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04/30/2007 - EWU CS and CBPA Seek Student Entrepreneurs

To accommodate a burgeoning number of students aspiring to be information technology entrepreneurs, the EWU College of Business and Public Administration (CBPA) and department of Computer Science (CS) have launched a new collaborative graduate program. “The number of computer science students who want, on graduation, to operate their own business has grown at an astonishing rate over the last few years,” says Dr Steve Simmons, graduate chair at EWU computer science. “Now, at least 10% of our computer science graduates are planning to open a business upon graduation. Several are even launching their businesses while they are still in school -- to ‘start something big’ before they graduate”

To meet this rising student demand, the new graduate degree program combines several elements of a master’s degree in computer science with elements of a master’s of business administration. The new program was designed to prepare future IT executives with both information technology depth and knowledge of critical business areas like finance and marketing. The new graduate program follows the framework of the EWU graduate interdisciplinary degree guidelines, and was put together by a collaborative planning group that included Paul Schimpf, chair of EWU CS, Harm-Jan Steenhuis, Chair of EWU Management, Judd Case, Dean of Science, Health and Engineering, Rex Fuller, Dean of CPBA, Roberta Brooke, Director of the EWU MBA program, and Steve Simmons, graduate chair of EWU CS.

Unlike the single dimensions of most standard degree programs, the new program is intermediate between two long standing EWU graduate degree options also available for an aspiring IT entrepreneur --- An EWU MBA with selected electives in computer science or a Masters in Computer Science with selected electives in business. The new program features a more even balance between information technology subjects and business subjects, with quite a bit of flexibility for individual interests. All students aspiring to this new program are interviewed and pre-qualified by both EWU CS and CBPA, for readiness and background, to make sure they are ready to start graduate coursework in the degree’s program areas.

The program has been launched during the current Spring quarter at EWU, with a first group of students. “These students are excellent examples of our new wave of student entrepreneurs,” says Simmons. “One has a business startup currently underway, and another is a very recent veteran of an ambitious high technology startup company.”

For more information on the new graduate program, contact Dr Simmons at ssimmons@ewu.edu or Roberta Brooke, MBA Director at rbrooke@ewu.edu.

Billie Moreland
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