The computer science (CS) program originated from a concentration in computer science which was offered from 1971-1978. Dr. Elva Jones served as founder and coordinator. In 1978 approval was granted by the University of North Carolina-General Administration (UNC-GA) to plan a major program in computer science. The computer science program was approved in 1979 and implemented in 1980. The program was housed in the Mathematics/Computer Science Department. Dr. Virginia Newell served as chairperson.
In response to community requests, the computer science faculty developed a post baccalaureate certification program in computer programming in 1983. The certificate program was implemented in 1984. From its inception, the CS program developed a reputation for producing highly qualified graduates. To further enhance the growth potential of the program, a separate Department of Computer Science was established effective August 1, 1992, with Dr. Elva Jones as chairperson.
The mission of the Computer Science Department is to offer a Bachelor of Science degree program in computer science, a minor program, a certificate program in computer programming, and provide introductory computer literacy courses and support courses for other academic programs. The department offers introductory computer literacy and upper level elective courses to support major programs in the College of Arts and Sciences, and Schools of Business and Economics, Education and Health Sciences.
As a result of continuous program assessment the curriculum was revised periodically in accordance with the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) curriculum guidelines. The faculty decided the program would benefit from seeking accreditation status and initiated a self-study to seek accreditation by the Computing Sciences Accreditation Commission (CSAC), Fall 1993. The CS program received its initial CSAC accreditation June 1995. The program was accredited by the Computing Accreditation Commission (CAC) of ABET in 2001.
The Master of Science in Computer Science and Information Technology was approved May 2002. This graduate program is designed to provide professional education in a unique curriculum combination of core computer science and applied information technology.
Demand for a variety of computing related educational options resulted in the development of the BS in Information Technology Program. This new program designed to prepare students for technical support careers, was approved January 2006.
The CS programs are characterized by a comprehensive and innovative curriculum, highly qualified faculty (including two distinguished professors, full-time professors, and adjunct faculty from local industry), contemporary laboratory facilities, and highly motivated students.