Faculty at the School of Information and Washtenaw Community College will collaborate on an open-source course with the goal of encouraging more students to consider a U-M Bachelor of Science in Information (BSI) degree. The two institutions have teamed up to offer WCC students, particularly those underrepresented in STEM fields, an introductory class in the popular programming language Python that UMSI uses as a gateway course to its degree.
School of Information leaders wanted to figure out how to make the transition easier for students coming from outside the U-M system. Program Director Barry Fishman said they also wanted to “grow the program’s socioeconomic diversity and expand the range of pathways to STEM fields like information science,” so they turned to WCC for input and potential collaboration. “The BSI program is trying to be as friendly as possible to students coming from all backgrounds, and we are putting special effort into smoothing the path for a student looking to transfer to U-M from community college,” Fishman said.