Louisiana Tech, CSC workshop aims to develop curriculum to support high-tech workforce needs
Faculty from Louisiana Tech University’s cyber engineering, computer science, and computer information systems programs, and research and development group hosted over 30 executives from CSC, a global leader in next-generation IT, last week for strategic curriculum workshops. The teams gathered at the Louisiana Tech campus, clad in co-branded attire and in the spirit of collaboration, to discuss action plans for preparing Louisiana Tech graduates with the skills, knowledge and competencies needed to gain employment with CSC and fill their workforce needs in north Louisiana. A series of breakout and brainstorming sessions served as the foundation for the workshop, allowing Louisiana Tech and CSC personnel to build working relationships, better understand the goals for CSC’s Integrated Technology Center in Bossier City and familiarize themselves with CSC’s recruiting and hiring strategies.“The commitment demonstrated by CSC leadership in having their senior staff from across the company at Louisiana Tech for three days, immersed in deep discussions with our faculty, is a true testament of the importance they are placing in this strategic partnership,” said Louisiana Tech President Les Guice. “I see some great things ahead for this partnership and for our institution as we build the foundation for greater economic prosperity in the State of Louisiana.” Louisiana Tech faculty presented summaries of relevant courses, curricula and projects in computer science, computer information systems, cyber engineering and information technology, and developed action plans for minor or major curriculum changes, new courses and projects. They also helped the CSC executives and staff better understand the university’s mission and vision, and experience some of Louisiana Tech’s rich traditions and campus culture. “It was important for our CSC staff to come to the Louisiana Tech campus and begin building relationships with the faculty,” said John DeSimone, vice president for CSC’s Enterprise Services. “This is not a short-term effort or a stand-alone workshop. We wanted the face-to-face interaction to take place over several days so that the groundwork for a strong, long-lasting partnership could be established.” DeSimone said that as a result of the collaborative workshop sessions, a number of action plans have already been developed. These action plans will lead to innovative and responsive curricula that will begin providing new opportunities for Louisiana Tech graduates while building a pipeline for talent for CSC. “The level of experience and thought leadership of our visiting executives from CSC was tremendous, and the breadth of responsibility and technologies represented was also very high,” said Dr. Stan Napper, vice president for research and development for Louisiana Tech. “Faculty and executives were engaged as colleagues in a way that I have never seen. The resulting action plans are comprehensive, but we have also identified some broad themes for the actions so that our curricula will more effectively prepare graduates for careers with CSC and other IT and software services companies.” In February, Louisiana Tech and CSC, along with the Cyber Innovation Center in Bossier City, announced a partnership to offer current and prospective students a comprehensive suite of cyber-related programs and career opportunities designed to meet the current and future needs of CSC. To support its operations in north Louisiana, CSC broke ground last Thursday on a 116,000 square-foot technology center in Bossier City that is expected to have an 800 direct jobs impact statewide, within the next four years.