Students will learn about modern and future information technology systems and processes – and adapt to an ever-changing job market – in the new Master of Science in Communication and Information Technology program (CIT) from Alma College.
The new low-residency program will be led by Jared Linder, a longtime technology leader who most recently served as chief information officer for the State of Family and Social Services Administration. ‘Indiana. The program, which was approved last week by the Higher Education Commission, is expected to begin in fall 2022.
“We are thrilled to offer a new Master of Science program at Alma College and excited to welcome Jared to our faculty,” said Kathleen Dougherty, Senior Vice President and Vice President, Academic Affairs. “His expertise in communication and information technology, honed by years of work in the private and academic sectors, will prepare our students to meet the challenges of tomorrow.
The CIT program is designed to prepare students to lead organizations through the rapidly changing technological and regulatory landscape. CIT is an interdisciplinary professional master’s program designed to cultivate communication and leadership skills as well as a foundation of technical knowledge and data skills. Students will gain in-depth knowledge of networking, cloud computing, cybersecurity, and data warehousing, and will also develop leadership and communication skills.
“The CIT program largely mirrors our Evergreen Strategic Plan at Alma, including experiential learning and the creation of new, innovative curricula,” said Alma College President Jeff Abernathy. “One of the goals of a great liberal arts program is to create well-rounded students of the vast universe we inhabit; the CIT program will help us build on our reputation for excellence in this area.
The MS in CIT is the second graduate degree offered at Alma College in its 136-year history; The Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program was launched in 2020 and has since held two successful in-person residencies. Other graduate programs are in preparation.
Similar to Alma College’s MFA program, CIT courses will be flexible in their schedule to allow working professionals to remain employed while also enrolled in the program. Students will have the opportunity to attend residential work sessions that foster both the student body community and the culture of the CIT program, focusing on special projects on critical topics and serving in the final semester cornerstone of the program. This flexible program design also ensures that students can learn from outstanding instructors and industry professionals from across the country.
A Strategic Investment Task Force at Alma College spent three years reviewing different areas of study to add to its offerings before selecting CIT. The task force considered it a good fit for Alma because, in part, a number of its own graduates from various specializations are pursuing graduate studies in the field.
Linder comes to Alma from the Indiana State Family and Human Services Administration, where he led the company’s efforts for health and human services technology solutions, focusing on the IT modernization, data and analytics and systems interoperability. Linder previously held positions in private sector technology and consulting companies and has 10 years of experience teaching IT project management to graduate students at Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana.
Linder holds a bachelor’s degree in English and a master’s degree in information and communication science, both from Ball State, as well as a master’s degree in business administration from Butler University, Indianapolis.
“I am thrilled to be at Alma College, which has a rich tradition of creating a world-class learning environment for students to grow in their vocation,” Linder said. “I consider the CIT program a perfect fit with this liberal arts institution, which seeks to produce curious and adaptable students in an ever-changing job market. I can’t wait to start here.
“My experience in the field has shown me that employers are looking for talented, driven employees who are great communicators and writers, who possess relevant technical skills with emerging business tools, and who can learn to lead and grow. Our graduates will leave with the framework to become an information technology leader of the future.
If you want to learn more about the CIT program, visit alma.edu/cit. You can also contact Linder at [email protected] or (989) 463-7176.