Computer Information Systems

The Computer Information Systems Program at Mount Wachusett Community College provides students with the opportunity to earn a Certificate in Cyber Security, a Certificate in Information Technology (IT) Support Specialist, a Software Support Certificate, an Associate Degree in Computer Information Systems -- Transfer or an Associate Degree in Computer Information Systems -- Career.  Upon completion of a certificate or degree program, students are prepared for positions in various information technology settings.  During the course of study, students will develop skills and competencies in analyzing, assessing, diagnosing, and troubleshooting hardware, software, network, and other desktop issues.  Students will gain knowledge in maintaining hardware systems, software systems, and user accounts.

Please click here for MassTransfer information

Computer Information Systems Transfer Track (CIT)

Start your computer information systems degree and training at Mount Wachusett Community College.  The computer information systems transfer degree qualifies a student for direct transfer to Massachusetts State Universities under MassTransfer agreement. Students will utilize software applications, networks, and web servers; query database applications to locate, evaluate, and use data; create web pages and web graphics; demonstrate technical skills and ability in analyzing, assessing, diagnosing, and trouble-shooting hardware, software, network, and other desktop issues.  The Computer Information Systems Transfer Track program includes the MassTransfer Block. 

Year 1
FallCredits
CIS 128Introduction to Information Systems 3
ENG 101College Writing I 3
PHY 105College Physics I (or higher) 14
MAT 143Statistics 3
History Elective 2 3
Spring
ENG 102College Writing II 3
CIS 109Introduction to Programming 3
PHY 106College Physics II (or higher) 14
ECO 101Macroeconomics 3
Year 2
Fall
ECO 102Microeconomics 3
ACC 101Principles Of Accounting I 3
CIS 290Java I 3
Humanities Elective 3 3
MAT 162Introduction to Functions Modeling (Formerly MAT 134) (or higher) 4
Spring
CIS 292Java II 3
ACC 102Principles Of Accounting II 3
SPC 113Speech (formerly THE113) 3
Literature Elective (see list below)  3
Health Elective (see list below)  3-4
 Total Credits: 60-61
1

For students who qualify to enroll in MAT 211 Calculus I (followed by MAT 212 Calculus II),  PHY 120 Physics for Engineering and Science I is recommended (followed by PHY 121 Physics for Engineering and Science II).

2

Any HIS course

3

Humanities Electives: ART, ASL, DAN, ENG, FRE, HUM, MUS, PHL, SPA, THE.   MWCC graduates who wish to transfer to Fitchburg State University are strongly advised to complete HUM 260 The Art Of Being Human I.

Literature Electives 

Credits
ENG 201Honors English3
ENG 203Twentieth Century American Authors3
ENG 205Shakespeare3
ENG 213American Literature I3
ENG 214American Literature II3
ENG 221Women's Literature3
ENG 224Mystery Fiction3
ENG 233Science Fiction3
ENG 235Children's Literature3
ENG 236Modern Drama3
ENG 237Special Topics: Queer American Drama3
ENG 252Shakespeare and Star Wars: A Study of Tragedy through Drama and Film3
ENG 259Literary Masterpieces I3
ENG 260Literary Masterpieces II3
ENG 261The Short Story3

Health Electives

Credits
BIO 101Introduction To Nutrition (formerly NUT101)3
BIO 103Human Health And Disease3
CHC 101Complementary Health Care3
CHC 102Foundations of Yoga3
CHC 108Transforming Stress3
CHC 220Mind-Body-Spirit Connection3
EXS 102Principles Of Anatomy And Kinesiology3
EXS 201Exercise Science And Nutrition4
PER 130Health, Fitness, And Wellness3

See Computer Information Systems program student learning outcomes and technical standards

Helpful hints

To be successful, students must spend additional time outside of class completing assignments. Access to a computer with the appropriate software is essential. MWCC provides computer access in various labs and in the library, as available.

Transfer options

For transfer options, please click here. It is recommended that you also consult with your academic advisor.

Special requirements

Students are required to complete the CIS courses as listed. Prior to enrolling in each course, students must ensure they meet the course prerequisites. The college's adaptive computer lab, which provides assistive technology for students with disabilities, is available. Technical standards must be met with or without accommodations.

Computer Information Systems Degree (CIS)

This degree will prepare students for the information technology field especially related to IT support specialist and helpdesk entry positions. Students will utilize software applications, networks, and web servers; query database applications to locate, evaluate, and use data; create web pages and web graphics; create written documentation and oral presentations; configure, monitor, secure, and administer network resources; as well as demonstrate technical skills and ability in analyzing, assessing, diagnosing, and trouble-shooting hardware, software, network, and other desktop issues. Additionally, students will gain knowledge related to a broad overview of information security.

Year 1
FallCredits
CIS 109Introduction to Programming 3
Social Science Elective 1 3
ENG 101College Writing I 3
CIS 128Introduction to Information Systems 3
CIS 140Microcomputer Networking Applications 3
Spring
ENG 102College Writing II 3
CIS 123Microcomputer Database Management 3
MAT 126Topics In Mathematics (or higher) 3-4
CIS 143Computer Service and Repair (LAS Elective) 3
Professional Elective  3
Year 2
Fall
CED 203Cooperative Education (or CIS Elective) 23
Science Elective 3 3-4
CIS 144 or 290Network Security (or Java I) 3
CIS 224Beginning Pl/Sql 3
ACC/BUS/MGT/MKT Elective 4 3
Spring
CIS 219Principles Of Information Security 3
CIS 141Supporting Private Clouds 3
Humanities Elective 5 3
CIS 118 or 292Mobile and Web Development (or Java II) 3
Restrictive Elective 6 3
 Total Credits: 60-62
1

Social Science Electives: See Elective Courses by Abbreviation.

2

CIS 118 Mobile and Web Development or higher.

3

Science Electives: See Elective Courses by Abbreviation.

4

ACC/BUS/MGT/MKT Electives: ACC, BUS, MGT or MKT (BUS 112 Introduction To Customer Relations Recommended)

5

Humanities Electives: See Elective Courses by Abbreviation.

6

Restrictive Electives:  CIS 118 or higher; CAD 101; or CAD 203.

Professional Electives

Credits
ENG 106Technical Writing3
SPC 113Speech (formerly THE113)3
MAT 143Statistics3

See Computer Information Systems program student learning outcomes and technical standards

Helpful hints

To be successful, students must spend additional time outside of class completing assignments. Access to a computer with the appropriate software is essential. MWCC provides computer access in various labs and in the library, as available.

Transfer options

For transfer options, please click here. It is recommended that you also consult with your academic advisor.

Special requirements

Students are required to complete the CIS courses as listed. Prior to enrolling in each course, students must ensure they meet the course prerequisites. The CIS 219 Principles Of Information Security course serves as the program's final, or capstone, course. The college's adaptive computer lab, which provides assistive technology for students with disabilities, is available. Technical standards must be met with or without accommodations.

Career options/Earning potential

For career options, please click here.

Cyber Security Certificate (CSC)

This certificate is designed as introductory for students who want to start a career in IT security. Students will learn how to install operating systems and applications and study networking topics, such as how to configure IP and what a VLAN is. Students will learn how to secure these technologies and protect against possible exploits and attacks. Students may use this certificate as preparation for the CompTIA Security+ SYO-201 exam or as a foundation for ongoing security studies.

Year 1
FallCredits
CIS 128Introduction to Information Systems 3
CIS 140Microcomputer Networking Applications 3
CIS 143Computer Service and Repair 3
CIS Elective 1 3
Spring
CIS 144Network Security 3
CIS 141Supporting Private Clouds 3
CIS 123Microcomputer Database Management 3
CIS Elective 1 3
 Total Credits: 24
1

 Any CIS course

See Computer Information Systems program student learning outcomes and technical standards

Helpful Hints

To be successful, students must spend additional time outside of class completing assignments.  Access to a computer with the appropriate software is essential. MWCC provides computer access in various labs and in the library, as available.

Special requirements

Students are required to complete the CIS courses as listed. Prior to enrolling in each course, students must ensure they meet the course prerequisites. The college's adaptive computer lab, which provides assistive technology for students with disabilities, is available. Technical standards must be met with or without accommodations.

Transfer options

This program is intended for immediate career entry. Courses completed as part of this certificate program can be applied to the Computer Information Systems Degree.

Career options/Earning potential

For career options, please click here.

Gainful Employment Program Disclosure Information

For gainful employment information, please click here.

IT Support Specialist Certificate (ITC)

This certificate will prepare students for the information technology (IT) field, especially related to IT support specialist and helpdesk entry positions. Students will utilize software applications, networks, and web servers; query database applications to locate, evaluate, and use data; create web pages and web graphics; create written documentation and oral presentations; configure, monitor, secure, and administer network resources; as well as demonstrate technical skills and ability in analyzing, assessing, diagnosing, and troubleshooting hardware, software, network, and other desktop issues. Additionally, students may apply this certificate as a step toward the Computer Information Systems (CIS) Degree.

Year 1
FallCredits
CIS 140Microcomputer Networking Applications 3
CIS 128Introduction to Information Systems 3
CIS 143Computer Service and Repair 3
ENG 101College Writing I 3
Spring
CIS 123Microcomputer Database Management 3
Professional Elective (see list below)  3
CIS Elective 1 3
CIS Elective 1 3
 Total Credits: 24
1

CIS 109 Introduction to Programming or higher.

Professional Electives

Credits
BUS 112Introduction To Customer Relations3
BUS 125Communication For Business And Industry3
ENG 106Technical Writing3
SPC 113Speech (formerly THE113)3

See Computer Information Systems program student learning outcomes and technical standards

Helpful hints

To be successful, students must spend additional time outside of class completing assignments. Access to a computer with the appropriate software is essential. MWCC provides computer access in various labs and in the library, as available.

Special requirements

Students are required to complete the CIS courses as listed. Prior to enrolling in each course, students must ensure they meet the course prerequisites. The college’s adaptive computer lab, which provides assistive technology for students with disabilities, is available. Technical standards must be met with or without accommodations.

Transfer options

This program is intended for immediate career entry. Courses completed as part of this certificate program can be applied to the Computer Information Systems Degree.

Career options/Earning potential

For career options, please click here.

Gainful Employment Program Disclosure Information

For gainful employment information, please click here.

Software Support Certificate (SWC)1

The Software Support Certificate is a grouping of courses that will prepare students for jobs in software systems support, end user training, software quality assurance and software documentation. It serves as a foundation to the IT Support Specialist Certificate (ITC) and the Computer Information Systems (CIS) degree.

Year 1
FallCredits
CIS 128Introduction to Information Systems 3
CIS 109Introduction to Programming 3
CIS 123Microcomputer Database Management 3
MAT 143Statistics 3
Spring
CIS 121Spreadsheet Applications 3
CIS 140Microcomputer Networking Applications 3
CIS 224Beginning Pl/Sql 3
BUS 112Introduction To Customer Relations 3
 Total Credits: 24
1

This program has been approved by the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education; financial aid approval is pending.

Helpful hints

To be successful, students must spend additional time outside of class completing assignments. Access to a computer with the appropriate software is essential. MWCC provides computer access in various labs and in the library, as available.

Special requirements

Students are required to complete the CIS courses as listed. Prior to enrolling in each course, students must ensure they meet the course prerequisites. The college’s adaptive computer lab, which provides assistive technology for students with disabilities, is available. Technical standards must be met with or without accommodations.

Transfer options

This program is intended for immediate career entry. Courses completed as part of this certificate program can be applied to the Computer Information Systems Degree.

Career options/Earning potential

For career options, please click here.

Gainful Employment Program Disclosure Information

For gainful employment information, please click here.

Program Student Learning Outcomes for CIT, CIS, CSC, ITC and SWC

Upon graduation from this program, students shall have demonstrated the ability to:

  • Demonstrate excellent presentation skills.
  • Demonstrate excellent written skills for technical documentation, reports, and instructions.
  • Develop skills to gather accurate and relevant information to solve a problem.
  • Develop the ability to work productively with others in a team environment.
  • Develop skills to work with constantly changing technologies.
  • Demonstrate technical skills and ability in analyzing, assessing, diagnosing, and troubleshooting hardware, software, network, and other desktop issues.
  • Develop technical skills in maintaining hardware systems, software systems, and user accounts.
  • Acquire basic knowledge of computer and network security.
  • Communicate effectively and appropriately with customers, peers, staff, and vendors.

Technical Standards1 for CIT, CIS, CSC, ITC and SWC

1

For general information about technical standards and accommodation, see Technical Standards.

Students entering these programs must be able to demonstrate the ability to:

  • Comprehend textbook material at the 11th grade level.
  • Communicate and assimilate information either in spoken, printed, signed, or computer voice format.
  • Gather, analyze, and draw conclusions from data.
  • Read from a computer screen.
  • Learn to operate a computer.
  • Possess manual dexterity to operate computer devices such as a keyboard and mouse.
  • Work at a computer for a minimum of two hours.

Courses

CIS 109. Introduction to Programming. 3 Credits.

This course introduces students to fundamental problem-solving and programming concepts using the high-level language Python. Topics covered include data types, variables, constants, decision statements, repetition, functions, string processing and file I/O. Prerequisites: FYE 101, MAT 092, RDG 098, (or placement).

CIS 118. Mobile and Web Development. 3 Credits.

This course will cover topics that include web servers, web development software such as Expression Web and Notepad++, web languages (HTML5/XHTML and CSS), as well as mobile and website development. Students will learn how information is transferred over the Internet, how to write HTML5 and CSS code, and how to create, maintain, and publish a website for both mobile and traditional desktop devices. Topics will include working with forms, tables (and when to substitute tables with other formatting in mobile), images, graphics, hyperlinks, media queries, viewports, page weigh, network load (and testing), emulator use, and a one web design approach. All students will be expected to create , maintain, and publish several websites on a college web server. Prerequisites: FYE 101, MAT 092, RDG 098, or placement.

CIS 121. Spreadsheet Applications. 3 Credits.

Students should be comfortable with basic computer usage prior to enrolling in this course. Essential computer skills include utilizing web browsers and email as well as managing files and folders (save, locate, open, create, delete). This course is designed to develop spreadsheet skills, with an in-depth study of spreadsheet design and analysis as they relate to business applications. Topics include the fundamentals of spreadsheet design, coverage of business formulas and functions, linking multiple worksheets and files, proper layout and design, and an introduction to macros using the Visual BASIC for Applications (VBA) language. Prerequisites: ENG 098, FYE 101, MAT 092, RDG 098, or placement.

CIS 123. Microcomputer Database Management. 3 Credits.

This course is for students who are already familiar with computer use. Students must know how to use web browsers, email and manage files and folders (save, locate, open, create, delete). This course uses a database software package for a wide range of applications. Students create tables, construct queries, design forms, and generate reports. Students will also utilize constraints, data types, primary and foreign keys; define relationships and database design concepts; as well as import and export external data. Students will create action queries as well as select queries that use aggregate functions, calculated fields, wildcards, keywords, comparison criteria, Boolean terms, and table joins. Prerequisite: MAT 092. Spring.

CIS 127. Computer Technologies. 3 Credits.

This course is for students who are already familiar with computer use. Students must know how to use a word processor, web browsers, email and manage files and folders (save, locate, open, create, delete). A variety of computer applications will be used as tools to increase students’ productivity in school and in the workplace as well as enhance their problem solving ability. Students will use utilities to perform basic computer maintenance; evaluate computer hardware and devices for purchase based on need; identify and assess user habits in regard to security threats and vulnerabilities (including viruses, malware, spyware, firewalls, passwords, encryption, and privacy); locate, evaluate and use electronic information sources (including academic databases) to solve problems and enhance software skills; use a spreadsheet application to record data, perform calculations, create graphical representations, and interpret results; write and publish web pages using HTML tags (headings, paragraphs, lists, images, and links) and CSS (color, background, and font family); use Microsoft Access to create and execute queries (with Boolean terms and aggregate functions), as well as assess results; generate reports on tables and query results in Microsoft Access. The goal is for students to become independent users of information, computer technology, and library resources. Students will be expected to communicate and collaborate throughout the course as they present their projects and assignments.Prerequisites: ENG 098, FYE 101, RDG 098, (or placement).

CIS 128. Introduction to Information Systems. 3 Credits.

This course provides a broad overview of information systems and their components. Students will learn the basic concepts of systems, business and web services software, networks, data storage and management, information and systems security and the development of information systems. Word processing, spreadsheet and database applications are utilized throughout the course to apply concepts to real-world examples. Electronic communication, presentation, and collaboration applications are also utilized to develop essential computing skills. Prerequisite: ENG 098, RDG 098, FYE 101, or placement.

CIS 131. Linux Programming. 4 Credits.

This course provides students a solid foundation in the fundamentals of the Linux operation system. Students gain system level experience through problem solving exercises at the command line and in the graphical use interface. Students learn the essential command-line commands necessary to be accomplished users of their Linux workstations, as well as be able to use the GUI when appropriate. Prerequisite: CIS 140.

CIS 132. iOS (iPhone and iPad) App Development. 3 Credits.

This course will teach you how to make your own iPhone and iPad apps utilizing the Swift language within the xCode IDE on MAC computers. Students (in the on campus class) will not be required to purchase Apple computers to complete classwork; additional lab time will be scheduled for assignments. And open lab time will also be available. Topics covered will include: basic iOS, xCode and Interface Builder, xCode Playground, testing on the iOS Simulator, Storyboards, the Cocoa Touch Frameworks, UIKit, Controls, previous introduction to programming topics (i.e. – variables, control flow, functions, and arrays), classes, and security. Prerequisites: CIS 109 or permission from the instructor. Spring.

CIS 140. Microcomputer Networking Applications. 3 Credits.

This course provides students with the necessary knowledge and skills to perform competently in the role of network administrator or system manager. Major topics include networking concepts, setting up user and group accounts, securing network resources, configuring and administering network printers, backup, auditing events, and monitoring network resources. Prerequisites: FYE 101, MAT 092, RDG 098, or placement.

CIS 141. Supporting Private Clouds. 3 Credits.

This course will instruct future network administrators how to effectively implement and maintain private clouds with a balance of conceptual expertise and hands-on skills. With a focus on server administration, this course will introduce working with Virtual Machines and prepares students to work with large providers such as Amazon, Microsoft, and Google, as well as implement smaller scale cloud computing solutions within their own network environments. Specific topic coverage includes: Introduction to the Private Cloud, Creating and Managing Virtual Machines, Configuring the Hyper-V Environment, Installing and Using Virtual Machine Manager, Installing and Using the Self-Service Portal Using the Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI), Implementing High Availability in the Private Cloud, Managing High-Availability Clusters and Managing the Private Cloud with PowerShell. Prerequisite: CIS 140.

CIS 142. Web Server Management. 3 Credits.

This course teaches students how to support the various features of an Internet information server. Learn how to configure a server for Internet access and publishing, Internet connectivity options, compare Internet and Intranet implementations, install and configure a web server, and optimize server performance. Prerequisite: CIS 140.

CIS 143. Computer Service and Repair. 3 Credits.

This is a current and comprehensive course on configuring, diagnosing, and repairing microcomputers and associated technologies. (PC compatible units are used in this course.) Topics covered include how computers work, how software and hardware work together, the systems board, understanding and managing memory, floppy disk and hard disk drives, installing and supporting disk drives, troubleshooting fundamentals, supporting I/O devices, and multimedia technology. Completion of this course will assist the student in preparing to pass the A+ certification exams and succeed in the PC repair industry. No electronic experience is assumed or required. Prerequisites: FYE 101, MAT 092, RDG 098, or placement.

CIS 144. Network Security. 3 Credits.

This hands-on course is designed to prepare students for the security challenges they will face as a networking professional. Specific topic coverage includes designing a secure network framework, securing servers based on function, designing a secure public key infrastructure, securing the network management process, securing network services and protocols, securing Internet information services, securing VPN and extranet communications, securing active directory, securing network resources, and securing network clients. Prerequisite: CIS 140 or permission of division dean.

CIS 219. Principles Of Information Security. 3 Credits.

This course provides students with a broad overview of information security and serves as the capstone course for the Computer Information Systems degree program. The required networking, database and programming courses for the Information Systems degree program lays a solid foundation for learning information security terminology and measures that protect confidentiality, preserve integrity, and promote availability of data. Topics include security policies, security models, business continuity plans, computer crime and security laws, physical security, operations security, access control, cryptography, Internet security and application development security. Students will complete at least one major research and writing project, at least one oral class presentation, and work on at least one team project. Students should find the topics covered informative and useful for their career in the Information Technology field, and the topics serve as a foundation for advance studies in Information Security. Prerequisite: Completion of 24 CIS credits or permission of division dean.

CIS 224. Beginning Pl/Sql. 3 Credits.

This course is designed to teach data modeling and PL/SQL skills. Students will be able to define a well-structured relational database; use database design concepts to create tables, keys, and constraints; and apply business rules and normalization models while creating ERDs and data dictionaries. Students will also write and run scripts to create tables and insert and delete records. Students will create select queries (using 'where' and 'order by' clauses, aggregate functions, inner and outer joins, and 'having' and 'group by' clauses), as well as action queries to update, delete, and append data. Additionally, students will generate functions, procedures, and triggers. Prerequisites: CIS 109 (or corequisite); CIS 127 or CIS 128. Fall.

CIS 232. Programming C++. 3 Credits.

This course is an introduction to C++ as an object-oriented programming language. The fundamentals of data types, variables, access modifiers, scope, selection structures, repetition structures, functions, and arrays will be covered using C++ classes and objects. Key topics in object oriented program design include encapsulation, information hiding, member access control, constructors, destructors, software reusability, member functions, overloaded functions and operators, and dynamic memory allocation. All students will be expected to write programs in C++ to exercise these topics. Prerequisite: FYE 101, MAT 092, RDG 098, or placement.

CIS 290. Java I. 3 Credits.

This course is an introduction to object-oriented programming (OOP) using Java. Object-oriented programming enables the programmer to create flexible, modular programs and reuse code. Students learn what classes and objects are and how they interrelate to each other by writing programs in Java. The following topics will be covered: classes, objects, fundamental data types, control structures, repetition, operators, methods, strings, and arrays. Prerequisite: CIS 109 or comparable programming/course experience. Fall.

CIS 292. Java II. 3 Credits.

This course is continuation of CIS 290 Java I. Students will write object oriented programs in Java that include inheritance, polymorphism, packages, interfaces, advanced GUI programming, exception handling, file input/output and recursion. Prerequisite: CIS 290. Spring.