The first portion will cover various program offerings and academic pathways available for students interested in a career in the Information Technology field. Additional information for contacting CIS faculty for a given program or information for a given class can be found at:
No RSVP is needed, but feel free to email BAS-IS faculty member Rich Becker to let us know you're coming or to set up an individual appointment if you can't make it to an information session: firstname.lastname@example.org
BASIS Information Sessions in building 12 room 106 (12-106) from 5:30pm to 6:30pm on:
- Thursday, November 14, 2019
- Thursday, December 12, 2019
- Thursday, January 9, 2020
- Thursday, February 13, 2020
- Thursday, March 12, 2020
- Thursday, April 9, 2020
- Thursday, May 14, 2020
-Thursday, June 11, 2020
Earn a BAS-IS degree at OC and equip yourself for a broad range of IT careers.
BAS-IS Web site for more details!
What is the difference between CIS and Computer Science?
Information Systems versus Computer Science
A question often asked by prospective students and others is, "What is the difference between information systems and computer science?" The information below should help clarify the differences between the two fields.
Information systems (IS) is the application of information technology to organizational and managerial needs. An IS major needs to be aware of what information technology can contribute to an organization and how to bring that solution to fruition. The strength of an IS major lies in his/her ability to apply the knowledge of information systems and technology to help organizations compete more successfully in the marketplace or to streamline current operations.
IS professionals utilize their business-based backgrounds in working with managers and users to specify technology needs that benefits the organization. In addition, they write programs to codify that technology and later manage it. As such, the IS professional might develop code for business transaction processing systems, client/server systems or end-user support systems; they might implement such systems in languages as COBOL, C++, Visual Basic or JAVA.
IS graduates also design and administer databases and data warehouses, analyze and implement enterprise-wide solutions to information problems and manage telecommunications efforts. Some IS graduates implement and manage corporate-wide Intranets. Finally, IS graduates can also provide project management skills, technical writing or training by melding their knowledge of information technology and business processes.
Computer science (CS) grew out of the disciplines of mathematics and electrical engineering. It refers to the study of the machine itself and its use as a tool in various disciplines. A major in CS will know a considerable amount of mathematics which will help in technological applications such as computer networking, image processing, database design and development and artificial intelligence. A computer scientists's strength lies in his or her ability to solve problems of efficiency and overall performance of applications from a machine perspective, and an overall technical orientation to problem-solving.
A computer scientist focuses on the development of solutions to problems taking into account the limitations of the machine and its resources, as well as how to best utilize the resources. He/she should be able to develop algorithms and data structures that can work within the constraints of available hardware and software to produce an acceptable solution. Most of the development by such people will be done in high level languages, such as C and C++, that can take full advantage of the system hardware and software resources.
Computer support positions are expected to be one of the fastest growing occupations over the next decade. The rapid rate of growth and change in the field requires a commitment to stay current with new technologies. Enhancing a Computer Software Support degree with industry recognized certifications increases employment opportunities. Within one year after graduation, the estimated employment rate for this program is 71%. The typical graduate starting median wage is $15.35 with a wage potential of $30.02. Starting median wage and placement rates were retrieved from
in 2011. Wage potential was taken from
(Bellingham Technical College)
How long will it take me to graduate?
If you are the "perfect student" you should be able to complete your academics goals in the scheduled time.
The "perfect student" is one who is meeting all entry requirements, starts in the fall, and is able to be a full-time student who is able to devote ~40 hours per week to their studies.
Since this Olympic College is a community college with open enrollment, students can start anytime without meeting all prerequisites.
Below are some of the common reasons why students do not complete a program on time.
Many programs, like two year degrees, require
ENGL&101 English Composition I and
MATH&141 Precalculus I: Algebra.
Many students discover that they are not ready for these class after taking a placement test.
Thus, they may need to take a series of remedial classes like MATH 099 Intermediate Algebra.
This may add an extra quarter(s) to completing your degree.
Complete your placement test(s) ASAP to get an idea of where you are with respect to math and English.
If you can not be a full-time student, this will obviously extend the time to take to graduate.
Not all classes are offered all quarters. Occasionally a class may be canceled for administrative, logistical, or technical reasons.
If a class is canceled, please work with listed faculty for an alternative plan or possible substitution to help meet your graduation requirements.
If you do not consult an advisor, you may select classes that are out of sequence or are prereqs for other classes, this may add time to your ability to complete your degree.
When in doubt, contact the listed faculty member(s) for a given program or class and come to periodic CIS advising sessions!
Can I complete my degree online?
At this time... Almost! We are working to complete the gap of not offering a few classes online.
Most CIS class are offered online or in a hybrid format that may allow for all online learning.
If you have questions for a specific class, please contact the listed faculty member(s) for that class from the CIS Class link list above.
What classes can I vertically challenge?
Current OC students may apply to earn credit
for certain courses designated by the
division and discipline as appropriate for
vertical challenge. Through this process,
students may be permitted to register
for a designated advanced course and
receive credits with a grade of "P" for
the bypassed course. A numerical grade
of 3.0 or higher in the advanced course
is required for consideration of the
vertical challenge credit for the bypassed
course. The only grade that can be
earned in the bypassed course is "P".
(See the current catalog for more details.)
Not all CIS classes are offered for credit by vertically challenge.
Only students with extensive industry experience will be offered vertically challenge classes if requested.
To request to vertically challenge a class, please see the lead faculty for the class with a resume or documentation to support your request.
Below are the CIS classes currently being offered for vertical challenge.
CIS155 Web Development I (5cr)
can be challenged by
CIS255 Web Development II (5cr)
Can I continue my education at a four year school like the University of Washington?
Can any CIS faculty be my advisor?
However, it is *strongly* advised you work the listed faculty for a given program since they are closer to the "goings on" of a given program or certificate like certificates or articulation issues.
If you have questions for a specific program or certificate, please contact the listed faculty member(s) for that program or certificate from the CIS Programs or BAS-IS links list above.
Do I need my own computer?
In order to realize the greatest level of success in the Computer Information Systems (CIS) degree and certificate programs at Olympic College,
it is critical for success
that students have their own computers to work on. Most of the course content found in our CIS offerings is now online, and much of what we do entails working directly with applications and operating systems in virtual environments. While many of the software applications used throughout the program are provided to students for their various courses of study to install and practice with at home, a highly-capable hardware system for home use is not. As such, a highly-capable computer will go a long way to help ensure the student has the tools needed to succeed.
The following specifications (specs) are for a computer that would be sufficient for a 2-year program of study in the CIS program for a student pursuing the Associate of Applied Sciences degree or certificate in the area of Information Systems Specialist. These specs are recommended as a minimum, since systems can exceed this, and those less then this might introduce barriers to success with some assignments. Students unable to obtain this resource should consult with faculty to discuss options.
Intel Core i7 CPU or equivalent
16 GB of DDR4 RAM for multiple Virtual Machines (VMs) for learning other operating systems
High performance NVidia or AMD video display
256GB to 1TB of Hard Drive (HD) storage for curriculum support of the networking courses
Webcam for Distance Learning
802.11a/b/g/n/ac wireless Network Interface Card (NIC) for the widest range of wireless connectivity (laptop systems only)
USB 3.0 for faster data transfer when storing VMs on a flash memory device (i.e. “thumb drive”)
DVD ROM read-writable (okay for this to be external)
The following items are considered necessary as well, though no minimum specifications are called for:
Mouse (or integrated trackpad)
32Gb removable solid state storage (a.k.a. Thumb drive)
Printer (monochrome laser recommended)
Access to high-speed (broadband) Internet
The following items are optional and optimal for augmenting the learning environment:
Laptop case for a laptop
Laptop anti-theft hardware for a laptop
Please feel free to contact your CIS faculty advisor with any questions or concerns you may have on any of this.
Is tutoring available?
YES! OC has many tutoring labs on the Bremerton and satellite campuses for both CIS classes (Bremerton only) as well as general tutoring for English and math.
Please see the current
Web page for details.