Along with the revival of the computer science major comes a new component: the addition of a cyber security track.
The computer science major was officially frozen in May 2013 as part of a series of budget cuts that the university underwent. The decision to unfreeze the major was made in Oct. 2015, after being voted on by faculty, according to Brian Shelburne, professor of mathematics and computer science.
As part of the new track, computer science majors will have the opportunity to spend the fall semester of their senior year at the Advanced Technology Intelligence Center, ATIC, in Beaver Creek to take a 15-week course in cyber security, according to Shelburne.
The cyber security course is an immersion program that would count as college credit, Shelburne said.
Additionally, the program would cost no more than Wittenberg tuition, according to Alexa Murrietta, sophomore computer science major.
“I was actually in a place where I was looking to build the major before it was back,” Murrietta said. “[The cyber security track] is allowing me to do something more on the cusp of what I wanted to do in the first place.”
In addition to the cyber security track, the revival of the computer science major will also include the opening up of a new tenure track position.
The revived computer science major will also feature a general computer science track, in addition to the cyber security track.
“For me as a current computer science major, I get to see the beast that is the new major, and I get to see more people coming to Wittenberg because of computer science,” said sophomore Kaleb Mayfield.
Although the major has been frozen since May of 2013, the major and classes have essentially continued for those students who declared before a certain deadline, according to Alex Meyer, senior computer science major.
Meyer, along with several other students, has been on the computer science track despite the major being frozen.
“The professors in the department were really willing to work with us to make sure that we got the major that we wanted,” Meyer said.
Shelburne said that he hopes that the addition of a computer science major will attract prospective students to Wittenberg and also help current students with job opportunities.
“Computers are ubiquitous, and we really need people who know how to use them, who understand them and who can program them,” Shelburne said. “A liberal arts college like Wittenberg really ought to have a computer science major, and I’m just glad we’re back.”
The administration and board will meet in February to ratify the proposal, according to Shelburne.