Whatcom offers choices

Whatcom’s students can choose from two lower division degree paths. The associate of science (AS) degree in computer information systems (CIS) prepares students for careers in the fields of technical support, networking, or information security. The associate of applied science transfer (AAS-T) degree in cybersecurity prepares students to enter the workforce in a variety of high-demand security-related fields. Both options also prepare students to apply to continue in Whatcom’s new bachelor of apply science (BAS) degree in IT networking - cybersecurity; the AAS-T degree in cybersecurity offers students the additional option to apply to transfer to four-year degree programs at certain colleges and universities.

CIS certificate options in network administration and technical support allow students to acquire employable credentials while working toward degree completion. An information security professional certificate of proficiency is also available. All of these certificates are fully embedded in the AS degree in CIS and partially in the AAS-T degree in cybersecurity.

Program outcomes

Computer information systems

Upon successful completion of the computer information systems (CIS) degree, CIS - network administration certificate, or CIS - technical support certificate, graduates should be able to...

  1. Describe the basics of computer operating systems platforms.
  2. Perform the basics of computer and network security.
  3. Diagnose and repair personal computers.
  4. Communicate professionally with customers and co-workers.
  5. Describe and troubleshoot at each layer of the OSI and TCP/IP network models.
  6. Design an IP subnetting scheme.

Upon successful completion of the CIS degree or CIS - networking certificate, graduates should also be able to...

  1. Implement and troubleshoot a variety of network topologies and protocols.
  2. Set up and maintain medium-size routed and switched networks.

Upon successful completion of the CIS degree, graduates should also be able to...

  1. Install, configure and use the tools and techniques of computer forensics.
  2. Identify threats and implement countermeasures to ensure network system security.

Cybersecurity

As a result of completing the cybersecurity degree, graduates should be able to...

  1. Write programs in a variety of languages.
  2. Identify threats and implement countermeasures to ensure network system security.
  3. Implement and troubleshoot a variety of network topologies and protocols.
  4. Set up and maintain medium-size routed and switched networks.
  5. Perform the basics of computer and network security.
  6. Communicate professionally with customers and co-workers.

Industry-recognized credentials and partnerships

Whatcom Community College is a Cisco Networking Academy and offers networking courses that prepare students for the Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) industry certification. The certificate in CIS network administration prepares students for the CCNA exam and the certificate in CIS technical support prepares students to take the CompTIA A+ certification exam.

Students earning these certifications can demonstrate to employers that they have completed courses that meet national standards established by the National Security Agency (NSA).

WCC is also a member of CyberWatch and the lead institution of CyberWatch West, consortia that are focused on building a stronger information security/assurance workforce.

Transfer options

Meet with an advisor to discuss and maximize your transfer options.

Students who successfully complete Whatcom's AS degree in CIS may apply to enroll in Whatcom's BAS degree in IT networking - cybersecurity. Some of the courses for the CIS program may transfer to baccalaureate (four-year) institutions. As many as 35 credits from the AS degree in CIS may be applied toward an AAS-Transfer degree or directly to most universities.

Some four-year institutions will accept all 90 credits from Whatcom's CIS degree. These include:

The AAS-T degree in cybersecurity fully transfers into Western Washington University’s (WWU) cybersecurity bachelor of science degree program. To be eligible, students must first earn the AAS-T degree in cybersecurity with a GPA of 2.5 or higher and then apply to be accepted into WWU and WWU’s cybersecurity program.

westernlogo_hires online_38 percent original sizeImportant steps:

  1. To apply for financial aid, complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form.
  2. Apply to WWU online.
  3. Apply to the cybersecurity program.

Visit WWU's cybersecurity program for details.

For assistance and/or to receive future updates about Western's cybersecurity program, contact Laura Ghan, WWU cybersecurity program advisor, (360) 650-2863 or Laura.Ghan@wwu.edu.

Learning extended beyond the classroom

Students hone their defense tactics through participation in regional and national cyber defense competitions in which network attacks are simulated under increasingly stressful circumstances. The winning team of this annual competition goes on to participate in the National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition.

The student-run IT Professional’s help desk is a popular service available to anyone on Whatcom’s campus. Under the direction of CIS faculty, students diagnose, troubleshoot and problem-solve a wide variety of desktop and laptop issues, while also developing effective customer service and communication skills.

For students interested in the field of information technology, the IT Professionals of Tomorrow student club meets regularly throughout the quarter.

CIS and cybersecurity students gain access to a variety of technology resources, including:

 

 NCYTE Cisco Networking AcademyU.S. Department of Homeland SecurityNational Security Agency - United States of AmericaCW - CyberWatchPalo Alto Networks Cybersecurity Academy