Students - How You Benefit
There are a variety of unique benefits for students enrolled in the Technology Consulting in the Community course:

Learning opportunity to expand technical skills from the classroom to the real world

This course combines real world experience with a process and methodology resulting in analytical and communication skills. The instructor evaluates your ability to analyze and make meaningful connections between what is taking place in your consulting partnership and what is being taught in class. This evaluation consists primarily of reading reports that you write. In these reports, you provide your analysis and best thinking on the situation. At the end of the class, you will analyze the outcomes accomplished by your Community Partner and make a set of useful recommendations intended to help sustain and improve their efforts.

Service opportunity to work with non-profit organizations, schools, government agencies, and minority-owned businesses in the Pittsburgh region

Small organizations often underinvest in technology. Those without resources, learn as they go. A testament to the process of learning and the power of technology is that many of these centers are accomplishing a lot with a little. Still, the gaps in knowledge and the resulting problems hold these organizations back from exploiting the full power that technology holds for them.

Mentorship opportunity from current and former senior managers

The course’s professional mentors are current or retired senior professionals with extensive careers in fields that provide them with a comprehensive understanding of the impact that technology can have on organizations, staff, and business processes. Their experience renders them very effective in helping students connect their consulting tasks with the organizational "big picture"--the mission of the organization and how technology can enable the organization to carryout its mission.

Consulting opportunity to add experience to your resume and to feature in employment interviews

Individuals who understand the significance of software systems within complex social environments rise to leadership positions. Such an understanding results largely from experiences in which their computer science, information systems, and information technology knowledge is brought to people and organizations. Out of these experiences, these individuals develop their ability to solve problems, analyze complex situations, manage projects and communicate effectively to diverse audiences. This course gives you such an experience.

In more detail, the student learning goals of the course are to:

More information about the learning goals of TCinC can be found in:

Joseph Mertz and Scott McElfresh. 2010. Teaching communication, leadership, and the social context of computing via a consulting course. In Proceedings of the 41st ACM technical symposium on Computer science education (SIGCSE '10). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 77-81. DOI=10.1145/1734263.1734291