Frequently Asked Questions
What is Information Technology?
Information technologists meet the needs of people and organizations through computing-based solutions. This includes selecting the solution, developing the solution if it does not exist, integrating the solution within the context of the organization, applying the solution so it can be used, and finally administering the solution through its lifecycle.
The discipline of information technology occupies the solution layer as shown in the figure. Many domains represent areas of specialties such as Cybersecurity, Software Development, Data Technologies, Game Development & Simulations, and Infrastructure/Cloud.
At the School of Information Technology, we highlight 3 key elements of success with Information Technology:
- Hands-on Technical Skills
- Problem Solving Skills
- Communication Skills
Information Technology is the backbone of every organization. According to Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of computer and information technology occupations is projected to grow 13 percent from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for all occupations. At the University of Cincinnati, we define Information Technology as the solutions layer that brings technology-based solutions to users and organizations and includes various domains such as Cybersecurity, Software Development, Infrastructure and Cloud, Game Development & Simulations, and Data Technologies. Refer to the answer to the question on What is Information Technology in this FAQ for more details.
The Early IT program is an innovative initiative that removes barriers to college access. It is an ecosystem of K12 districts, community colleges, the industry, and the University of Cincinnati. The goal of the Early IT initiative is to transform the economic health of individuals and communities through growing the quality, diversity, and number of technology talent.
The basic idea is to deliver the first year of the undergraduate program during high school. The performance of the student in those classes become the admission criteria to the undergraduate program. On one side, the program gives students focus on developing their knowledge, abilities, and skills in the career of their choosing. On the other side, the student no longer needs to worry about college admission and can benefit from completing the courses required for their Bachelor degree during high school, which reduces the overall cost of their college degree.
Students can start the Early IT pathway at any time during their high school and receive automatic guaranteed admission to complete their bachelor’s degree, an integrated work experience, and an optional master’s degree in a seamless transition between their high school and the University (or partner college). Completing the Early IT pathway reduces the cost of the college degree by at least 25% (two semesters completed during high school out of eight semesters required for the bachelor’s degree (or the optional combined bachelor and master’s degrees). In addition, the integrated work experience (Co-op) offers students the opportunity to earn income while completing their degree. In the Fall 2019, students in the BSIT program earned an average of about $11K per semester while on coop.
In addition, the students can engage in a set of formal (academic courses) and informal (camps, college visits, internships) activities in an integrated and seamless process to significantly increase their abilities, skills, and knowledge.
Students enrolled in the Early IT Program are required to complete the first year of the BSIT or BS-Cyber program at the University of Cincinnati through one of the acceptable methods and with a grade of C or above in each of the courses.
The courses include 6 college -level IT courses and 3 college-level academic courses as outlined below:
- IT 1050: Fundamentals of Information Technology
- IT1090C: Computer Programming I
- IT1080C: Computer Networking
- IT2040C: Fundamentals of Web Development
- IT1081C: System Administration
- IT2060C: Database Management I
- ENGL1001: English Composition
- MATH1021: College Algebra or MATH1026 Pre-Calculus
- History/Social Sciences/Fine Art or COMM 1076 Intro to Interpersonal Communication
The State of Ohio offers four methods through which high school students can earn college credit. These are:
- College Credit Plus (there are multiple options under this method)
- Advanced Placement (AP)
- Career Technical Assurance Guide (CTAG) [usually available through the Career Center)
- Bilateral agreement
The credit is awarded on the University’s transcription to the high school student upon completing the course under the CCP method only. For the other three methods, credit is awarded as advanced standing upon enrolling in the University.
The Early IT program brings many benefits to students and their families, including:
- Eliminate the anxiety associated with college admission. Students receive guaranteed admission to the UC BSIT or BS-Cyber degree upcoming earning a C or above in all the required courses.
- Reduce the total cost of the BSIT or BS-Cyber degrees by 25%. In addition, students who start early can complete additional courses, beyond the required ones, during high schools.
- Network with college faculty and industry professionals through the various informal and support activities including the IT Academy Day, IT Expo, Early IT Summer Camp, the Early IT Internship, among others.
- Start the first co-op in the summer after high school, and earn income that could go towards college expenses.
- Significantly increase their knowledge, abilities, and skills by starting their academic and practice in their discipline, IT, while in high school. This will result in significant increase in their competence at time of graduation of college and would impact their starting role and salary.
- Partner high schools enter into a written agreement, Memorandum of Understanding, with the University of Cincinnati that outlines the various pathways available at the high school to complete the Early IT program and that outlines the University’s commitment to the seamless admission process (automatic admission to the BSIT, BS-Cyber, or other eligible programs in the future).
- For students enrolled in partner high schools, please refer to the agreement between UC and your high schools on the various pathways available to complete these nine courses either directly or through its equivalent.
- For students in a high school (or home school) that are not yet partners, you can still complete the program. Please contact our team to develop your individual Early IT plan.
- At the start of their senior year, students participating in the Early IT Program will need complete the Common Application for UC and submit any required documents and test scores. They should select the Bachelor of Science in Information Technology or Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity.
- For more information about the Application Process at UC, please visit the Undergraduate Admissions website. In addition, students following the Early IT are strongly encouraged to communicate with our team by the Spring of their junior year so we are prepared to identify their application. Furthermore, we recommend that students participate in the various support activities and register with the University. This enables our team to ensure that they receive all the benefits of the program.
The University of Cincinnati has a new program called Cincinnati Tuition Guarantee for new degree-seeking first-year and transfer students enrolling at UC. For more information about Cincinnati Tuition Guarantee, please visit the Tuition Frequently Asked Question website.
For more information on Scholarships and Financial Aid at UC, please visit the Student Financial Aid website. The School of Information Technology itself does not currently provide scholarships to incoming students.
The Early IT initiative partners with the school districts to deliver a graduate program for high school teachers from any specialty to deliver the college IT courses at their high schools. The initiative follows this program with a set of professional and curriculum development activities that engages the teacher in a network of like-minded educators and professionals to support the delivery of the program.
Students enrolled in high schools outside the State of Ohio, can participate in the Early IT program through completing AP courses, through bilateral agreements between their high school and the University of Cincinnati, or through completing equivalent courses from their local college. Contact our team for information and to confirm the equivalency before starting to take the courses.
The Early IT program brings many benefits to the School District, and the high school, including:
- Provide unique opportunities for their community (parents and economic development partners)
- Provide college-level courses to their students at reduced rates.
- Retain students in their building while completing college courses
- Higher college placement rates
- Provide opportunities to engaged Teacher (qualification to teach college-level IT courses as well as earning the Computer Science Endorsement)
- Network with like-minded districts and schools in the Early IT ecosystem
- Engage with local industry interested in support the Early IT informal activities
- Qualify for state and federal programs aimed at increasing Computer Science education at the district
- Recognition for the District and the School, as part of the growing recognition of the Early IT ecosystem