ARCHIVE: PCC Adding Two New Programs for Fall Semester 2005

Warren Building cupola on a cloudy day with "Archives" written across the top of the photo.

WINTERVILLE – Starting this fall, students at Pitt Community College will have a pair of new curricula to choose from, raising the total number of programs the college offers to 63.

PCC administrators announced this month that a new International Business concentration has been added to the college’s Business Administration Department. The Information Systems Department, meanwhile, will introduce an Information Systems Security curriculum.

Both programs are essentially a rarity in the N.C. Community College System. The International Business concentration is one of just three in the system while Information Systems Security is one of just two in North Carolina offered east of I-95 and one of only six in the state.

According to Karen Mozingo, Chair of PCC’s Business Administration Department, the purpose of the International Business program is to teach students how to conduct commerce in the international community.

“International trade,” she said, “has had a dramatic impact on today’s business community and will continue to play a major part in the business sector.”

Through courses such as International Law, International Banking and Logistics, students will be provided an understanding of international economic and business practices as well as the roles played by cultural, geographic and political differences. Upon completing the 73-74 credit hours needed for graduation, they will be able to demonstrate foreign language skills and an ability to process import/export documentation as well.

Numerous employment opportunities await graduates of PCC’s International Business concentration. Import/export departments, freight forwarder companies, customs house brokerage firms, and state and federal government organizations are just some of the many places graduates can find employment.

Mozingo pointed to U.S. Department of Commerce statistics that showed “export-supported jobs account for an estimated 8.4 percent of North Carolina’s total private-sector employment, or one of every 12 jobs.” The data, she said, also revealed that North Carolina was the country’s 15th largest exporter in 2003.

High demand for graduates with computer security skills was the driving force behind the creation of PCC’s new Information Systems Security program. Bill Lewis, Coordinator of the new curriculum, says students in the program will learn how to secure computer networks and systems and how to spot attempts to obtain information from them illegally.

Included in the 71-credit curriculum are courses on installing and configuring Cisco firewalls and using a layered approach to security. Lewis explained that “one piece of security is not enough” protection for a network or system. Therefore, he said, students would learn how to utilize multiple software applications to monitor and analyze network traffic and to look for inappropriate use by outsiders.

According to Lewis, several new laws require companies to protect their computer systems and networks from hackers. The regulations, he said, have generated demand for curricula that teach security skills and the employees proficient in them.

Lewis said starting in the Spring 2006 Semester, all Information Systems students would be required to take a security fundamentals and policies course. He explained the class provided information that would benefit those who establish computer networks as well as the technicians who work on them.

Because of the sensitivity of the information to be taught in PCC’s Information Systems Security curriculum, criminal background checks will be conducted on students enrolled in the program in accordance with the Patriot Act, Lewis said.

Students who want to join Pitt’s newest programs should contact the PCC Admissions Office at (252) 493-7245. Registration for fall classes will be held Aug. 16.