Contact: Ellen Sterner
SMU News & Media Relations
(214) 768-7650

Oct. 21, 2002


DALLAS (SMU) -- Network administration. Web page development. Database administration.

For students thinking about pursuing a career in information technology, there are many options to choose from. But which one is best for them?

A new two-week workshop offered by SMU's Advanced Computer Education Centers can help. The workshop allows students to see if they have an aptitude for information technology careers before they invest time and money in training programs.

Pat Dial, director of instruction and curriculum for SMU's Advanced Computer Education Centers, developed the workshops. SMU has Advanced Computer Education Centers in Richardson, Plano, Houston and San Antonio.

The two-week workshops offer a combination of instructor-led classes and computer-based training (CBT). Students are exposed to a variety of information technology fields during the first week and then a customized curriculum is created for the second week that allows students to focus on their two favorite areas.

"The purpose of these workshops is not to make technicians, but to expose students to different technologies and see what sparks their interest," Dial said. The workshops include testing before and after completion to see what the students may do well in.

The workshops are free to students who qualify for the government's workforce initiative program, which helps displaced workers find new careers. For other students, the $250 workshop fee can be applied toward tuition for a class at one of SMU's Advanced Computer Education Centers.

SMU has offered the workshop in Plano and Richardson three times since September, and after each session, all the participants decided to enroll in further training.

"The knowledge students gain from these workshops will give them a boost when they start a training program," Dial said.

For more information on the workshops, visit or call 972-473-3456. The next workshop in the Dallas area will begin Oct. 28 at SMU-in-Legacy, 5236 Tennyson Pkwy. in Plano.