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Professors Make Presentations at IT Conference

Sandra GorkaJacob R. MillerTwo faculty members in Pennsylvania College of Technology’s School of Business and Computer Technologies were among the presenters at the recent “Third International Conference on Information Technology: New Generations” in Las Vegas.

Jacob R. Miller, an associate professor of computer science, was a keynote speaker, and Sandra Gorka, assistant professor of computer science, presented a paper co-written with Miller (and five faculty members from four other institutions). The ITNG 2006 conference, held April 10-12 at The Orleans Hotel and Conference Center, focused on state-of-the-art technologies pertaining to digital information and communication.

Miller’s presentation was titled “Experiential Learning: Bringing Practical Experiences Into the Classroom” and described his work at Penn College developing and incorporating real-life scenarios into the Network Design and Management course that he teaches.

The simulations, often formulated with input from faculty colleagues and representatives of local businesses, are based on real problems faced by real companies. When the scope of a course makes a lab experience or internship placement impractical, Miller explained, such exercises represent a good alternative that presents students with a real-world experience.

The paper, “Hiring the IT Graduate: What’s in the Box?” detailed the expectations and recommendations of a model IT curriculum in terms of the skill set if offers students graduating from such course work. The paper also discussed ways in which industry can participate in evaluating IT students and provide feedback to the designers of the curriculum.

Gorka and Miller are charter members of the Association for Computing Machinery’s Special Interest Group for Information Technology Education, working to develop model curriculum and accreditation standards for information technology.

Their paper was co-written with Barry Lunt and Joseph J. Ekstrom, from Brigham Young University; Eydie Lawson at Rochester Institute of Technology; Han Reichgelt, from Georgia Southern University; and Purdue University’s Reza Kamali.

For more information about academic majors offered by the School of Business and Computer Technologies at Penn College, call (570) 327-4512, send e-mail or visit online.

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