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UWF responds to regional need for IT and health sciences programs

University of West Florida | news@uwf.edu

In order to meet increasing workforce needs within the region, a $302,727 grant was awarded to the University of West Florida by Florida’s Great Northwest to develop and deliver a new executive-style, online program for the Master of Science in Computer Science Software Engineering specialization.

Twenty-five students from within Florida’s Great Northwest region were selected for the first cohort which began Feb. 19. As part of this program, students will earn a master’s degree through an accelerated, online curriculum and will earn the advanced degree by the end of 2009. Students will also have the option of simultaneously earning a Certificate of Medical Informatics. UWF received more than 100 applications for this spring’s first class of 25 students.

“UWF is excited to receive support from Florida’s Great Northwest for its computer science/software engineering degree program,” said UWF President Judy Bense. “This new online, executive program exemplifies how UWF can respond quickly to address our region’s critical need for highly-trained professionals in information technology and health care.”

An additional component of UWF’s initiative is the development of four retreats to be held this fall in collaboration with UWF’s School of Allied Health Sciences. Aimed at high school guidance counselors and directors of IT or health care career academies, the retreats will ensure these professionals are well-informed in the diversity of educational offerings leading directly to job opportunities in the IT and health sciences fields. UWF anticipates its 2009 enrollment will be 25 students in the software engineering graduate program and 20 in the high school guidance counselor training program.

“The information technology industry plays a lead role in the success of all of Northwest Florida’s target industries,” said Al Wenstrand, president of Florida’s Great Northwest. “The University of West Florida’s development of IT and health sciences programs is a reinforcement of Florida’s Great Northwest’s and UWF’s commitment to the region’s economic future.”

For more information, contact Laura White, UWF Computer Science, at (850) 474-3017.

Written by Janice Cooper, University Marketing Communications

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