Data complete: New major and minor introduced this fall

by Madi Wilson, Staff Reporter [email protected]

The new management information systems major and minor are exactly what some Simpson College students were looking to study.

Todd Little, director of management information systems and assistant professor of computer science, said that the idea for starting the MIS major and minor began a couple of years ago.

“Through discussions with different departments, such as the department of computer science and the department of business and administration, as well as with the Continuing and Graduate Programs office,” Little said. “We felt this would be a good opportunity to provide another option to our students, so we completed a design of the major as well as a minor.”

The MIS major and minor were introduced starting this fall. Over the summer, Little worked to incorporate some of the new MIS courses into the schedules of students who are part of the Continuing and Graduate program.

Little, who will be handling the teaching load for MIS courses, hopes to increase interest with new MIS courses that will be introduced throughout the school year.

“Throughout this academic year, we will be rolling out some of the new courses to introduce students and get students involved in the courses and into the major and minor,” Little said. “And then next academic year, the 2016-17 year, we’ll continue to roll out additional new courses as students progress through the major and move into the upper level courses.”

The MIS major and minor courses will cover the basics of information systems with a focus on business intelligence systems, help students become effective leaders in the business world and explore the use of data analysis software.

“I truly believe it can be a good major for this campus,” Little said. “It provides a good program for even our Continuing and Graduate students who are already in the field and recognize that this is a worthwhile major to help them explore their current job and career opportunities.”

Associate vice president for academic affairs Rosemary Link describes what this major entails.

“The MIS major is responding to requests from students and community members,” Link said. “We are offering the major through the Continuing and Graduate Program, with a mix of online and face-to-face evening classes and will be monitoring enrollment and interest.”

Link believes MIS is well-timed, especially considering technological changes that are being made every day.

“We think it is particularly timely for students who are corporate employees or interns working in fast paced and constantly changing technological environments,” said Link.

Little said that some MIS courses are only available online or through the campuses located in Ankeny or in West Des Moines.

“The major and minor are available to any student here at Simpson, whether they’re full- time traditional or a student in our evening program as a part-time student and are continuing to graduate programs,” Little said. “Any student can officially declare the major. However, the courses, or at least some of the courses, are only available through our Ankeny and West Des Moines locations. A couple of the courses are available online.”

Little believes there are several majors and minors that can go well with the MIS major or minor including business management, accounting, criminal justice, computer science, mathematics, biology and other sciences.

“The information systems major/minor can really be a nice combination for any major, in my opinion,” Little said. “I think it would be hard-pressed for anyone to find an area where information systems isn’t impacting a business’s objectives and missions. We interact with information systems all the time as individuals, in our personal lives as well as in our professional lives in an organization.”

Little believes that the MIS major and minor will be successful.

“We already have a number of students already officially declared into the major and minor and so a lot of the promotions are really kicking off even this month,” Little said.

He hopes that continuing to promote the MIS major and minor will capture the interest of more students.

“There’s going to be an open house up at our Ankeny location Nov. 5 to help celebrate not only the one year anniversary for the relocation of our Ankeny campus but also to help promote the new major, management information systems, and public relations.”