Computer Science Program Dr. Charles W. Reynolds, Coordinator Integrated Science and Dr. Richard M. Roberds, Coordinator Technology Program and Dr. Maurice L. Wolla, Coordinator School of Health and Human Services Department of Communication Dr. Nicholas W. Bankson, Head Sciences and Disorders Department of Health Sciences Dr. Stephen Stewart, Head Department of Nursing Dr. Vida S. Huber, Head Department of Social Work R. Ann Myers, Head
Center for HIV Programs Dr. Vida S. Huber, Coordinator Family Issues Minor R. Ann Myers, Coordinator Gerontology Minor/Center Dr. Cecil D. Bradfield, Coordinator Human Services Minor R. Ann Myers, CoordinatorThe past several decades have brought remarkable developments in science and technology, impacting upon our lives and our society and irreversibly altering the world. Fundamental changes will continue at an explosive pace, affecting how businesses and governments operate and posing great challenges and opportunities.
Those who understand science and technology and are able to use and manage it wisely will play a major role in guiding economics and politics alike. There is a critical need for individuals who understand the mutual dependence between specialists and integrators, who are not compromised by complexity and uncertainty, who can locate opportunity within disorder, and who are committed to taking the longer and wider view. The quality of life in our society and human progress globally will depend on the integration of scientific knowledge, technological capabilities, ethical principles and an understanding of cultural commonalities and differences.
The mission of the College of Integrated Science and Technology is to prepare men and women to recognize and understand scientific and technical developments, and to apply them creatively to the issues facing contemporary society. The academic programs of the college emphasize the development of students in three principal areas: problem solving, communication and sensitivity to context.
Students in the college will learn how to extract and define problems from real-world starting points and how to review and distill previous work on related problems. They will learn how to develop a plan of action and how to share responsibilities within a working group. The curriculum focuses on the application of the most important problem-solving resources of our age: analytical methods, knowledge-based systems, and strategic elements from the scientific and technical disciplines.
Problem solving and communication are inextricably linked by the role that communication plays in problem definition and in the functioning of working groups. Furthermore, although defining a problem and identifying a potential solution are essential capabilities, making a solution work requires professionals to communicate effectively with those in the organization or society who are decision makers or whose cooperation is needed for implementation.
Students in the college will develop communications skills both in the classroom and beyond, in the daily interactions among individuals and project teams. Students will also develop an understanding of the structure, function, power and limitations of advanced telecommunications systems.
Sensitivity to context is crucial. Although a broad interpretation of what it means to define a problem might encompass this issue, context is so important and so frequently ignored or insufficiently considered that it deserves specific emphasis. A solution which is appealing on purely technical criteria may be judged impractical or even undesirable when context is carefully considered. Four identifiable aspects of context are: commercial and economic; legal and ethical; organizational and political; social and cultural. Each of these aspects operates at several levels: locally, regionally, nationally and globally. Students in the college will develop an understanding of these aspects and levels, and of their mutual influences. As with problem-solving and communications skills, sensitivity to context will be developed both through formal course work and through interactions among the community of students and faculty.
In establishing the new College of Integrated Science and Technology, James Madison University is acting on its commitment to prepare young women and men for careers in which they can bridge the gap between the technological world and the rest of the world, benefitting all.
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Last reviewed: Sept. 10, 1994