that result in the 4011 and 4013 certifications.
WCC's CIS Program is a member of CyberWatch, a consortium of higher education institutions, businesses, and government agencies that is focused on building and maintaining a stronger information security/assurance workforce. In addition, CyberWatch is committed to improving the quality and increasing the awareness of information security/assurance in the education and business communities. CyberWatch West is a consortium of 16 institutions with a regional, west coast focus. For more information go to: www.cyberwatchcenter.org or www.cyberwatchwest.org. CyberWatch is funded by the National Science Foundation.
What are the CIS Program prerequisites, requirements during the course of study, and requirements for employment?
Starting fall 2013, prerequisites include:
- Proof of placement into Math 94 (Basic Math) or above, or credits earned in higher level Math course, and
- Proof of placement into English 92 (Critical Analysis) or above, or credits earned in higher level English courses, and
- Students must pass either CIS 100 (Computer Literacy) or have the Program Coordinator's permission to register in higher level CIS classes.
During their course of study, students must maintain a "C" (2.0) grade level or higher in all CIS courses.
While not a requirement for entrance into the CIS Program, students should be aware that many employers in this career field require criminal background checks.
When can I start?
Students may start the program any quarter, but should be aware that some courses are only offered once per year.
What is the application process?
If you are unable to apply online, request a WCC application by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, by phone (360) 383-3001 or in person at the Entry/Advising Office, LDC 116.
There is no special program application for the Computer Information Systems program.
Career & Salary Outlook
The CIS field offers a wide range of occupations and earning potential. Average entry wages in Washington State range as follows: computer support specialists: $16.22/hour; network adminstrators: $26.60/hour; CIS managers: $40.81/hour.*
*Source: WOIS/The Career Information System, 2009.
Advising and Education Planning
360.383.3080 for appointment
Baker Hall, Room 125
What Students are Saying About CIS
"I didn't know anything about computers when I started the CIS program and now I have a solid foundation in technical skills. The quality of instructors and tutors at Whatcom is excellent."