Eureka College is partnering with Saint Leo University to launch a unique new computer science program that will leverage both institutions’ strengths and better prepare students for a career in the field.

The program, which was approved by the faculty in the spring, was officially approved by the Eureka College Board of Trustees at their summer board meetings last week, and will be available for student enrollment in the fall.

It will feature a hybrid of in-person and online instruction, with 75 percent of the students’ classes taught on Eureka College’s campus by EC mathematics faculty and with the other 25 percent instructed online by Saint Leo professors.

“Students can take the majority of credits at Eureka College and still have the option of getting a technical degree,” Eureka College mathematics professor Dr. Prabhu Venkataraman said. “It’s the best of both worlds.”

The program will be frontloaded with on-campus courses for the first two years and feature more online courses as it progresses. This allows students access to in-person attention and a more normal college experience early on, and have more flexibility for internships or other work opportunities later in their education.

The curriculum will focus on information technology networking, in addition to database programming, marking a departure from the traditional computer science degrees, like the one Eureka College had in years past.

“It’s a complete overhaul,” Eureka College Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Ann Fulop said. “It’s nothing like the program we used to have.

“We put together our version of a computer science major, a program based on feedback from expert faculty and regional employers.”

The reason, Fulop said, the College is taking a radically different approach this time around is because the institution gathered input from both its faculty and regional employers to make key decisions. Faculty used their expertise to help determine what courses should be selected, while regional employers provided insights into what criteria they’re looking for when evaluating applicants.

The program is the College’s latest move to adjust to a rapidly changing jobs market that projects STEM jobs to grow 11 percent between 2019 and 2029, with positions in computer science leading the way.

Earlier this year, Eureka College, along with partner Cybint, launched a cybersecurity training program designed to successfully prepare people with little or no background in IT for entry level jobs in cybersecurity a high in-demand and lucrative career path. 

“In the state of Illinois, there are over 17,000 cybersecurity job openings across all sectors,” Fulop said. “Eureka College's Cybersecurity Bootcamp will prepare the workforce to help meet this need. For people who want to upskill, change careers or begin a career, this program is for them."

For more information about the Eureka College Cybersecurity Bootcamp, powered by Cybint, visit www.eureka.edu/cybersecurity