CIS "Digital Advisor" @ OC

CIS 298 CIS Practicum (1-3cr)

Old number: CMPTR 296

A capstone course providing in depth hands-on experience in one of the seven areas of computer information systems: networking, hardware, security, web, project management, database, or programming. May be repeated for credit.

Prerequisite: Instructor permission


Responsible Faculty:
Richard Becker (
Amelia Garripoli (


What is the CIS 298 CIS Practicum course all about and why do I have to take it?

The CIS Practicum is considered to be a "capstone" course in the CIS discipline. A capstone course typically brings together all of the skills that you have learned in your program of study and it ensures that you have document-able work experience and marketable skills that will assist you as you leave the academic environment and enter into the work environment.

Olympic College is really broken up into two schools, the academic portion of the college and the vocational-technical portion of the college. The vocational-technical, often referred to as the Professional-Technical, portion of the college has a Washington State requirement that all degree holders must show some work experience as part of their training before they graduate with a Professional-Technical degree, such as the Associate of Applied Sciences (A.A.S.) degree in the area of Information Systems Specialist.

It is generally recommend (by the CIS faculty) that you complete your 3-credit CMPTR 296 -- CIS Practicum course during your final (or 2nd to final) quarter at Olympic College, before you graduate. That way, you are likely to have to greatest number of skills that can be applied towards completing a successful practicum, then in any other quarter.

When it comes time to register for and complete your CIS Practicum, you have several options. The best option for you will be the one that provides you with the most valuable job training experience that will hopefully lead to the increased chances of employment soon after graduation.

In any case, you can take all three credits during a single quarter, or you can take two credits during one quarter and the final credit during a second quarter. You can also spread your practicum experience over three separate quarters, if you would like. Each 1-credit practicum entails about 30-hours of work in the area of your major (information systems security, web development, UNIX LAN administration, Microsoft LAN Administration, Cisco networking, software development, etc.).

A 3-credit practicum, completed during a single quarter, entailing about 90 hours of work, can usually be completed during an 8 – 12 week quarter by committing to about 9 hours of work per week during the academic quarter.

If you are already working in the IT field, even if it is as a student worker (e.g. Regular Student Employee (RSE), work-first work study, federal work study, college work study (CWS), etc.) then you can get college credit for the work that you are already doing by taking advantage of the co-operative work experience (CO-OP). The CO-OP office offers a 1-credit cooperative work experience course that will allow your current supervisor to work in collaboration with a faculty member at Olympic College to turn your current work experience into an accredited college course. There is a significant amount of paperwork that must be obtained from the CO-OP office, and it needs to be filled out by the student and signed by the student’s current work supervisor and the faculty who will be responsible for the practicum course. This reduces the responsibility of the faculty to supervise the student during his or her practicum, and it allows the student to continue to work in a current job function while adding some “structure” to the student’s work experience, while at the same time resulting in the awarding of transferrable college credits and fulfillment of the CIS practicum requirements.

It is up to you to decide what will be best for you, and it is up to you decided how you will complete your CIS Practicum requirements. The CIS faculty will not find an internship or a job for you. That is your responsibility. The CIS faculty and the staff of the Career Center (Patty Triggs, Teresa McDermott, etc.) can assist you will finding the most valuable opportunities that can lead up to a very rewarding CIS Practicum experience.

Another valuable resource is the personal networking that you can do by attending professional organizations such as the Washington State Technology Professionals Association (WSTPA), which meets on the last Thursday of every month at the Poulsbo branch of the Kitsap Regional Library. You can link up with a significant number of Kitsap County’s technology employers and solicit their input on a potential placement for an internship that would count towards your CIS Practicum.

CIS Faculty (Revision 1.0 - 12-10-2010)

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