In the Technical Division’s section of the 1968-69 Craven County Technical Institute Course Catalog, T-EDP 104 – Introduction to Data Processing Systems was one of the first computer classes taught. The course description read, “Fundamental concepts and operational principles of data processing systems as an aid in developing basic knowledge of computers.” This course was taught without the use of computers. Intel Corporation, the world’s largest computer chip maker, was founded that same year.
Around 1982, Craven Community College (CCC) began offering an associate’s in applied science degree in electronic data processing. By 1984, the college was offering a Pre-Computer Science associate degree for students planning to obtain a bachelor of science degree. This was the year that Apple Computer launched the Macintosh desktop computer, and personal computers were beginning to proliferate offices and homes.
According to long-time computer instructor Bob Husson, “The first computer system we used was an IBM System 34 Microcomputer with terminals that were used by students learning computer programming and word processing,” Husson said. There was also a computer lab of 12 Radio Shack Model 3 mini-computers with a diskette drive that stored 160 kilobytes (KB) of data on each diskette. (Today, an Apple iPad Mini starts with 16 gigabytes which is equivalent to 16,777,216 KB, or 100,000 diskettes worth of data in KB.)
In 1996, the state’s community college system moved from the quarter to the semester system. All courses, including computer curriculum, were re-written. At this time, students could choose from several associate in applied science degrees including information systems, programming, networking technology and office systems technology. About this time, people were beginning to log onto the Internet.
Around 2005, information security courses were added to the curriculum. At that time, cyber-attacks on computer networks, such as retailers and governmental agencies, were on the rise. Cyber-security continues to be a priority for higher education today. Current CCC students have the opportunity to gain hands-on learning experience through cyber-security competitions against other colleges and universities.
Over the history of CCC’s computer technology program, it led the 1994-96 and the 2004-06 curriculum improvement projects for the North Carolina Community College System (NCCCS). Another curriculum update in 2012 created the current Computer Technology Integration (CTI) program. The CTI program offers degrees as well as several certificates and diplomas.
CCC has again taken a leading role by serving as the resource college for the NCCCS 2014-15 Information Technology Alignment Project (ITAP). According to Annette Walker, lead CCC computer technology instructor and ITAP project director, the goal of ITAP is to make the state’s community college curriculum planning more flexible so it can adapt to rapid changes in technology.
“I think Craven should be very proud of the leadership roles it has played to help evolve computer technology curriculum within our community college system,” said Jim Millard, CCC dean of career programs. For more information about CCC’s CTI program, contact Millard at (252) 638-7372.
Follow the college’s 50-year history every Thursday for #tbt (Throw Back Thursday) posts on www.Facebook.com/CravenCC.
Deborah Kania is the director of marketing, communications and development liaison at Craven Community College.
Article originally appeared in the New Bern Sun Journal.