Community college model

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Community College Model Program

About Illinois Central College (ICC)

Illinois Central College, the area’s commu­nity college, offers more than 2,100 courses each semester and serves more than 13,000 students each year. The college has four locations: the East Peoria campus located at 1 College Drive; the downtown campus on Adams Street; the north campus located at 5407 North University (Peoria); and the south campus located in Pekin, Illinois.

More than 250 programs of study are available. These include transfer programs, which provide students with the coursework for the first two years of a baccalaureate de­gree, and occupational and technical degrees and certificates, which prepare students in such areas as criminal justice, health care, au­tomotive technology, culinary arts, therapeu­tic massage and information technology.

The college also provides a wide array of professional development and continuing education courses through its Professional Development Institute and a number of cul­tural programs through the Performing Arts Center.

Historical context of the web curriculum at ICC

ICC offers an Associates Degree in Web Systems (we believe ICC was the first accredited degree - 1999). ICC has been teaching web standards since the inception of the program (although the term web standards was not widely used until the publication of Jeffrey Zeldman's book in 2002). ICC also offers 5 certificates (web designer, web developer, webmaster, eCommerce, and rich Internet application developer). The latter certificate was approved a full year before the term AJAX was coined (and we believe was the first accredited certificate in rich Internet applications). There are 17 separate courses taught at ICC covering numerous aspects of web systems and the associated business aspects. ICC has been recognized as a Web Professional Academy (recognized by the World Organization of Webmasters). This means the courses have been subjected to a rigorous review by outside entities with respect to many aspects (including web standards).

Pilot Program Goals

Since the ICC program has already incorporated the necessary depth and breadth of course offerings for a comprehensive educational model at the community college level, our goal is to incorporate parts of various curricula in selected courses. This should assist our students who desire to articulate to four year institutions.

Why would ICC want to incorporate diverse materials:

  • existing ICC curricula are already developed and meet established industry standards,
  • our instructors will not have to spend as much energy keeping the content up to date (since some of this will be done by the authors of the OWEA curriculum, WOW Web Professional Academy member feedback, and others),
  • our existing program materials are independently validated since much of the OWEA curriculum seems to be easily included with little modification to existing lessons and modules, and
  • our business and industry partners will continue to be exposed to educational activities outside the central Illinois region (both from a WOW perspective as well as an OWEA perspective).

Inclusion of InterAct curriculum

ICC has presently incorporated the InterAct curriculum into the existing web accessibility and usability class materials (CMWEB 150). The instructor (Mark DuBois) was one of the reviewers of that InterAct course and the materials dovetail with what was already included in that course. He is asking current students to provide meaningful feedback as to these curriculum additions to develop a case study at the conclusion of the current (Fall, 2009) semester.

InterAct curriculum materials are being incorporated into the CMWEB 220 class (Web site Development with CSS) and the CMWEB 200 class (JavaScript for Developers). Although no lesson plans have yet been contributed to the InterAct curriculum in these areas, many of the concepts and resources dovetail into the existing classes with minor modification.

We offer the following initial course map to demonstrate what materials are being incorporated into which courses in the Fall, 2009 semester.

  • ICC CMWEB 150 (Web Accessibility and Usability) - incorporates InterAct FED 130 (Accessibility) materials and some FED 300 (Findability) materials
  • ICC CMWEB 200 (JavaScript for Developers) - incorporates InterAct FED 200 (DOM Scripting 1)
  • ICC CMWEB 220 (Web Site Development with CSS) - incorporates InterActT FED 110 (Web Design 2)

Summary

Preparing web professionals today is complicated (the requisite depth and breadth continues to expand). Necessary skills vary significantly from web designer to web server administrator to web security specialist to eCommerce and beyond. This is why ICC offers multiple certificates and 17 separate courses. Where possible we are using OWEA curricula to review our offerings and identify any missing components. Part of this review should also help identify gaps in existing OWEA materials. Because of our long history of teaching aspiring web professionals, changes to existing courses are relatively minor. This helps confirm that we have been on the right track for some time. We will continue to incorporate materials from a variety of resources to provide our students as much competitive advantage as possible. We anticipate that the OWEA resources will continue to incorporate resources from WaSP, WOW, the W3C and others.

Assuming these materials are successfully integrated into the above courses, ICC will consider the review to include other courses. These would include the CMWEB 110 introductory course (XHTML and Advanced Internet) (with InterAct F 100 Internet Fundamentals) and the CMWEB 120 (Creating Web Pages) (with InterAct FED 100 Web Design 1) courses. As the OWEA curriculum expands, other courses would be reviewed.


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