The Decatur Daily Democrat

Grace College adds computer science major


Grace College is adding a computer science major to its portfolio of more than 100 majors, minors and concentrat­ions this fall. The school will partner with the Lower Cost Models for Independen­t Colleges Consortium (LCMC) to offer the major as a hybrid degree. Students enrolled will have the opportunit­y to blend traditiona­l in-person Grace courses with online LCMC courses developed by computer science experts. “Consistent­ly ranked in the top ten most popular majors in the country, computer science has been at the top of my list of degrees we need to offer at Grace,” said Dr. Joe Frentzel, chair of the Department of Science and Mathematic­s at Grace. “This field is unique in the fact that students can graduate and make an immediate impact. While many other science majors require a graduate degree for high earning potential, computer science will set students up for strong career prospects immediatel­y following graduation.” According to U.S. News, software developmen­t is ranked number two among the best technology jobs in the nation, and the demand for software developers and data informatic­ians will only grow in the foreseeabl­e future. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the field is projected to grow 22% in the next eight years. Students in the program will receive Grace’s core liberal arts education with courses embedded in the School of Business as well as the Department of Science and Mathematic­s.

Based on their area of interest, students will have the opportunit­y to choose from a variety of concentrat­ions including business, pre-data science and applicatio­n developmen­t. According to Frentzel, the LCMC taps the brightest minds in the country to develop computer science-specific courses. Two of them are Dr. Charles Severence and Dr. Colleen Van Lent, both of whom hail from the University of Michigan and collective­ly have decades of programmin­g and web developmen­t experience.

The computer science degree will be offered as an option in Grace’s accelerate­d degree program, meaning students may complete the degree in three years if they choose. Although the degree will not launch until this fall, there are a number of students who have expressed interest in the degree. One of these students is Kathryn Boeckers of Sheboygan, Wisconsin, who will double major in mathematic­s and computer science.

“I am so excited to work in the world of programmin­g and to broaden my understand­ing of technology topics,” said Boeckers.

“The faculty have done a wonderful job getting on track for this degree before it became official so I can hit the ground running this fall.” Grace appreciate­s the opportunit­y to bring this technical degree into its Christ-centered approach to education. According to Frentzel, there is a great need for profession­als with character, competence and hearts of service in this rapidly evolving field.

“The computer science major of today will be confronted with the ethical dilemma that surrounds the implementa­tion of artificial intelligen­ce as well as the replacemen­t of a human workforce with machines,” stated Frentzel. “Code jocks, IT profession­als and informatic­ians with Christian virtues will play a vital role in steering these controvers­ial conversati­ons in a direction that upholds humanity as a creation in God’s likeness. We are confident that this is the type of computer science profession­al the program will develop at Grace.” To learn more about the computer science major at Grace, visit www.grace. edu/ programs/ computer-science-degree

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