Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College launches degree in computer science

Sue Loughlin, The Tribune-Star, Terre Haute, Ind.
·2 min read

Mar. 23—This fall, Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College is launching a new bachelor's degree in computer science.

An addition to the department of science and mathematics, the campus-based major will have concentrations in management, front end [user interface] and data structures.

This follows the launch of several new programs in the past year to expand the college's academic offerings.

Rob Vandermolen is the faculty member in charge of the program. He is excited to offer this new education prospect at The Woods, he said in a news release.

"We have taken care to create a program that is uniquely The Woods," he said. "In the liberal arts tradition of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College, we have designed a program with opportunities, using our concentrations, to take an artistic, business, or strictly scientific approach to computers and computer programming."

This new program will prepare students for the growing demand for software developers, computer programmers and database administrators.

"With the data-focused backbone of the curriculum, our students will be prepared to step into any role demand in the e-commerce, media streaming, video game or app-building careers," Vandermolen said.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, demand in all computer occupations will increase by 22% and the demand for software developers will be stronger, increasing from 28% to 32% by 2029. This unique program is designed with a focus on data analysis, product development and web design.

"The addition of a computer science program is an exciting feat for the college and the department of science and mathematics. With SMWC's liberal arts background, students will be provided with a robust education," said Brennan Randolph, vice president for enrollment management and institutional technology.

SMWC is collaborating with Google and other private colleges on the computer science concentration.

Students will benefit from a curriculum developed in partnership through this collaboration as members of Lower Cost Models Consortium, which includes more than 75 other private colleges.

Google serves as a curriculum sponsor along with consultation with leading global companies such as Fortna Inc. and Lowe's Companies, Inc. Among the skills developed will be writing clear and efficient code as well as analysis of problems to create unique solutions.

"This is another example of how The Woods is implementing innovative programming that is attractive to prospective students," said Janet Clark, vice president for academic and student affairs.