STC Computer and Information Technologies Bachelor’s program set to introduce AI curriculum fall 2023
Artificial Intelligence (AI) courses are arriving at South Texas College as soon as this fall.
For the first time ever, STC’s Bachelor of Applied Technology Degree (BAT) in Computer and Information Technologies program (CITP) will be incorporating the basics of AI.
CITP has installed a curriculum established by Amazon Web Services (AWS) called “Machine Learning Foundations” into the program’s CITP 3310 Survey of Programming Languages course this fall.
Machine Learning combines Computer Science with statistics and data sciences, relying heavily on the Python programming language used in everything from image and speech recognition, fraud detection and product recommendation.
Students will receive a certificate from Amazon Web Services in Machine Learning once they complete the class.
“Artificial Intelligence is the study of creating machines that can simulate human thinking and human behavior,” said CITP Instructor Nicholas Hinojosa. “Machine Learning is a sub-field of AI and it involves how a machine can learn without being specifically programmed or given any specific instructions. It uses algorithms and statistics to predict outcomes using very large sets of data. It can help with predicting stock prices, housing prices, text and image recognition which impacts various fields like health care, financial sectors and transportation.”
Machine Learning is a sub-field of AI and it involves how a machine can learn without being specifically programmed or given any specific instructions…It can help with predicting stock prices, housing prices, text and image recognition which impacts various fields like health care, financial sectors and transportation.
CIT faculty had the foresight to begin incorporating Machine Learning into courses already established in the CIT program earlier this summer when they noticed it was included in the AWS Academy curriculum.
STC’s Bachelor of Applied Technology in Computer Information Technologies (BAT-CIT) is a designated AWS-Member institution, which means that the CIT program can embed cloud computing curriculum from Amazon into BAT-CITP courses.
STC faculty Meng-Hung Wu, Ph.D., then completed the AWS Academy Machine Learning Foundations Course to be able to teach the class to students.
Additional CIT faculty Nicolas Gutierrez and Nicholas Hinojosa then participated in a two-week introductory Professional Development Bootcamp for educators on Artificial Intelligence with a focus on Machine Learning offered by an international nonprofit organization called “The Coding School” in partnership with Amazon Web Services (AWS) Machine Learning University.
“This class is a foundation course for Machine Learning which looks to give them the right ideas when it comes to programming languages along with all the possibilities that can stem with learning these languages,” said Wu. “It’s for students to see all the incredible opportunities out there. With ChatGPT and all the other tools out there, we want students to understand where it all came from by starting at the beginning as programmers.”
AWS Certification is ranked as one of the top-15 most valuable information technology (IT) certifications according to Forbes and supports educational institutions in more than 30 countries.
The AWS Academy curriculum is developed and maintained by AWS subject matter experts to help ensure that it reflects current services and up-to-date best practices. Courses are taught by AWS Academy-accredited educators who are trained by AWS to help students become proficient in AWS technology.
“The question we ask in our program is how students can utilize these Amazon services and apply their knowledge and predict or even improve future outcomes,” Wu said. “This is a starting point for students who are beginning to learn computer programming and how they can begin integrating AI into the conversation.”
STC’s CITP program prepares students for successful careers by balancing theoretical and technical coursework meant to prepare graduates for the high demands placed on today’s CIT professionals.
Graduates walk away with relevant, technical knowledge of CIT practices so they provide solutions for real-world problems and technical support for computer-based information systems.
They are also exceptionally prepared to enter the private sector or even continue their education in a graduate program.
The program offers a competency-based bachelor's degree that enables students to finish their degrees faster by using industry/work experience to obtain college credit by “testing out,” or taking exams to prove they have mastered the content.
“It’s becoming a very important area that students need to be familiar with because our bachelor’s degree program not only prepares students for working in the industry, but also gives them the foundation for graduate degrees,” Hinojosa said.
For more information on STC’s Computer and Information Technologies program, visit bachelors.southtexascollege.edu/cit.