Siloam Springs, Ark (October 11, 1999) - On Friday, October 8, the John Brown University Board of Trustees approved a new Bachelor of Science degree in Business Information Systems. The degree is designed to address the continuing shortages of technology-savvy employees statewide. Knowledge-Based Companies of Arkansas estimated that Arkansas experienced a shortfall of 1,300 information technology workers in 1999 and expects the trend to continue.
The John Brown University BIS program is offered to working adults through the university’s Advance Degree Completion Program. Classes in the Business Information Systems degree program will begin in January 2000, and most classes meet one night per week.
The Advance Program is an accelerated degree completion program for working adults who have already earned two years of college credit. JBU already offers an accelerated Bachelor of Science degree in Organizational Management to adults in Northwest Arkansas, Fort Smith and Little Rock.
A unique feature of the BIS program is that each student will receive a laptop computer with their paid tuition. "Busy, working adults can’t get to campus computer labs when they need to study. With notebook computers, the students’ kitchens or dens become their personal computer labs," said Dr. Richard Ellis, Chair of the Division of Adult Education and Director of the Advance Program at JBU.
JBU was approached by Knowledge-Based Companies of Arkansas in 1998 who requested that the university offer expanded educational opportunities in information technology. Dr. Steve McCrary, Assistant Professor of Engineering and Technology, explains that "the Bachelor of Science in business Information Systems attempts to meet this need. JBU’s goal is to provide a high quality education in information technology to Arkansas adults. Our hope is that graduates will continue to make Arkansas their home and contribute much-need information technology skills to the state’s workforce."
"The BS degree in Business Information Systems is a logical next step in the Advance Program’s development. It builds on what we have learned about adult degree programs in the past six years and addresses a specific need in Arkansas," said Ellis. "We expect this program to be in very high demand."
Since 1919, John Brown University, a nondenominational Christian university, has provided top-quality, Christ-centered higher education. JBU emphasizes educating the "Head, Heart and Hand" of its 1,500 students from 47 states and 33 countries. For ten consecutive years, JBU has been on the John Templeton Foundation Honor Roll of Character Building Colleges. The University has also repeatedly been included in U.S. News & World Report’s list of top regional colleges and universities.