WELCOME TO COMPUTER & NETWORK SYSTEMS
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the composition of the Program?
This is a 2-year program in which you earn an Associate Degree in Computer and Network System Administration (aka Information Technology). Students enter the program at the start of the new school year in mid-August. Freshman students are in their major (CNSA) from noon time until 4:30 each day. Freshman students also take two general education classes per semester during morning hours.
Sophomore students are in their major (CNSA) from 7:30 AM until noon time each day and take two general education classes per semester during afternoon hours.
Each CNSA student receives four CNSA courses per semester. The courses do not run simultaneously, instead they run sequentially. This means that at the start of a semester, for the first four weeks you are in a CNSA course, and after those four weeks are over, a new CNSA course starts. By the end of the semester, you have completed four CNSA courses. By the end of your two years, you have completed 16 CNSA courses.
Your CNSA classmates never change. You are with the same people every day for the entire two years. You have the same instructor for an entire year. This structure helps us produce graduates with very strong confidence levels in their abilities.
2. Can I get my credits transferred to the program?
General education course credits, such as math, English, history and social sciences readily transfer into our college.
3. Can my credits be transferred to a 4 year college?
Yes. We are a middle state accredited college and credits from this college can readily be transferred to other colleges. But that does not mean that every college will accept every credit, as credit transfers are typically considered on a case by case basis.
4. What is the advantage of attending TSCT versus a certification program? A 4 year institute?
That’s easy – TSCT provides you with a college degree. It is a strong credential that has consistent value for your entire life. While certifications certainly have value, their value fluctuates and depreciates over time. Another important point is that many institutions that offer certification are geared toward training you how to pass a certification exam. Here at TSCT, we are geared towards providing you with the ability to become a highly competent and capable IT employee rather than someone who has been prepped to pass a test. You can use the foundation of knowledge that you receive at TSCT to independently pursue certifications on your own either while in school, over the summer break, or after graduation.
Many of our graduates do go on to pursue a 4 year degree, typically in IT, Computer Science or Business. You will find that your two years at Stevens will provide you with a level of knowledge comparable, or better, to what you may receive from 4 year institutions. Further, our unique “hands on” philosophy means that our students are many times more ready for the real world of work. Moreover, our program courses are intense and the format of our scheduling allows us to take students further than they go when attending college classes that only last an hour or so per class.
5. What is the type of jobs Graduates seek?
Generally, upon graduation many of our graduates seek employment in entry level IT job opportunities such as help desk analysts. However, some of our more advanced and aggressive graduates land positions as network administrators or application developers. Nevertheless, our graduates are provided with the skill (and some have become) that will enable them to seek IT careers such as data analyst, network engineers, systems analyst, desktop support, etc.
6. What kinds of salary do graduates typically start out at?
It varies, of course, but a typical starting amount for a new graduate is mid 20’s to $30,000 per year. After a little bit of experience that figure will rise to 40, 50 and higher – especially if the graduate becomes highly proficient in some of the industry’s hottest demands such as data basing, security and IT project management
7. Can I start the program without a Computer Background?
Yes! The program assumes that you have experience using a windows computer but that you do not have any previous training in the computer and networking field.
8. What courses in high school would be good preparation courses?
Students that do best in the program are those who find math courses relatively easy. This is NOT a math intensive program, but the thinking skills required for math seem to the same skills required to grasp the concepts in the program. Reading comprehension skills are very important, and so written and oral communication skills. High school courses that strengthen these areas are of the most value. Courses in computers, programming and networking are certainly helpful too, but are not necessary.
9. What sort of assistance is available for students?
You will find that your classmates offer the best source of assistance because you will get to know them well and they are experiencing the same challenges as yourself. In addition, the instructors are readily available both inside and outside of time and readily provide any assistance that students ask for. Tutors are also typically available for help in the major and general education classes.
Does TSCT offer job Placement?
We offer a high degree of assistance but do not promise to provide direct job placement to each student. It is safe to say that students who graduate from TSCT that have taken their education seriously and know how to present themselves well will obtain employment in their field.
10. Am I too old for the program?
No! While most students are younger, perhaps fresh high school grads or in their 20’s, there are often some older students in the class too. Age is definitely not a barrier, but if you are an older person you must expect that most of your classmates will be younger. We typically observe that the environment is relaxed and enjoyable enough that all sorts of people find themselves fitting in quite comfortably.
11. Can someone sit in the class for a day?
Absolutely yes! All you need to do is place a call or send an email to the CNSA freshman instructor to arrange a day (Kevin Flory, 717.299.7791, firstname.lastname@example.org)
12. How much hand on practice do students partake in?
This is a fundamental part of the program. In this program you will build a computer, build networks, put connectors on copper and fiber cable, setup servers, switches, routers, databases, develop websites, develop windows desktop applications, etc. The compelling advantage of a TSCT education to that of many other educational institutions (and competitors) is the fact that a considerable amount of the courses are lab oriented with a “hands-on” approach. Ultimately, the education we provide at TSCT is significantly comparable to the graduates’ working environment than any other educational experience you may find. Essentially at TSCT, you graduate with both knowledge and experience that are critical to any job success.
13. Is the CNSA Lab up-to-date with current software and hardware technologies?
Yes it is. Our funding has been good, the program is well established and the program continuously improves each year. That’s not to say that all of the equipment is brand new, but it is recent and models of which are commonly in use by industry today.
14. When and where do we apply?
Visit the TSCT website homepage at www.stevenscollege.edu and click on the enrollment services quick link for further information or to apply online. You can apply anytime, but keep in mind that classes start in mid-August and many students apply in the fall or winter to ensure that they can get a seat in the class. Maximum enrollment is limited to 25 people per year.