College of Education, Criminal Justice and Human Services

College of Education, Criminal Justice and Human Services

DITLE Summer Program Excels in Second Year

Brandon Wieck, Oak Hills High School

Brandon Wieck, Oak Hills High School

Students from seven area high schools were chosen to participate in the second year of the Design Based Information Technology Leadership Experience (DITLE) summer program at the University of Cincinnati. This was the second of a 3 year, 1.2 million dollar grant project from the National Science Foundation hosted by the School of Information Technology in the College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services (CECH).

Components of the grant allow for students to earn college credit, compete in the UC High School IT Expo, gain access to paid internship opportunities, and receive mentoring and job shadow opportunities from leading Cincinnati businesses. The program director, Rebekah Michael, noted, “It’s important to pair students with industry professionals to present them with first-hand experiences and promote careers in technology tailored to their interest.”

DITLE focuses on providing experiences for pre-college students in the areas of information security, software development, computer network architecture, and database administration. It is designed to introduce modern skills in technology, while encouraging individual creativity in the STEM curriculum. This model has influenced previous students from the summer program to promote IT courses and clubs at their schools. Some students have begun to coordinate interactive “Family Tech Nights” and are returning to the summer program as mentors for future students.

Latasha Hamner, Shroeder High School

Latasha Hamner, Shroeder High School

This year’s presentations reinforced the expected necessity of technology in everyday life and ways to continue to incorporate technology on a regular basis. The 2016 student projects included game and app development, map and radio optimizations, and hacker prevention.

Brandon Wieck, a student at Oak Hills High School, wanted to learn more about coding and found that the versatility of technology was astounding, igniting his interest in designing and constructing websites. His group created an app that featured a map of his high school, and provided solutions to arrive to class on time.

Latasha Hamner, a student at Schroeder High School, was apprehensive about the program, but after the first week, her enthusiasm led to the creation of a responsive webpage that presents restaurant information and optimizes recommendations. She shared, “This will help with those long lines at your favorite restaurants.”

The summer program also partners with CECH’s School of Education to incorporate Education majors with real-world teaching techniques and exposure to future classroom technology models. DITLE ultimately excites and promotes the use of technology in secondary schools and entice students to join the IT profession, benefiting both the students and mentors.

As DITLE prepares for 2017, and final year of the program, the School of Information Technology looks to attract ten participants from each summer program (30 students) to enroll in CECH. The Information Technology profession continues to grow, and CECH Dean, Larry Johnson, stated, “IT is constantly making a difference in large corporations and the dependency on this profession continues to expand. IT is revolutionizing the workplace.”

The DITLE program has helped guide and prepare a number of students to join this revolution in the demands and reconceptualization of the future workplace. These students share a dream of how they can tap into the technology of the future, and the School of Information Technology is prepared to help guide them to this future.

For more information about internships and summer camps with UC’s ITSC, contact Rebekah Michael at michaerm@ucmail.uc.edu or 513-556-1701.