College looks to future in computer science program


Dan Spatz
Executive Director, Institutional Advancement, (541) 506-6034

February 5, 2019

The Columbia Gorge economy draws tech-savvy people and businesses from around the world. As the region’s only institution of higher education, Columbia Gorge Community College wants its students to have all the tools needed to flourish in this sophisticated economy.

Five years ago the college, recognizing the rapidly-growing demand for advanced computer skills in the region, established a computer science program. Now, as is the case with every major program of study, the college is conducting a five-year review of its computer science offerings.

“Our goal is to ensure the computer science program is responsive to the needs of employers,” said Stephen Shwiff, Dean of General Education at the college.

How can CGCC’s computer science program ensure continuing relevance for employers and students alike? Does it support the needs of employers? What skills would employers expect local graduates to have mastered? Would employers hire a CGCC computer science graduate, and in what capacity?

These are some of the questions Shwiff and others will be exploring during the 2019-20 computer science program review.

Dr. Marta Cronin, the college’s president, emphasizes the program itself will continue, guided by the improvements identified through this periodic review.

“As students invest time and tuition dollars, we need to make certain our graduates have the skills our employers want to see as they build their workforce,” Dr. Cronin explained.

With that in mind, the college invites comments, ideas and suggestions of how the computer science program should evolve in the coming years.

An overview of the computer science program, as currently structured, is provided on pages 20-21 of the 2018-19 college catalog, available on-line at

Comments are welcome, and should be addressed to Stephen Shwiff by email at or (541) 506-6045.

People are encouraged to submit their comments by March 30.