The Herald, Sharon, PA Published Sunday, Feb. 11, 2001
outlook 2001

SHARON

PSU class helps students master todayís Web domain

By Sherris Moreira-Byers
Herald Staff Writer

JavaScript, Java rollovers, and a virtual server arenít the latest trendy coffee shop offerings, theyíre some of the latest entrees in a new program offered by Penn State University.

The Webmaster Certificate program is nine months or two semesters of classes designed to acclimate a student to the World Wide Web by learning how to create Web sites and master the Internet.

The program is offered one night a week from 6 to 10 p.m. on Tuesdays to make it easier for those with families and jobs, according to Charles T. Greggs, Community Outreach Coordinator for the Shenango campus.

"These are people with jobs, some with good jobs, but they know if they donít learn more theyíll get passed by," Greggs said.

So Penn State formulated the program to address the needs of not only the typical student but also the non-traditional student who needs to improve their skills to stay current and competitive in the ever-changing technology field.

The first four classes are an overview of Internet technology to help get the students "on the same page," Greggs said.

"The instructor explains how it was created, talks about Internet protocols and the functions of the language," he added.

Some of the other classes are Visual and Graphic Design, Multimedia and the Web, and Legal and Ethical Issues concerning the Internet.

"In Visual and Graphic Design, students learn basic design principles and how to create graphic images for their Web site," said Greggs, describing some of the class offerings. "Copyright laws and contract issues are some of the topics in the Legal and Ethical course."

The first-time course is so popular that Penn State opened a satellite program out of Mercer County Career Center in Coolspring Township in January.

"That course is on Monday nights from 6 to 10 p.m., and students will get their certificate at the end of fall semester," said Greggs.

The school is also in the process of forming a certificate e-commerce program to start next fall. Greggs said it will help students "take a brick and mortar business to an e-commerce business over the Internet."

Students will learn about the legal issues pertaining to a running an e-business, strategic planning, technology infrastructures and business process integration.

Though other campuses started their e-commerce certificate program in the fall, finding instructors within that field in this area proved to be a bit of a challenge, so the school will have an e-commerce workshop during the summer to introduce it to potential students, then begin it next fall.

The certificate programs were also joined by an Associate degree in Information Sciences and Technology, which prepares students for positions as entry-level computer network administrators.

The Shenango Campus also received a $77,000 IBM equipment grant in the fall to help implement the new associate degree.

And according to Greggs, all of these new programs are designed to meet the changing technological environment.

"There is such a need for it, such a demand. People understand that computers and the Internet arenít going away," he said. "If you donít want to learn it, youíll get left behind."

For more information about the programs, call the school at 983-2800, or check the Web site at: www.outreach.psu.edu, or www.ist.psu.edu



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