Montgomery College - Germantown Student Newspaper



A Message to New and Current Cybersecurity Students


Author: Arrey Mbutambe, Managing Editor

Following the sudden announcement that NWIT 290 may not be offered after Spring 2019. Current cybersecurity students who are following the 2016-2017 curriculum are left doubting whether or not they will be able to graduate on time.

According to Mr. Joe Roundy, cybersecurity program manager, the decision to remove NWIT 290 from the future cybersecurity curriculum was made over a year ago. The curriculum is often changing and as a result NWIT 290 was removed “to keep the program updated.” Mr. David Vargas, Professor of Science, Engineering, and Technology as well as a cybersecurity advisor, goes on to say that the program “could not add another three credit course because of the credit limit” so the next best option was to “add the one credit course [NWIT 291].”

Both Mr. Vargas and Mr. Roundy confirm that there will be course substitutions for students who need to take a three-credit course to replace NWIT 290. Cybersecurity students should be aware of the curriculum change and its affect on their degree plans.

Doug Bayne, President of the Cybersecurity Club and cybersecurity student, weighed in on the issue by recalling his own experiences with the change. He claimed that students were shocked and confused when NWIT 290 was not being offered during a 2018 Summer II session. This resulted in a mad dash of students registering for NWIT 246 during the 2018 Summer I session in hopes of being able to complete their degree plans by taking NWIT 290 during 2018 Summer II.

Students were allowed to register after emailing both Professor. Silvia Vargas, Cybersecurity Program Lead, and Dr. David Hall, the Department Chair of Science, Engineering, and Technology.

According to Doug, “[NWIT 290] finally opened, and that’s the last time I knew of 290 being offered.” Mr. Vargas presented another side stating that during Spring 2018, “no one signed up for [NWIT 290], all of a sudden, people need it; this shows me that [students] did not follow the curriculum.”

Many students do not seek academic advising from their program advisors during their first year, which is the catalyst in degree plan confusion. Despite this, Mr. Vargas assured students that they “should not be nervous about not graduating,” claiming that “they will accommodate you in any way possible.” He continued to reassure students by saying “if many students need a course, then it will be offered, they should not worry, they will graduate.”

If you’re a current or new cybersecurity student looking for more information, you are encouraged to set up an appointment with a counselor or cybersecurity advisor. Mr. Roundy can be found in the MC CyberLab in HT 230A frequently and is extremely reachable through email. Although, he prefers formal appointments. If you’re looking for more assistance, Mr. David Vargas and Mrs. Silvia Vargas are both cybersecurity advisors on campus. They are best reached through email, as they do not have open office hours. Additional links can be found below.

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A Message to New and Current Cybersecurity Students