CU’s ATLAS institute offers two certificate programs that are giving students of all majors their money’s worth.
TAM and MAT are undergraduate programs that teach technological savvy to all disciplines. The two 18-credit programs are composed six course certificates.
The Technology, Arts and Media certificate program became available to CU students in January 2000. Before the arrival of the ATLAS building, the program had no central hub.
Joel Swanson is the TAM senior instructor and said the program appeals to students of all academic backgrounds.
“There is not a single department on campus that isn’t being revolutionized, theoretically and practically, by technology,” Swanson said. “TAM not only prepares students to do well in academia, but also makes them far more marketable and desirable as they begin to enter the job market.”
Swanson said TAM is not simply a vocational “tech-teaching” program. The program teaches students to think critically about how to communicate ideas using technology, art and media.
Camille Dodson is a senior computer science major in the TAM program. She is also president of the TAM club, the official student group for ATLAS certificate programs.
Dodson was asked what students of all academic disciplines stand to gain from the ATLAS programs.
“To be able to express whatever it is that they’re learning to the general public. If you’re majoring in microbiology, you can show and visualize your ideas in a way that we can understand,” Dodson said.
Students in the TAM program get the opportunity to design Web portals. The portals display portfolios of their own work. Current portfolios include songs created using software, self-edited digital videos and sound narratives.
The Multidisciplinary Applied Technologies program was formally launched to students in January 2003. The MAT certificate program is a more technologically intensive course load than TAM.
The MAT curriculum stresses the importance of combining information technology with a variety of academic disciplines. Students in the program are familiarized with the new needs of today’s computer dependent society and do so in a hands-on learning environment.
Information technologies are a main emphasis of the MAT curriculum. Students in the program learn how to move flexibly and appropriately among IT output. Students are also taught to value collaborative diversity and teamwork, according to the ATLAS Institute’s Web site.
“If you look at IT, it affects every aspect of our lives,” said Aileen Pierce, an instructor for the MAT program. “I have a hard time thinking of a major that when you go into the business world, IT isn’t going to intersect with.”
Jon Meador, a freshman computer science major, said he thinks more and more employers are looking for people who are technologically savvy.
“Now that everything is merging together, employers want people that can do more than one thing,” Meador said.
An open house for students interested in either certificate program is tentatively scheduled for 4-6 p.m. March 16 in the lobby of the ATLAS building. Those interested should e-mail Dave Kalahar, curriculum advisor for ATLAS, at Kalahar@Colorado.edu.
Contact Campus Press Staff Writer James Friendly Nicholson at james.nicholson@the campuspress.com.