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BYU professors help define national information technology curriculum

Thanks in part to the efforts of two Brigham Young University professors, the information technology discipline now has its first-ever standardized curriculum.

Barry Lunt and J. Ekstrom, both professors in the School of Technology at the Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology, have spent seven years and thousands of hours researching the history and evolution of IT programs across the nation in order to establish a core curriculum for the discipline.

The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) has accepted the curriculum that represents the work of Lunt, Ekstrom and a team of 25 professors from 18 universities. This marks the first time information technology programs have had a standard to adhere to, and it is expected to change the discipline nationally and internationally.

“Brigham Young University had one of the pioneering programs in information technology, and they have been very active in bringing similar programs together to create a shared vision,” said Richard LeBlanc, chair of the Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering at Seattle University and a collaborator on the project.

IT programs formed in the mid to late 1990s as a response to a rapidly growing need. Over the last two decades, IT programs have seen a steady evolution to become stand-alone programs. As the discipline adapted to the changing needs of the high-tech industry, it became vital to have a standard curriculum across all of the programs.

“Lunt and Ekstrom have really been the leaders in this project, and they deserve a huge share of the credit for their hard work on the guidelines and for building the community consensus behind this curriculum,” LeBlanc said.

Writer: Krista Tripodi

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