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Information Technology

Information technology plays a critical role in the work of all major industries as well as being a distinct industry on its own. From entry-level technicians to computer scientists to chief information officers, there are limitless career possibilities.

The Prairie State College Information Technology faculty are recognized experts in their field, with advanced teaching credentials and professional experience. They are dedicated instructors who are willing to work individually with students to help them succeed.

Degrees and Certificates
View the curriculum for each program in the current Academic Catalog. You can also access the entire catalog online. An archive of previous catalogs and addenda is also available.

Please visit Career Programs and Transfer Degrees, where you will find information describing the requirements needed to complete a degree or certificate.

Courses
A listing of course descriptions is available in the current Academic Catalog. For a listing of when courses are offered, consult the current course schedule or WebAdvisor.

Career Information
A world of opportunity awaits you in the exciting and rapidly changing field of Information Technology. Prairie State College's IT program prepares students for a professional career in today's world.

IT and computer related jobs are some of fastest growing and well paid positions. For more information, check out the following:

 Microsoft Imagine
Microsoft Academic Alliance
Prairie State College has an Academic Alliance agreement with Microsoft to offer PSC Information Technology students free Microsoft software. If interested, please email Professor Dennis (jdennis@prairiestate.edu). The website is: Microsoft Imagine Software . The Microsoft products include Visio, Windows 10, .Net software, Access, etc. Microsoft products NOT included are MS Word, Excel and PowerPoint.

If interested, here is how it works:

  1. Email Professor Dennis your request for the free Academic Alliance software.
  2. Professor Dennis emails acknowledgment that your request has been submitted to Microsoft.
  3. You receive registration instructions from Microsoft via e-mail with your login and password.
  4. Log into the Microsoft Imagine website and browse through the available Microsoft software.
  5. Select the software you wish to order.
  6. Instructions are included for downloading the software.
  7. When you receive an e-mail from Microsoft with the software product key, be careful not to delete it. This is very important when it comes to installing the software.
  8. If you lose your username/password, you will need to request this information be resent to you.

Free Microsoft Office 365
Prairie State College is eligible for free Microsoft 365 Online. Microsoft Office 365 is an online version of the traditional installed version of Microsoft Office software; and includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, and OneNote for Windows or Macintosh, as well as tablets or phones. This software is can be accessed from almost anywhere with an internet connection because it is not downloaded to your computing device.

Click here to get your free copy of Office 365 (Free) 
Enter your Prairie State College email address.
Click "Sign up".
You will receive an email with instructions to register and log into the Office 365 Online website. See system requirements for Office 365
Need Help with Office 365?
If you run into problems, contact Microsoft for a virtual chat or call 1-800-865-9408. Additional Information for Office 365 for Mobile Devices

Affordable Home PC and Internet Service
Internet Essentials from Comcast Logo

Need a home computer? You may qualify for a low cost computer (for $149.99 + tax) and internet service (for $9.95 per month).

Visit Internet Essentials from Comcast to find out how it works. 

Faculty

Professor Jackie Dennis, Computer Information Technology, Coordinator, ITAPP, ITNET, ITPRG, ITWEB

jdennis@prairiestate.edu
Room 2212
(708) 709-3649

  • B.S. Southern Illinois University
  • M.A. Roosevelt University
  • Executive Information Technology Certificate, Regis University

Networking Option / Programming Option / Web Option

Information Technology Programing Option

Game Design and Development Certificate
Game design and development is a rapidly growing field that produces a wide variety of jobs. The program offers students the ability to explore different facets of the industry, as well as other digital entertainment and educational areas. This program combines current technology skills with art, design, writing, and programming.

Learning Objectives:
Upon completion of this program, students will be able to:

  1. Design and develop applications using modern programming tools, techniques, and architectures
  2. Demonstrate proficiency with C++ and/or C# programming languages
  3. Complete planning and design documents needed for video‐game development
  4. Design and develop video‐game applications using standard commercial and open‐source development products
  5. Design and implement real-time game engine.
  6. Apply graphics and rendering techniques to support game engine operations.

Programming Certificate
This program is designed for students who need to update their skills and knowledge of programming languages. Object-oriented and event-driven languages, as well as traditional structured languages, are included in this curriculum. Career opportunities include various levels of programmer analyst such as C++ programmer, JAVA programmer, object-oriented programmer, and software engineer.

Learning Objectives:
Upon completion of this program, students will be able to:

  1. Understand software fundamentals, including functional and object-oriented styles of programming and computation models.
  2. Design and develop readable, maintainable, and efficient application programs using modern programming tools, techniques, and architectures
  3. Demonstrate proficiency with C++ and Java programming languages
  4. Gain knowledge of fundamental data structures for information processing, including lists, stacks, queues, trees, and graphs
  5. Show mastery of algorithms, programming syntax, compilers, string manipulation, encapsulation, resource management, and computer architecture
  6. Become proficient in topic areas, such as web interfaces, Microsoft .NET programming, and database systems
  7. Analyze project specifications to develop software solutions that modify existing software incorporating new functions to support specific business goals
  8. Demonstrate the ability to test computer programs for correct output
  9. Write programs that optimize operating systems, taking into account security, interfaces, concurrent processing, embedded systems, and multi-threading

Junior Programming Certificate
This program is designed for students who want to learn basic programming language skills. Junior programmers are supervised entry-level positions. The junior programmer is probably familiar with one programming language, framework, or a platform. Career opportunities include software developer such as C++ programmer, and JAVA programmer at the entry level. 

Learning Objectives:
Upon completion of this program, students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate junior level proficiency in current programming techniques
  2. Understand software fundamentals, including functional and object-oriented styles of programming and computation models
  3. Design and develop readable, maintainable, and efficient application programs using modern programming tools, techniques, and architectures
  4. Demonstrate proficiency with C++ or Java programming languages
  5. Gain knowledge of fundamental data structures for information processing, including lists, stacks, queues, trees, and graphs
  6. Show basic understanding of algorithms, programming syntax, compilers, string manipulation, encapsulation, resource management, and computer architecture
  7. Demonstrate the ability to test computer programs for correct output 

Information Technology Programming Option AAS
This program prepares students for the rapidly changing world of computers. After completing introductory core courses, students may choose courses in a programming concentration.

Learning Objectives:
Upon completion of this program, students will be able to demonstrate their knowledge of:

  1. Apply knowledge of computing appropriate to the programming discipline
  2. Understand software fundamentals, including functional and object-oriented styles of programming.
  3. Analyze project specifications to develop software solutions that modify existing software incorporating new functions to support specific business goals.
  4. Master programming data structure principles, including abstraction, algorithms, and data structures
  5. Design readable, maintainable, and efficient computer programs that are easily understood by other programmers.
  6. Create software that is intuitive for use by a wide range of users.
  7. Utilize core tenets of computer programming and performance tuning, such as program optimization, abstraction, memory, caching, and concurrency.
  8. Show mastery of algorithms, programming syntax, compilers, string manipulation, encapsulation, resource management, and computer architecture
  9. Gain knowledge of fundamental data structures for information processing, including lists, stacks, queues, trees, and graphs.
  10. Demonstrate the ability to test computer programs for correct output.
  11. Write programs that optimize operating systems, taking into account security, interfaces, concurrent processing, embedded systems and multi-threading.
  12. Study how technological advances impact society with the social, legal, ethical and cultural ramifications of computer technology.
  13. Identify ethical principles, discover IT responsibilities associated with ethical issues, and apply the appropriate professional rules of conduct
Information Technology Web Option

Web Developer Technician Certificate
Web Developers focus on website content, the way a website works, and how it looks. Strong programming and database skills assist in building and maintain websites that function well. Web developers ensure that the website is cross-functional on all web browsers, periodically testing and updating as needed. Awareness of website usability and web accessibility guidelines is fundamental.

Learning Objectives:
Upon completion of this program, students will be able to:

  1. Acquire techniques necessary to build dynamic websites and applications.
  2. Demonstrate knowledge of artistic and design components used in the creation of web sites
  3. Apply critical thinking and problem-solving skills required to successfully design and implement a web site
  4. Master the fundamentals of website development, such as HTML5, XHTML, CSS, multimedia, HTTP, and scripting languages
  5. Develop website designs that that incorporate current navigation features and allow for various display devices
  6. Maintain and modify existing websites
  7. Build dynamic, database-driven web applications to develop robust online programs and digital output
  8. Publish mobile apps using cross-platform tools
  9. Code static and active web pages that comply with industry standards and guidelines for content accessibility

Web Junior Technician Certificate
A Web Junior Technician works with editors and graphic designers in a junior capacity to create websites that are visually pleasing and easy to navigate. Duties have a technical focus that include knowledge of web coding languages, authoring tools, design principles, digital media, and Internet technology. Web technicians create the front-end of websites that meet the preferences of the owner and attract customers. Industry web certifications include CIW Web Design Specialist Certificate and W3HTML5 Developer Certificate.

Learning Objectives:
Upon completion of this program, students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate junior level proficiency in current web development technologies
  2. Apply critical thinking and problem-solving skills required to successfully design and implement a website
  3. Study the fundamentals of website development, such as HTML5, XHTML, CSS, multimedia, HTTP, and scripting languages
  4. Code static and active web pages that comply with industry standards and guidelines for content accessibility

Webmaster Technician Certificate
A Webmaster oversees websites to assure they stay online, optimizing and analyzing their performance. Knowledge of Linux or Unix operating systems is important, given that web servers are sometimes hosted on Linux or Solaris. The Webmaster’s position includes ensuring that the website links are working properly, tracking network traffic, and studying the web analytics (statistics) of the website. Awareness of website usability and web accessibility guidelines is fundamental. Industry web certifications include CIW Web Design Specialist Certificate W3 HTML5 Developer Certificate. Microsoft MTA: HTML5 App Development Fundamentals, and Microsoft MCSD: Web Applications.

Learning Objectives:
Upon completion of this program, students will be able to:

  1. Acquire techniques necessary to build dynamic websites and applications
  2. Apply critical thinking and problem-solving skills required to successfully optimize websites
  3. Master the fundamentals of website development, such as HTML5, XHTML, CSS, multimedia, HTTP, and scripting languages
  4. Employ website designs that that incorporate current navigation features and allow for various display devices
  5. Maintain and modify existing websites
  6. Examine techniques for implementing website analytics and monitoring website traffic
  7. Gain knowledge of operating systems for supporting web servers
  8. Code static and active web pages that comply with industry standards and guidelines for content accessibility

Information Technology Web Option AAS
This program prepares students for the rapidly changing world of computers. After completing introductory core courses, students choose courses in the web concentration.

Learning Objectives:
Upon completion of this program, students will be able to demonstrate their knowledge of:

  1. Apply knowledge of computing appropriate to the web discipline
  2. Construct web applications that incorporate best practices in navigation, usability and provide users easy access to the information they seek.
  3. Master the fundamentals of website development, such as HTML5, XHTML, CSS, multimedia, HTTP, and scripting languages.
  4. Write, build, test, and maintain web-enabled applications utilizing user-centered design. 
  5. Apply critical thinking and problem-solving skills essential to successfully design and implement a web site.
  6. Code static and active web pages that comply with industry standards and guidelines for content accessibility.
  7. Integrate the use of scripting language to make web documents interactive.
  8. Use web productivity tools in the creation of enterprise‐level websites.
  9. Effectively develop databases and database management systems to organize, store and retrieve data for use by websites.
  10. Acquire skills to maintain web server services required to host a website.
  11. Select and apply markup and style-sheet tools for processing, identifying, and presenting information in web pages.
  12. Use scripting languages and web services to transfer data and add interactive components to web pages.
  13. Create and manipulate web media objects using editing software.
  14. Incorporate aesthetics and formal layout concepts to design websites that effectively communicate visual elements.
  15. Combine multiple web technologies to create advanced web components.
  16. Design websites using appropriate security principles, focusing specifically on the vulnerabilities inherent in common web implementations.
  17. Identify ethical principles, discover IT responsibilities associated with ethical issues, and apply the appropriate professional rules of conduct
Information Technology Networking Option

CISCO Network Associate Certificate
This program prepares students for employment as Cisco network technicians, with an emphasis on administering, installing, maintaining, and troubleshooting Cisco systems. In the program, students are introduced to routers, LAN/WAN design, and the integration of the Internet in the corporate enterprise network. Upon completion, students may seek various industry certification credentials such as CompTIA Network+, Cisco CCENT, and/or Cisco CCNA.

Learning Objectives:
Upon completion of this program, students will be able to:

  1. Explain the basic characteristics and components of a network
  2. Understand computer hardware components, system operating systems, and application software
  3. Apply best practices to configure, maintain and repair computer hardware and network operating systems
  4. Troubleshoot computer hardware and system software problems
  5. Design network solutions using current knowledge and skills based on Cisco networking standards
  6. Administer, install, and maintain Cisco systems
  7. Design and build small- to medium-size networks

Computer Support Associate Certificate
This program prepares students to work in career fields of computer support, maintenance, and repair. Students will receive training in computer hardware, software, and first-level troubleshooting support. Students will learn about computer hardware components and system operating systems. Jobs can be found in career fields such as PC Support Technician and Computer Help Desk. This program also prepares students for the CompTIA IT Fundamentals and A+ Industry certifications.

Learning Objectives:
Upon completion of this program, students will be able to:

  1. Understand computer hardware components, system operating systems, and application software
  2. Apply best practices to configure, maintain and repair computer systems
  3. Troubleshoot computer hardware and system software problems

Computer Technician Certificate
This program prepares students for entry-level positions in PC installation, maintenance and repair professions. Common career titles include PC Support technician, hardware specialist, and help desk support specialist. Students will examine PC software, including operating systems, network management, and desktop utilities. This program also prepares students for the CompTIA A+ and Network+ certifications.

Learning Objectives:
Upon completion of this program, students will be able to demonstrate their knowledge of:

  1. Explain the basic characteristics and components of a network
  2. Learn about computer hardware components, system operating systems, and application software
  3. Apply best practices to configure, maintain and repair computer hardware and network operating systems
  4. Design network solutions using current knowledge and skills based on industry standards
  5. Troubleshoot computer hardware and system software problems
  6. Acquire the skills needed to design and build small to medium-size networks

Network Security Specialist Certificate
This program covers the fundamentals of computer networking with an emphasis on network security, network defense and data integrity. It prepares students for jobs in network administration and network security. Student are prepared for a range of industry certifications.

Learning Objectives:
Upon completion of this program, students will be able to demonstrate their knowledge of:

  1. Explain the basic characteristics and components of a network
  2. Examine how data is securely moved across the network
  3. Explore of the technological needs, threats, and weaknesses in network security.
  4. Build knowledge for using tools and protocols needed to navigate, use, and manage security technologies.
  5. Examine data network device and communication technologies, architectures, and management.
  6. Develop and configure safe and secure systems infrastructures that incorporate hardware, telecommunications, systems software, operating system, and systems configuration components.
  7. Investigate technical and organizational information security risks and communication tactics to mitigate these risks.
  8. Describe effective enterprise information security policies that address internal and external threats.
  9. Conduct infrastructure and security assessments based on knowledge of the IP protocol.
  10. Develop strategies and protocols needed to secure and monitor computer networks.
  11. Identify ethical principles, discover IT responsibilities associated with ethical issues, and apply the appropriate professional rules of conduct

Networking Specialist Certificate
This certificate prepares students for entry-level positions such as network administrator, network analyst, and network engineer. A computer networking specialist must have extensive knowledge of network connectivity, protocols, network security devices, and network media, including wireless or fiber optic, and common operating systems (Windows, Linux, and UNIX). Students will examine planning, installation, maintenance, repair, and design of local area networks. This program helps students prepare for the MCP, CompTIA A+, Network+, and Linux+ industry certifications.

Learning Objectives:
Upon completion of this program, students will be able to demonstrate their knowledge of:

  1. Explain the basic characteristics and components of a network
  2. Learn about computer hardware components, system operating systems, and application software
  3. Apply best practices to configure, maintain and repair computer hardware and network operating systems
  4. Troubleshoot computer hardware and system software problems
  5. Acquire the skills needed to design and build small to medium-size networks
  6. Design network solutions using current knowledge and skills based on industry standards
  7. Examine network operating systems, user administration, network security devices, and router protocol configurations.
  8. Develop and configure safe and secure systems infrastructures that incorporate hardware, telecommunications, systems software, operating system, and systems configuration components.
  9. Explore local-area network (LAN) technologies that support enterprise network requirements
  10. Identify ethical principles, discover IT responsibilities associated with ethical issues, and apply the appropriate professional rules of conduct

Information Technology Networking Option AAS
This program prepares students for the rapidly changing world of computers. After completing introductory core courses, students choose courses from the networking concentration.

Learning Objectives:
Upon completion of this program, students will be able to demonstrate their knowledge of:

  1. Apply knowledge of computing appropriate to the networking discipline
  2. Explain the basic characteristics and components of a network
  3. Design, build, secure, and maintain computer networks.
  4. Apply best practices to install, configure, maintain and repair server and client operating systems
  5. Develop and configure safe and secure systems infrastructures that incorporate hardware, telecommunications, systems software, operating system, and systems configuration components.
  6. Effectively manage network resources, including users, printers, file shares and multiple network related objects.
  7. Conduct infrastructure and security assessments based on knowledge of the IP protocol.
  8. Describe and demonstrate how data packets are addressed and forwarded through switches, routers, and firewalls.
  9. Compare and contrast different local-area network (LAN) and wide-area network (WAN) technologies to support enterprise network requirements.
  10. Assess and configure internal gateway routing protocols that dynamically determine data paths and network traffic.
  11. Define and allocate IPv4 and IPv6 address subnets to satisfy network requirements.
  12. Describe and distinguish techniques for making use of multiple redundant paths in switched and routed networks.
  13. Implement firewall technologies to enforce a given access policy and assess its efficiency.
  14. Identify and analyze security threats in network implementations, propose remedies, and prioritize action plans.
  15. Identify ethical principles, discover IT responsibilities associated with ethical issues, and apply the appropriate professional rules of conduct