The University of Maine Board of Trustees said Wednesday that it has approved a new bachelor of science degree in information technology at the University of Southern Maine.

The four-year degree, approved at the board’s March meeting, involves the study of specifying, designing, constructing, operating and maintaining computer-based information systems.

The program will include the option of spending two of the four years at local community colleges – Southern Maine Community College, York County Community College and Central Maine Community College – and a four-year option based entirely at USM. The new program initially will involve existing courses and faculty as it ramps up.

The degree program will provide a smooth path of transfer from Maine’s community college system to a bachelor’s degree from USM based on a nationally standard curriculum, university officials said.

A degree in information technology will prepare students to fill a gap in the workforce of Maine’s IT cluster, they said. Local industry and state government officials have asked for the program, which will improve the statewide prospects for excellence in the computer-based delivery of services and information.

The U.S. Department of Labor has a bright outlook for the occupations that graduates of the program can seek, with more than 100,000 job openings nationally.

J. Craig Anderson can be contacted at 791-6390 or at:

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