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