Cal State Monterey Bay and Hartnell College have partnered to offer a new fast-track to a degree in Computer Science & Information Technology. Through this accelerated program students will graduate in just three years and be ready to compete for in-demand opportunities in the high-tech job market and in graduate school.

The first 30 students will begin the program this fall and follow a pre-determined series of courses. For the first year and a half, they will take classes predominantly at Hartnell, followed by the second year and a half of coursework at CSUMB. During their second summer in the program, students will complete paid internships at organizations such as the Naval Postgraduate School, Cisco and Microsoft.

“We’ve tried to build a well-rounded program,” said Sathya Narayanan, a computer science faculty member at CSUMB. “It isn’t simply compressing the course schedule, crossing our fingers, and hoping students show up to graduate in three years. We’ve built an infrastructure to support the student every step of the way and expect significant commitment from students to meet the rigorous demands of this program.”

Joe Welch, computer science instructor at Hartnell College, adds, “Along with the infrastructure support, we are also going to collect extensive data to dem- onstrate the academic quality and preparedness of a CSIT-in-3 graduate.”

CSIT-in-3 is designed as a cohort-based program, meaning students who start the program together will take all classes, participate in extra-curricular activities, and graduate together. Enhanced student services such as progress tracking, priority registration and tutoring will help students stay on track for the length of the intensive program. They will also benefit from workshops, field trips and guest speakers arranged especially for CSIT-in-3 students.

Maria Rivera, a prospective student, said, “I am confident that spending three years with the same people, studying the same courses, and pursuing common goals will have a significant impact on my life. Being in the CSIT-in-3 cohort will provide me with a support system and sense of community whether it involves studying, homework, or just life in general. I know that CSIT-in-3 is for me.”

The three-year program is designed to keep tuition costs at a minimum, plus eligible students can apply for generous scholarships from the Matsui Foundation, which has committed to providing $40,000 each to 24 eligible students from the first three cohorts. Additional scholarships are also available from Hartnell and CSUMB.

– Liz MacDonald