Dayne Conner will be graduating from Penn State Mont Alto with not only a diploma in hand, but also a job waiting for him.
Conner, an information sciences and technology major, received several job offers when he went to a Penn State IT careers expo held twice yearly. He plans to work for Textron, an aerospace and defense contractor.
"It's a great opportunity, a great chance for my future, and I feel Penn State has more than prepared me. The teaching and opportunities are fantastic," Conner said.
Conner's position isn't an anomaly. Paul Bart, program coordinator and lecturer, gets frequent calls from area employers in search of graduates from the information sciences and technology program.
"I feel almost guilty I don't have more people to give them," Bart said.
The successful placements come in large part because the information sciences and technology program has close ties to the business community. An advisory board with representatives of health systems, digital media, banks and other industries provides guidance, and students are doing research that benefits companies. Penn State Mont Alto students deployed Windows 10 in a campus lab to identify potential glitches for a bank preparing to roll out the system. Students are making presentations to local business leaders about hybrid cloud computing.
"This program could just as easily be described as 'applied computer sciences,' with emphasis on 'applied,'" Bart said.
Conner feels faculty have treated him as a person, not a number, saying everyone on campus cares about his personal and academic growth.
"They have so many resources, good teachers and good guidance. I wasn't expecting to have all these great offers and opportunities after I graduate," he said.