Better IT Programming Through
the Quality Review Process
Alexandra Sielaff, PhD, College Advancement &
Kim Ehlert, Associate Dean, Business Information Technology
Waukesha County Technical College
January 2011
Wisconsin Technical College System
Quality Review Process
Programmatic Challenges:
Programmer Analyst and Computer Support Specialist
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Low Retention
Decreasing Graduation Rates
Female/Male Ratio
Misaligned Curricula
Need for Integration of New Technology
Increased Interest in Four-Year Transfer
CSS Scorecard Performance
Program-Related Employment
Indicator Job Placement - Related Employment
100
Sum of Value
90
80
70
Program
60
10-150-2 IT-NETWORK SPECIALIST
50
10-152-1 IT-PROGRAMMER/ANALYST
40
10-154-3 IT-COMPUTER SUPPORT
SPECIALIST
30
20
10
0
2003
2004
2005
Year
2006
Multiple Methods of Investigation
• Scorecard Analysis & DWD Data
• Employer Focus Group:
– Occupational Tree
– Critical Criticals
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Sister College/Articulation Discussion
Graduate Follow-up
Enrollment Analysis
Is/Is Not
Advisory Committee
DACUM
Student Interviews
Student/Graduate Survey
GIS (for Computer Support Specialist)
Comprehensive Summary Matrix
Computer Support Specialist Is/Is Not
Special Thanks to Brenda Wolfe
Problem Statement: Low Student Enrollment in 5 of the 6 Core CSS Degree Specific Courses.
IS
What
When
Where
What item or group of
items is having the
problem?
What is the problem with
the item or group of
items?
When was the problem
first noticed (time, date,
day of the week, time of
year)?
When has the problem
been noticed before (date,
time, time of year)?
When during the life of the
item was the problem first
noticed?
Where is the problem on
the item when it is first
noticed?
Where in the creation
process of the item is the
problem first noticed?
Student enrollment in
core CSS courses
IS NOT
What item or group of items is
Student enrollment in nonnot having the problem?
core CSS courses
What is not a problem with
the item or group of items?
Low enrollment – Less
than 12 students per
semester/per core
course
Summer of 2007
It was not
Summer of 2007
Second core course of
CSS program
Semester following the
orientation class
When could the problem have
been first noticed (time, date,
day of the week, time of year)
but was not?
When could the problem have
been noticed before (date,
time, time of year) but was
not?
When during the life of the
item could the problem have
been noticed but was not?
Where could the problem
have been first noticed on the
item but was not?
Where in the creation process
of the item could the problem
exist but does not?
Class are not being offered
Offering too many sections
Lack of Instructors
Lack of Curriculum
Lack of
Applications/recruitment
Lack of jobs
Lack of enrollment in
orientation course
Anytime before summer of
2007
Summer of 1998-1999
Summer of 1998-1999
First core course of the CSS
program
IT orientation class,
regardless of semester
Computer Support Specialist Is/Is Not
Scope
How many of the items
are affected?
How much of the item is
affected?
How is the frequency
affected? (stable,
increasing or decreasing)
82% of core courses are
affected
How many of the items are
problem free?
How much of the item is not
100% of 16 week course
affected?
How could the frequency be
Low enrollment is
affected but is not? (stable,
INCREASING
increasing or decreasing)
18% percent
0%
Not staying stable and not
going down
Possible Causes:
Dated curriculum
Downtrend in IT industry
Advent of other WCTC IT programs CONFIRM: Analyze statistical data from research
Orientation Class CONFIRM: Student Survey
Motivational changes of student population
Jobbing out
Change in student perception after IT orientation CONFIRM: Student Survey
Too frequent of scheduling core class sections
Lack of internal marketing support for program
Students are being influenced by other IT degrees (first semester network/programming course) CONFIRM: Student
Survey and analyze statistical data from research
Lack of CSS introductory course CONFIRM: Analyze statistical data from research and student survey
Lack of consistency without lead instructors (lead instructor = champion) CONFIRM: Benchmarking against networking
and programming
No single full-time instructor assigned to this degree program CONFIRM: see above
Student’s perception that IT curriculum is too difficult
Student confusion relating to future job placement
Not as hands-on as other degrees CONFIRM: Benchmarking from other degrees and student survey
No advising or mentoring for CSS students
Parking Lot:
Is orientation a pre-req?
Advanced Apps class enrollment decreased when orientation class started
Students motivation and perception – will be addressed by survey
Operational definitions:
Low enrollment: Less than 12 students
Programmer Analyst
Is/Is Not Matrix
IS
What item or group of items
is having the problem?
What
What is the problem with the
item or group of items?
When was the problem first
noticed (time, date, day of
the week, time of year)?
When
Where
Scope
When has the problem been
noticed before (date, time,
time of year)?
When during the life of the
item was the problem first
noticed?
Where is the problem on the
item when it is first noticed?
Where in the creation
process of the item is the
problem first noticed?
Where on the item is the
problem noticed?
How many of the items are
affected?
How much of the item is
affected?
How is the frequency
affected? (stable, increasing
or decreasing)
IS NOT
50% of students enrolling
in 1st sem class that
continue on
They are not making to
graduation
2004
n/a
Drops have happened
before – mid to late 80s
3rd semester
SQL
Decreasing
What item or group of items is
not having the problem?
What is not a problem with the
item or group of items?
When could the problem have
been first noticed (time, date,
day of the week, time of year)
but was not?
When could the problem have
been noticed before (date, time,
time of year) but was not?
When during the life of the item
could the problem have been
noticed but was not?
Where could the problem have
been first noticed on the item but
was not?
Where in the creation process of
the item could the problem exist
but does not?
Where on the item could have a
problem but does not?
How many of the items are
problem free?
How much of the item is not
affected?
How could the frequency be
affected but is not? (stable,
increasing or decreasing)
The other 50% that drop PA
Getting to second semester
Around 2003
n/a
Early 80s, 1999-2002
2nd semester
4th semester
Java, Project
Increasing not staying stable
Programmer Analyst
Is/Is Not Possible Causes:
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Student is over extended
Work ethic of millennial = 52% of PA program students are age 22 and under
Young males (Possible)
They get a job
Fewer jobs
Transfer to another college in same program
Transfer to another program at WCTC
Transferring to a institution that takes less time
Program is missing web courses
Curriculum is difficult
Examination method
Text confusing
Oracle
Students leave due to not seeing relevance of curriculum to real world applications
with statistics class
Lack of gender diversity
Programmer/Analyst
Employer Focus Group
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Sean Barry, Laughlin-Constable
Ron Richard, Independent
Ben Bender, Serigraph
Mary Van Himbergen, RF Technologies
Rob Foxx, Foxx Technologies
Robert Woods, A Bit Above LLC
Seth Hill, Mathematic Arts
Lillie, Paperless LLC
Jill McHenry, ProHealth Care Inc.
CIO
Programmer/Analyst Occupational Ladder, QRP, April 2009
COLOR
KEY
IT Manager
SD
Organizational
Skills
Occupational
Title
System
Architect
Degrees/
Certifications/
Associations
Developer
Personal
Attributes
Assertive
Trainer
Membership
in
professional/
academic
groups
PMI
Has a
memory
Ability to
ask for
help
Consistent
Logic
+ MBA
4-Year
Degree
Technical
Skills
Work sample
(recent grad)
Project
Manager
Can be put in
front of a
customer
Work in team
and/or selfdirected
Jr.
Programmer
Flexibility
Can switch
tasks fast
Ability to
communicate
with
nontechnical
users.
Programmer
Analyst
DBA
Team
Leadership
Career
Certifications
SME
“People”
Manager
Requirements
gathering/
analysis
Industry
Certifications
Testing
2-Year
Degree
Development
Methodology
Work
Experience
Technology
Certifications
Lean
Methodology
Certification
Specific
Languages/Skills
Ability to say “I
Write
don’t know” when
documentation
you don’t and
learn from these.
Taking
initiative/
ownership
Budget and
Planning
Spelling
Estimating
Adaptability
Communication
of technical
concepts
Someone who can
take criticism/
correction without
getting angry.
Arithmetic and
Algebra
Teamwork
Ability to recognize
a mistake every
time you repeat it.
Basic Typing
Trainable/
Coachable
Tools/Platforms
Able to learn
independently
WCTC’s Critical Life Skills
Communication Skills
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Grammar
Writing
Interpersonal Communication
Public Communication
Reading
Analytical Skills
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Problem Solving
Critical Thinking
Science & Technology
Professional and Personal Ethics
Mathematics
Information Seeking
Group Effectiveness Skills
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Conflict Resolution
Social Responsibility and Effective Citizenship
Teamwork
Valuing Diversity
Effective Relationships
Personal Management Skills
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Career Development
Career Securing
Study Skills
Stress Management
Coping with Change
Time Management
Self-Concept
P/A and CSS Critical Criticals
Programmer/Analyst
1.
2.
3.
4.
Critical Thinking
Problem solving
Information Seeking
Teamwork/Interpersonal
Communication
5. Conflict Resolution
6. Time management
7. Coping with change
8. Professional and personal ethics
9. Science and technology
10. Reading/writing/mathematics/
grammar
Computer Support Specialist
1. Interpersonal Communication
2. Teamwork/Effective Relationships
3. Problem Solving
4. Conflict Resolution
5. Critical Thinking
6. Time Management
7. Stress Management/Coping w/
Change
8. Career Development
9. Valuing Diversity/Professional &
Personal Ethics/ Social Responsibility/
Effective Leadership
10. Information Seeking
Sister College
Articulation Discussion
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Steven Bialek, MSOE
Chris Head, Cardinal Stritch University
Dr. Charlie Hill, UW-Oshkosh
Dr. Chenglie Hu, Carroll University
Kelly Hudson, UW-Oshkosh
Dr. Wooseob Jeong, University of WI at Milwaukee
Mike Konemann, Carroll University
Melissa Schmidt, UW-Oshkosh
Walt Swiger, Cardinal Stritch University
Dr. Ann Williams, Ottawa University
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C54 Better IT Programming Through the Quality Review Process