CareerFocus: CIS Returning Adult Learner

Career FocusBy Sylvia Blair

Jeannine Morber, a 2004 graduate of Carroll Community College, first became interested in attending the college because she knew her two-year degree would allow her to enter a university as a junior. Little did she know that her experience at Carroll would lead her to a newfound passion for education. With a 4.0 cumulative grade point average at Carroll, she earned scholarship funds to attend Hood College. After completing her Bachelor of Science in Computer Science with a Mathematics minor at Hood, she decided to pursue a Master of Business Administration in Marketing and Information Technology at Hood.

Morber, a business development and marketing manager, formerly worked in sales for health food and health club stores located up and down the east coast. When she started at Carroll in 2001, she decided to try a semester to see how she liked going back to school as an adult student. After one semester, she was hooked. Morber pursued her degree with careful deliberation about course selection to make every course at Carroll counted at her transfer institution.

While at Carroll, an interest in computers led Morber to register for classes in the Computer Information Systems program  (CIS). She was especially impressed with her teacher, Jerry Schubert. "Mr. Schubert had a good teaching style, based on project assignments, that is very useful to me in my work today," said Morber. "The students in the class learned concepts and principles that were presented to us in a fun and engaging way. I also want to acknowledge the Mathematics Department, especially Rob Brown and Chuck Grabowski. They were the best math teachers I have had and inspired me to choose to minor in math at Hood."

Morber now works in the information technology field for InfoPathways, a full-service technology support company that provides network design and support, maintenance, web design, telephone support, custom database applications, and education and training.

"The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that through the year 2016, careers in Computer Information Systems will grow faster than average," said Bill Warburton, assistant professor. Kate Demarest, chair of the Department of Business and Information Technology, agrees that there are more opportunities in the field and that jobs will grow in the next ten years. "Businesses are more complex, requiring sophisticated interaction with customers. Virtually every industry uses information technology in decision-making. We are educating professionals in the field to know how to ask the right questions and become good problem-solvers."

Warburton added that in the past, professionals were generalists who relied on interaction with functional area experts to develop new technologies for customers. "Today, professionals are combining their IT skills with their own industry expertise to become more marketable," he said.

Carroll's CIS program is designed to prepare students for careers in computer technology or to transfer to four-year institutions to pursue baccalaureate degrees. The program provides the knowledge and skills to pursue successful careers in the areas of business, education, government, and other fields in which computers are routinely used for information processing. In addition to prerequisite courses, general education courses, and other requirements, the following classes are the core of the program:

CIS-101 Introduction to Computers and Computing
CIS132 Principles of Programming
CIS139 Principles of Computer Technology
CIS-257 Advanced Web Page Authoring

Students also choose 12 elective credits to meet their specific career objectives.

"The college works with transfer institutions, area leaders in information technology, such as the University of Baltimore, University of Maryland Baltimore County, Towson University, and others," said Demarest. In addition, an increasing number of students who already have a bachelor's degree in another subject area are enrolling in the Computer Information Systems program at Carroll to pursue a second career.

InfoPathway, Inc.'s Morber credits her well-rounded experience at Carroll with her ability to understand technology equally as well as product marketing. "It is unique for someone to be both technologically-proficient and strong at presentation skills," said Morber. She works with clients such as the Community Media Center, Carroll County Public Schools, Barnes-Bollinger Insurance Services, Inc., the Community Foundation of Carroll County, Inc., and Human Services Programs of Carroll County.

Morber's excellent academic record while at Carroll resulted in her selection by college president Dr. Faye Pappalardo as the recipient of the President's Academic Excellence Award, which was presented during Commencement ceremonies the year Morber graduated.

"It if wasn't for Carroll, I would not have had the drive for education that I do now. Being a returning student was never an issue for me because there were many other students like me in my classes," said Morber.

For more information about the Computer Information Systems program, call Warburton at 410-386-8464.

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