FSU Joins IBM Academic Initiative

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Fairmont State University students and faculty will benefit from a new partnership with Mobile Collaborative Education Consulting and the IBM Academic Initiative.

“As a result of this partnership, Fairmont State faculty will gain access to innovative technology, and our students will receive first-class learning opportunities to prepare them for today’s competitive marketplace,” said Dr. Maria Rose, FSU Interim President.

Rose and John Thompson, president/owner of Mobile Collaborative Education Consulting (MCEC), signed a partnership agreement on Aug. 11.

As part of the agreement, MCEC will coordinate and facilitate faculty training and professional development activities required in support of IBM’s Enterprise Systems Program and will assist with curricula development. Currently, enterprise systems (mainframe computing) professionals are in very high demand. Thanks to the curriculum infusion, FSU will soon be able to provide courses in this field. FSU’s College of Science and Technology and School of Business are participating in the initiative.

“Faculty members are interested in access to tools that will help them infuse the most current technologies into the classroom,” said Dr. Richard Harvey, Dean of the School of Business.

“The College of Science and Technology is pleased to be a partner in this endeavor. The partnership will provide students with unique opportunities to advance their professional skills.  Moreover, this opportunity is an example of how Fairmont State University can work directly with business and industry to create educational opportunities that benefit our communities and the taxpayers of West Virginia,” said Dr. Anthony Gilberti, Dean of the College of Science and Technology.

MCEC will coordinate and facilitate student awareness and program recruitment activities; assist with Information Technology (IT) system setup activities; work with the Office of Career Services to coordinate and facilitate student job placement activities; create strategic business alliances between the high tech industry and the University; serve as a liaison with corporate partners; and assist with public relations and marketing to promote the program and recruit students.

The IBM Academic Initiative is an innovative program that partners colleges and universities around the world to better educate students for a more skilled and competitive IT workforce.

“The Academic Initiative addresses the challenge of preparing talent capable of driving innovation – and thus economic growth,” Harvey said. “We are striving to prepare our students for the jobs of the future.”

By becoming a member of the Academic Initiative, FSU will have a firsthand view of current IT industry philosophies and trends. FSU will gain access to courseware and certification training programs based on open standards and IBM proprietary technologies. Faculty can participate in educational events that show how emerging technologies work and have a front row seat for exciting new directions in software development.

MCEC works with colleges and universities to enhance their curriculum to keep pace and adapt to the rapidly changing needs of the IT industry. The company promotes the infusion of open source technologies, proprietary technologies and Enterprise Systems concepts into academic curriculums and works to establish a pipeline of competitive, work-ready students for entry into the job marketplace.

For more information about programs in the School of Business, visit http://www.fairmontstate.edu/schoolofbusiness. For more information about programs in the College of Science and Technology, visit http://www.fairmontstate.edu/collegeofscitech/.