B.S. Information Technology Areas of Study

The WGU Bachelor of Science in Information Technology (IT) program provides a solid foundation in computer information systems and technologies. In addition to the IT content, the degree program includes a broad collegiate-level education. The program is primarily designed for those seeking a career or to advance their current career as information technology professionals by developing levels of expertise required for increased responsibility in the information technology field. The foundation of the Bachelor of Science program consists of six domains of study: systems and services, networking and security, scripting and programming, data management, business of IT, and web development. At the end of the program, students develop a comprehensive portfolio and complete a capstone project.

Information Technology Fundamentals

Introduction to IT
Introduction to IT examines information technology as a discipline and the various roles and functions of the IT department as business support. Students are presented with various IT disciplines including systems and services, network and security, scripting and programming, data management, and business of IT, with a survey of technologies in every area and how they relate to each other and to the business.

IT Foundations
IT Foundations is the first course in a two-part series preparatory for the CompTIA A+ exam, Part I. Students will gain an understanding of personal computer components and their functions in a desktop system, as well as computer data storage and retrieval; classifying, installing, configuring, optimizing, upgrading, and troubleshooting printers, laptops, portable devices, operating systems, networks, and system security; recommending appropriate tools, diagnostic procedures, preventative maintenance and troubleshooting techniques for personal computer components in a desktop system; strategies for identifying, preventing, and reporting safety hazards and environmental/human accidents in a technological environments; and effective communication with colleagues and clients as well as job-related professional behavior.

IT Applications
IT Applications is a continuation of the IT Foundations course preparatory for the CompTIA A+ exam, Part II. Students will gain an understanding of personal computer components and their functions in a desktop system. Also covered is computer data storage and retrieval, including classifying, installing, configuring, optimizing, upgrading, and troubleshooting printers, laptops, portable devices, operating systems, networks, and system security. Other areas include recommending appropriate tools, diagnostic procedures, preventative maintenance and troubleshooting techniques for personal computer components in a desktop system. The course then finished with strategies for identifying, preventing, and reporting safety hazards and environmental/human accidents in a technological environments, and effective communication with colleagues and clients as well as job-related professional behavior.

General Education

Introduction to Communication
This introductory communication course allows students to become familiar with the fundamental communication theories and practices necessary to engage in healthy professional and personal relationships. Students will survey human communication on multiple levels and critically apply the theoretical grounding of the course to interpersonal, intercultural, small group, and public presentational contexts. The course also encourages students to consider the influence of language, perception, culture, and media on their daily communicative interactions. In addition to theory, students will engage in the application of effective communication skills through systematically preparing and delivering an oral presentation. By practicing these fundamental skills in human communication, students become more competent communicators as they develop more flexible, useful, and discriminatory communicative practices in a variety of contexts.

English Composition I
English Composition I introduces learners to the types of writing and thinking that are valued in college and beyond. Students will practice writing in several genres with emphasis placed on writing and revising academic arguments. Instruction and exercises in grammar, mechanics, research documentation, and style are paired with each module so that writers can practice these skills as necessary. Comp I is a foundational course designed to help students prepare for success at the college level. There are no prerequisites for English Composition I.

Critical Thinking and Logic
Reasoning and Problem Solving helps students internalize a systematic process for exploring issues that takes them beyond an unexamined point of view and encourages them to become more self-aware thinkers by applying principles of problem identification and clarification, planning and information gathering, identifying assumptions and values, analysis and interpretation of information and data, reaching well-founded conclusions, and identifying the role of critical thinking in the disciplines and professions.

Introduction to Geography
This course will discuss geographic concepts, places and regions, physical and human systems and the environment.

Intermediate Algebra
This course provides an introduction of algebraic concepts and the development of the essential groundwork for College Algebra. Topics include: A review of basic mathematical skills, the real number system, algebraic expressions, linear equations, graphing, exponents and polynomials.

College Algebra
This course provides further application and analysis of algebraic concepts and functions through mathematical modeling of real-world situations. Topics include: real numbers, algebraic expressions, equations and inequalities, graphs and functions, polynomial and rational functions, exponential and logarithmic functions, and systems of linear equations.

English Composition II
English Composition II introduces undergraduate students to research writing. It is a foundational course designed to help students prepare for advanced writing within the discipline and to complete the capstone. Specifically, this course will help students develop or improve research, reference citation, document organization, and writing skills. English Composition I or equivalent is a prerequisite for this course.

Introduction to Probability and Statistics
In this course, students demonstrate competency in the basic concepts, logic, and issues involved in statistical reasoning. Topics include summarizing and analyzing data, sampling and study design, and probability.

Finite Mathematics
Finite Mathematics covers the knowledge and skills necessary to apply discrete mathematics and properties of number systems to model and solve real-life problems. Topics include sets and operations; prime and composite numbers; GCD and LCM; order of operations; ordering numbers; mathematical systems including modular arithmetic, arithmetic and geometric sequences, ratio and proportion, subsets of real numbers, logic and truth tables, graphs, trees and networks, and permutation and combination. There are no prerequisites for this course.

Introduction to Humanities
This introductory humanities course allows students to practice essential writing, communication, and critical thinking skills necessary to engage in civic and professional interactions as mature, informed adults. Whether through studying literature, visual and performing arts, or philosophy, all humanities courses stress the need to form reasoned, analytical, and articulate responses to cultural and creative works. Studying a wide variety of creative works allows students to more effectively enter the global community with a broad and enlightened perspective.

Network and Security

Network and Security – Foundations
Network and Security - Foundations introduces students to the components of a computer network and the concept and role of communication protocols. The course will cover widely used categorical classifications of networks (i.e. LAN, MAN, WAN, PAN, and VPN) as well as network topologies, physical devices, and layered abstraction. The course will also introduce students to basic concepts of security covering vulnerabilities of networks and mitigation techniques, security of physical media, and security policies and procedures.

Networks
Networks focuses on: network topologies including: protocols, ports, addressing schemes, routing, and wireless communication standards; physical and logical topologies, including wiring standards; differentiating, installing, and configuring network devices; and troubleshooting network connectivity. This course prepares students for the following certification exam: CompTIA Network+.

Network and Security – Applications
This course prepares students for the following certification exam: CompTIA Security+.

Cloud Foundations
More and more companies are shifting to a cloud computing model of doing business. The Cloud Foundations course focuses on the real-world issues and practical solutions of cloud computing in business and IT. Competency in this course will be demonstrated by the successful completion of the CompTIA Cloud Essentials certification exam.

Linux Foundations
Linux Foundations is an introduction to Linux as an operating system as well as an introduction to open source concepts and the basics of the Linux command line. Expert content, a Linux virtual machine, and step-by-step labs give you handson access to practice Linux command line concepts. With no previous knowledge required, this course is the perfect starting point to gain Linux skills. Linux is widely used in different industries for all kinds of functions including web servers, firewalls, and graphic design, and provides robust functionality and a stable, secure environment that is not often found in any other client operating system. Mastering this operating system will help you become an expert in information technology.

Emerging Technologies
Staying on top of technology trends is important for all careers in the Information Technology field. Skill sets come and go at a breakneck pace, and it's important to stay ahead of the curve in an attempt to anticipate the next trend to keep oneself relevant in an ever-changing world. The Emerging Technology course examines emerging technologies, identifies the benefits and drawbacks of technology adoption, and provides students with a process to evaluate technologies. The course will examine three technologies that may have an impact on Information Technology services in the coming years.

Data Management

Data Management - Foundations
This course introduces students to the concepts and terminology used in the field of data management. They will be introduced to Structured Query Language (SQL) and will learn how to use Data Definition Language (DDL) and Data Manipulation Language (DML) commands to define, retrieve, and manipulate data. This course covers differentiations of data—structured vs. unstructured and quasi-structured (relational, hierarchical, XML, textual, visual, etc); it also covers aspects of data management (quality, policy, storage methodologies). Foundational concepts of data security are included.

Data Management - Applications
This course covers conceptual data modeling and provides an introduction to MySQL. Students will learn how to create simple to complex SELECT queries including subqueries and joins, and will also learn how to use SQL to update and delete data. Topics covered in this course include exposure to MySQL; developing physical schemas; creating and modifying databases, tables, views, foreign keys/primary keys (FKs/PKs), and indexes; populating tables; and developing simple Select-From-Where (SFW) queries to complex 3+ table join queries.

General Science Content

Integrated Physical Sciences
This course provides students with an overview of the basic principles and unifying ideas of the physical sciences: physics, chemistry, and Earth sciences. Course materials focus on scientific reasoning and practical and everyday applications of physical science concepts to help students integrate conceptual knowledge with practical skills.

IT Management for Business

Information Systems Management
Information Systems Management provides an overview of many facets of information systems applicable to business. The course explores the importance of viewing information technology (IT) as an organizational resource that must be managed, so that it supports or enables organizational strategy.

Spreadsheets

The Spreadsheets course will help students become proficient in using spreadsheets to analyze business problems. Students will demonstrate competency in spreadsheet development and analysis for business/accounting applications (e.g., using essential spreadsheet functions, formulas, charts, etc.).

Technical Writing

Technical Communication
This course covers basic elements of technical communication, including professional written communication proficiency; the ability to strategize approaches for differing audiences; and technical style, grammar, and syntax proficiency.

Business of IT

Business of IT - Applications
Business of IT – Applications examines Information Technology Infrastructure Library ( ITIL®) terminology, structure, policies, and concepts. Focusing on the management of Information Technology (IT) infrastructure, development, and operations, students will explore the core principles of ITIL practices for service management to prepare them for careers as IT professionals, business managers, and business process owners. This course has no prerequisites.

Business of IT - Project Management
In this course, students will build on industry standard concepts, techniques, and processes to develop a comprehensive foundation for project management activities. During a project's life cycle, students will develop the critical skills necessary to initiate, plan, execute, monitor, control, and close a project. Students will apply best practices in areas such as scope management, resource allocation, project planning, project scheduling, quality control, risk management, performance measurement, and project reporting. This course prepares students for the following certification exam: CompTIA Project+.

Scripting and Programming

Scripting and Programming - Foundations
This course provides an introduction to programming covering data structures, algorithms, and programming paradigms. The course presents the student with the concept of an object as well as the object-oriented paradigm and its importance. A survey of languages is covered and the distinction between interpreted and compiled languages is introduced.

Business Law and Ethics

Ethical Situations in Business
Ethical Situations in Business explores various scenarios in business and helps students learn to develop ethical and socially responsible courses of action. Students will also learn to develop an appropriate and comprehensive ethics program for a business venture.

Web Development

Web Development Foundations
This course prepares students for the CIW Site Development Associate certification. The course introduces students to web design and development by presenting them with HTML5 and CSS, the foundational languages of the web, by reviewing media strategies, and by using tools and techniques commonly employed in web development.

Web Development Applications
This course prepares students for the CIW Advanced HTML5 and CSS3 Specialist certification exam. This course builds upon a student's manual coding skills by teaching how to develop web documents and pages using the Web Development Trifecta: HTML5 (Hypertext Markup Language version 5) and CSS3 (Cascading Style Sheets version 3) and JavaScript. Students will utilize the skills learned in this course to create web documents and pages that easily adapt to display on both traditional and mobile devices. In addition, students will learn techniques for code validation and testing, form creation, inline form field validation, and mobile design for browsers and apps, including Responsive Web Design (RWD).

User Interface Design
This course covers tools and techniques employed in user interface design including web and mobile applications. Concepts of clarity, usability and detectability are included in this course as well as other design elements such as color schemes, typography, and layout . Techniques like wireframing, usability testing, and SEO optimization are also covered. This course prepares students for the CIW User Interface Designer certification.

Leadership and Management

Organizational Behavior and Leadership
Organizational Behavior and Leadership explores how to lead and manage effectively in diverse business environments. Students are asked to demonstrate the ability to apply organizational leadership theories and management strategies in a series of scenario-based problems.

Principles of Management
This course addresses strategic planning, total quality, entrepreneurship, conflict and change, human resource management, diversity, and organizational structure.

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