- What will the program cost me?
That depends upon how long you take in completing the program. The shorter the time, the lower the cost. Most part-time students will spend about $504 per term - that is 7 or 8 credit hours plus lab fees. Books and supplies will average another $75 per term.
- How long does it take me to earn a certificate degree?
A certificate will normally take two years of part-time enrollment. A degree will normally take two years of full time study. Many students take longer, however, either because they cannot attend college full time or because they may require some brushing up.
- What do I get when I complete my program?
If you're in the certificate program, you receive a Certificate of Completion from Mt. Hood Community College, certifying that you have completed 51 hours of required course work in the computer field. If you are in the degree program, you earn an Associate of Arts Degree from Mt. Hood Community College. Mt. Hood is fully accredited by the Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges. Most credits earned at Mt. Hood are being accepted by any other accredited institution across the U.S.
- What is the difference between the Mt Hood program and those of the private business or computer schools?
Lots. While some private schools do a good job of teaching quick skills, many do not provide the depth or breadth of education necessary for advancement in a career. A two-year college degree carries more weight in the job market.
- Is job placement assistance available?
Mt. Hood does have a Job Placement Office to help you obtain a part-time job while going to school. Many of the students in the Computer Information Specialist program are already employed, and they typically advance in that same industry.
- What kind of a job can I get when I complete my certificate/degree?
There are many possibilities for graduates. Most students advance in the industry in which they have previous experience. They become the PC "expert" in a small business or department of a large business. Some Computer Information Systems students find employment in the computer industry, either in consulting or training.
- O.K. so how much can I expect to earn in my job?
That would depend a great deal upon the geographic and industry area that you are working in. Remember that it is not the starting salary but the advancement potential that is the key. Few people advance these days without computer expertise. Motivated graduates have few limits to either promotion or earning potentials.
- Do I have to apply to get into the program?
You may begin taking classes at Mt. Hood Community College without any formal application. After a few classes, however, you can apply for admission to Mt. Hood Community College. Qualified prior classes will automatically count toward the Certificate or Degree. There is no special application necessary for the Computer Information Systems program.
- Do I have to have a high school diploma or GED to start at Mt. Hood?
No. If you are 18 or over, you can start right in.
- Will I be required to take any placement tests?
A student may take a few courses without taking placement tests, but you should take the placement test series when you can. The placement process is for your benefit, so that you neither start at a higher level than you can benefit from nor at so low a level as to waste your time (and money!). Placement testing covers three areas: reading, writing, and math. It's free and conducted year around, so it is convenient for even the busiest of students.
- Do I have to begin with fall term?
No! As a matter of fact, you may begin in the middle of a term! Many classes in the Computer Information Systems program are offered during each academic term and some are even available during summer school. Many of these classes are available in a seminar format over a short period; 5 weeks, 3 weeks, even one single weekend.
- Can I take all the required classes at night?
At night or on weekends - that is the way the program for the Certificate was designed. The AA degree may be a little harder as courses outside the department may or may not be offered at night as frequently. But, with careful planning, it's possible.
- Do I have to take my classes in some kind of special order or sequence?
Sometimes. Some classes must be taken in sequence, and a few have prerequisites that must be taken first, but most have none of these restrictions. Prerequisites are listed in the catalog, but for a thorough understanding of which classes to take in which order it is best to see your academic advisor relatively early in your studies.
- How do I met an advisor or counselor, and what's the difference between the two?
A counselor is a professional especially equipped to assist you in career choice, career and personal planning, self-evaluation, and other personal and educational decisions. An advisor is an instructor in your chosen academic specialty, such as Computer Information Systems, who has a wide experience with both student needs and the needs of the field or profession that you have chosen. To see a counselor, call 491-7315 for an appointment or drop in to the Advising and Counseling Center at Mt. Hood any weekday from 8:00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. (4:30 on Fridays). To see an advisor, call 491-7511.