Two new bachelor’s degrees at BC

New Degrees
Matthew Reitveld / The Watchdog

Recently, Bellevue College added two new bachelor degree programs in both computer science and digital marketing.
BC has been approved by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities to offer a bachelor of applied science degree in digital marketing. This is the 12th baccalaureate degree offered at the college, which came after the approval to offer a bachelor of science in computer science degree.

Kyle Barber, professor in marketing management, said that the digital marketing degree was “approved about two weeks ago.” The process to add the degree to BC took about a year and a half. “The reason that we decided to create this program is there’re lots of marketing jobs right now, so part of its employer demand.”

Barber previously worked as an employer for an advertising agency, and realized that many of the applicants did not have the skills needed to start working. “They were obviously smart students but they didn’t have the skills I needed and I think that’s because most universities teach marketing in a very theoretical way.” Although many applicants had studied some form of marketing in school, those skills alone were not enough to start working right away. Barber explained “ I’m trying to craft a program that would get people up to the speed of what I wanted when I was looking for young talent.” Graduates of the program are expected to be able to jump right into the workplace with skills such as engine marketing, search engine optimization, display advertising and web design, among others.

In the digital marketing degree, students “may learn some theory, but you’re also going to be working with specific tools that you might actually use out in the world of work,” said Shanon Ehmke-reedy, program manager at the institute of business and info technology. “We’re really trying to get you job-ready.”

“The digital marketing associates degree has been up on the website for about six months now,” said Amy Clawson, BC’s program specialist for entry services and academic advising. “The Bachelor of Applied Science digital marketing is a two-year program, so six quarters.”

According to the Bellevue College website, The bachelor of science degree in computer science was added to BC on September 16, 2016. The degree was created due to the growing demand for well-trained computer science professionals. Students in the computer science degree would learn how to use mathematical foundations and computer science theory. Much like digital marketing, this degree would give graduates the skills to adjust to professional work. Post-graduation, students should be able to establish a computer-based systems process, analyze and implement computing requirements to fix the issue, use math to create and analyze computing systems
The B.S. degree takes about four years to complete and “does not require completion of any existing associate, professional, or technical degree program prior to admission” said Fatma Serce, assistant professor of computer science. “Since computer science is a highly rigorous field of study, admission to the program is selective to ensure that students admitted to B.S. degree in CS program are academically prepared for success.”

The course is “mathematically rigorous and scientifically oriented, preparing students to become proficient in all fundamental areas and techniques of computer science. Even more important, the curriculum is progressively experimental, teaching students not only how to develop and implement efficient algorithms to solve a variety of application problems, but also how to apply their learning to company sponsored projects.” Admission is “selective to ensure that students admitted to B.S. degree in CS program are academically prepared for success.” Serce explained that along with examining past academic performance, the admissions committee also requires students to complete an activity list, which is also in the application. The purpose of the activity list is to both help the admissions committee “look beyond transcripts and GPAs” and “enable students to describe what makes them unique and what they can contribute to the campus community,” said Serce. “In using this approach, the college will endeavor to navigate the balance between safeguarding student success and minimizing barriers to opportunity and achievement.”