Olivet Reimagines Department of Computer Science and Emerging Technologies

Department evolves to reflect industry needs.

Lauren Beatty

December 9, 2019 Academics, Computer Science

Olivet Nazarene University recently reimagined and revamped the Department of Computer Science and Emerging Technologies (CSET), formerly known as the Department of Computer Science. Based on the advice of industry leaders, the Council of Software Programmers and the University’s CSET Advisory Council, the Walker School of Engineering and Technology decided to modify requirements, expand course concentrations and add more certification options. 


In the past, many colleges and universities have viewed technology as a supplementary tool to use with traditional methods of instruction. With rapid increases in technology over the past few decades, seemingly every industry now requires competent technology users.

“If we don’t change every couple of years, we’re doing something wrong,” says professor and director of cybersecurity defense Jeff Rice ’99/’03 MBA. Changes to the curriculum and degree requirements will go into effect for the fall 2020 semester.

Hoping to reflect the needs of a constantly shifting industry, changes and expansions to the Olivet’s department of CSET include curriculum rewrites to be relevant, progressive and friendly to prospective students looking to transfer, and increasing emphasis on practical applications of technology. Academic courses that have been added to the programs include big data, cloud computing and artificial intelligence. 

The program changes will also incorporate the University’s cybersecurity lab, which is housed in Reed Hall of Science. The lab provides students with practical experience running vulnerability assessments for local organizations. These tests measure the security level of a network. 

Olivet’s department of CSET is an Amazon AWS Academy, offering courses in cloud foundations, cloud architecture and cloud development. Students may pursue certifications in CompTIA Network+, CompTIA Security+, CompTIA Server+, CompTIA Linux+, AWS-CDA, AWS-CP, AWS-CSA, EC-CIH and EC-CEH and will become familiar with Python, Java, PHP, C and Assembly languages.

The University offers three unique degrees within the department. The bachelor of arts degree in computing technology is geared to develop entry- to mid-level computing professionals. The bachelor of science degree in computer science gives students the opportunity to earn a concentration in software development (for students who want to develop software, learn programing structure or develop mobile applications); software entrepreneurship (for students who want to start or manage software companies or developers); or network and data communications (for students who want to go into computer repairs or network management). 

The CSET department also offers a bachelor of science degree in cybersecurity, which focuses on developing experts to fill the almost 200,000 open positions across the United States. A minor in cybersecurity defense is compatible with any CSET major and students in other majors who want to add cybersecurity defense.

All students in the department take nine core CSET courses for a foundational understanding across a wide range of CSET disciplines. Students must receive a C or better in each core course to complete their degree. With only seven course differences between the cybersecurity and network and data communications majors, it is fairly easy to double major in the department. 

For more information on Olivet’s Martin D. Walker School of Engineering and Technology and other areas of study, contact the Office of Admissions at admissions@olivet.edu or 800-648-1463.

Published 12/09/2019

Lauren Beatty

Lauren Beatty ’13 is a freelance writer, author, editor, artist and an adjunct professor in the Department of Communication at Olivet. She earned a Master of Arts degree in cross-cultural and sustainable business management from the American University of Paris in 2014. Her thesis explored the evolution of socially responsible business practices in America.

Student on main campus wearing pink sweater and holding water bottle.

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