google-site-verification: google5ae98130f18ad244.html

Saturday, December 14, 2019
   
Text Size

Technology & Innovation

The WebBSIT: Georgia’s Public Online Bachelor’s Degree in Information Technology

Category: Technology & Innovation

Armstrong Atlantic State University

Online instruction has become very popular in recent years. Some of the factors contributing to the growth of online programs include the ability it gives students to choose the time they set aside for class, the opportunity it affords instructors to individualize learning and the way it allows all students to participate in discussion anywhere they happen to be.
In our region, Armstrong Atlantic State University and Georgia Southern University are two members of a consortium of five University System of Georgia (USG) schools that offer an online bachelor of science degree in information technology. Known as the Georgia WebBSIT – because it is a bachelor of science in information technology offered through the Web – this degree has been in existence since 2004.  Besides Armstrong Atlantic State University and Georgia Southern University, the remaining three schools currently in the consortium are Columbus State University, Clayton State University and Southern Polytechnic and State University.
The origins of this program go back to the spring of 2002 when representatives from the five USG schools that offered on-campus bachelor’s degrees in information technology were invited to a meeting in Macon with representatives from the System Office of the USG Board of Regents. Four of the original schools at that meeting still remain in the consortium, while Macon State has left the consortium, and Columbus State has joined.  The first meeting was held on May 17, 2002. Representatives from each institution presented the characteristics of their own on-campus IT programs and the group discussed the possibility of creating a collaborative online program. The Board of Regents approved the degree proposal in April 2004.
One of the major obstacles that the consortium faced in creating the program was how to create a collaborative curriculum out of the five similar but uniquely different programs offered on each campus. The solution was that the Georgia WebBSIT online degree offered by the consortium is a unique and different degree than each institution’s on-campus program. All schools in the consortium offers students both their on-campus IT program as well as the WebBSIT program. There is a great deal of similarity between the WebBSIT degree and most of the institutions’ on-campus program, and this has allowed students even greater flexibility in scheduling courses, as many courses transfer easily between the online and on-campus programs. A student interested in enrolling in the WebBSIT program will first apply for admission at one of the five consortium schools; that school will become the student’s home institution. Once accepted, the student chooses the WebBSIT program as his or her major and contacts that institution’s WebBSIT advisor. At graduation, the student’s home institution grants the degree.
Tuition for the WebBSIT program is set by a special rate called e-tuition. This rate is the same for in-state and out-of-state students and is charged by the credit hour no matter the number of hours enrolled. Students may use financial aid to pay for WebBSIT courses just as they would for traditional on-campus courses. The WebBSIT e-tuition rate is approved by the USG Board of Regents and is $310 per credit hour or $930 for the typical WebBSIT three-credit hour course.
The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) grants accreditation to each of the schools offering WebBSIT. As and as a result, the Georgia WebBSIT degree program is also fully accredited by SACS. Some of the courses in the program include: Programming and Problem Solving with the Java Programming Language; Systems Analysis; Introduction to Digital Media; Web Applications Development; Human Computer Interaction; Data Communications and Networking; Database; Project Management for IT; Introduction to E-Commerce; IT Policy and Law; and Information Assurance & Security.
The rationale for the program was clearly articulated from the start. In the early stages of the discussion, the USG System office asked the institutional representatives to consider building a degree that would be available to potential students in all corners of Georgia and the world. Much consideration was given to making the program accessible to citizens with full-time jobs who were unable to attend classes on campus; citizens who had to stay at home; and members of the military who could be called to serve in another part of the world in the middle of an academic term.
Now in its fifth year, the program has proven that it serve these purposes. There have been students serving in our U.S. military who have completed courses while deployed in the Middle East as well as students in each of these previously mentioned situations. The Georgia WebBSIT was designed to be an accredited, affordable, online degree option for students from many walks of life, and it continues to fulfill these goals today. For more information on the Georgia WebBSIT program, please visit http://www.gawebbsit.org.

George Shields is the dean of the College of Science and Technology at Armstrong Atlantic State University.  He can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Stephen Jodis is the assistant dean of the College of Science and Technology at Armstrong Atlantic State University.  He can be reached at Stephen.Jodis@ armstrong.edu.

Overall Rating (0)

0 out of 5 stars

Leave your comments

Post comment as a guest

0 / 300 Character restriction
Your text should be in between 10-300 characters
Your comments are subjected to administrator's moderation.
terms and condition.
    • No comments found
    CLICK to SUBSCRIBE and Support Great Journalism!

    Follow Us!

    TwitterFacebook
    MY ACCOUNT
    CONTACT
    SOCIAL
    MORE
    ADVERTISE
    Coastal Empire News
    Headquarters: 2222 Bull Street,Savannah, GA. 31401.
    Tel: 912-220-2759 | Hours: 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.