MURRAY, Ky. — The Murray State University Center for Telecommunications Systems Management is transforming into the Center for Computer and Information Technology — its award-winning Program of Distinction — to reflect its modern approach to computer education.
“As technology has evolved and the boundaries between specific CIT industries have started to blur, now is the right time to transform computer education at Murray State University,” said Dr. Michael Ramage, the Center’s director. “We’re doing this by improving alignment among existing computer and information technology-related degrees, combining recruitment and retention efforts, increasing overall CIT efforts, considering new CIT academic pathways and increasing academic–business partnerships.”
Murray State’s new initiative will bolster recruiting support through campus events, field trips, conferences and guest speaking, developing a common message for potential students and parents.
“The new Center represents the unwavering commitment to student success that the Murray State faculty possess,” said Murray State Provost Dr. Mark Arant. “As the digital world continues to grow and evolve at a rapid pace, strategies for recruiting, retaining and graduating these majors must change with it. The Center will combine the best of academic and student life efforts toward producing highly educated and skilled leaders of tomorrow.”
Over the next few months, computer science, computer information systems and telecommunications systems management faculty will coordinate a common first-year curriculum. All incoming freshman with plans to study CIT will come to Murray State as CIT meta-majors.
During their first year, the Center will work with students to determine which CIT career path they are most interested in, such as programming, networking, wireless, cybersecurity, data science, game development or other options. Once they determine their path, students will move into that specific academic major.
Another Center mission will be job placement and internships through relationships with industry partners.
“While Murray State has Career Services to assist with internships and job placement, the Center has always assisted, since we have relationships with many of the companies that hire our students,” Ramage said. “Not only will that continue, but the new Center will continue that for all areas of CIT. This should make it easier for companies looking for interns or workers. No more will someone have to reach out to multiple departments looking for workers.”
“As a former information technology instructor, principal and now GEAR UP grant director, I have seen the immediate and lasting impacts that Murray State University’s programs have had on students,” said Terry Sullivan, Gear Up project director for the West Kentucky Education Cooperative. “Working in a rural area, it was sometimes hard to convince students that there was a future career for them in IT. However, Murray State has always done an exceptional job helping prepare students and showing them the career possibilities here in western Kentucky and beyond.
“As we look at the kinds of jobs that will be created over the next decade and the demand for IT professionals in our state, the creation of the Center for Computer and Information Technology will put Murray State University at the forefront in training the next generation for those jobs.”
For more information on the Murray State University Center for Computer and Information Technology, please visit murraystate.edu/ccit.