Kirkland, Wash. – The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded an $800,000 grant to five community and technical colleges in the state of Washington: Lake Washington Institute of Technology (LWTech), Bellevue College, Green River College, North Seattle College, and Renton Technical College. The NSF grant will fund the collaborative Northwest Network for Application Development and Technology Connections (AppConnect NW) project. Each of the colleges involved offers a four-year Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS) degree in Information Technology Application Development, which help meet the demand for software and application developers in the greater Seattle area.
LWTech and the partner colleges will help expand recognition of this emerging BAS degree with the creation of a first-of-its-kind professional network that brings together software development faculty members and industry leaders to develop BAS degree standards across colleges. This network will support the growth and alignment of applied degree curriculum across institutions, while also allowing each college to offer their own unique pathway. For example, LWTech’s new Computer and Software Development (CSD) program will allow students to team up with the Digital Gaming and Interactive Media bachelor’s program to mimic game development in the real world. Degree alignments will increase industry confidence in graduates, and will result in significant curriculum development across the region.
“As the only public institute of technology in the state of Washington, LWTech is committed to developing STEM programs that meet the demand of industry,” said Dr. Amy Morrison Goings, president of LWTech. “By collaborating with other community and technical colleges, we collectively are providing high-demand applied degree programs, like LWTech’s Computing and Software Development bachelor’s degree to ensure our students are prepared for today’s careers and tomorrow’s opportunities.”
“I can’t think of more worthy schools for this grant,” Congresswoman Suzan DelBene (WA-01) said. “The demand for skilled, educated workers is on the rise and these funds will help ensure Washington students are well prepared for these good-paying jobs. I look forward to seeing the great contributions these graduates will make to the continued success of Washington state’s economy.”
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