Mission & Objectives | College of Information Sciences and Technology
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Mission & Objectives

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Our mission is to educate students who can meet the challenges of the 21st century information age; conduct leading-edge research integrating people, information and technology; and carry out service activities that address global problems and challenges.


At IST, we’re about creating intelligence. The digital age has made the world smaller, faster, more interactive and increasingly mobile. But no matter how fast and smart machines become, they still rely on the power of human creativity. It’s people that create new ways to look at and evaluate the infinite opportunities of the digital age. IST draws on a variety of knowledge disciplines to help individuals unlock the power of their own creativity and fuel the world’s most powerful problem solving machine—the human mind.


The School of Information Sciences and Technology (IST) was founded in 1997 based on a need perceived by the University and advisors from government and industry for educating students in the emerging field of information sciences and technology. The School was charged with producing graduates having knowledge of information technologies and the capability to work in teams to understand how information technologies can be utilized in real applications involving individuals, organizations, and national or global enterprises. The School was renamed as a College in 2006.

Current State of the College

Welcoming its first students in 1999, IST has grown and matured significantly, with currently more than 2,200 resident students statewide, and over 1,000 students taking IST courses online through World Campus. These students are mentored by more than 150 faculty members, who provide instruction at many levels and in a variety of formats. Academic offerings include a two-year IST associate degree; five bachelor of science degrees; resident master of science and doctoral research degrees in Informatics; and non-resident master of professional studies degrees in Information Sciences, Homeland Security, and Enterprise Architecture.


From its inception, IST has focused on leveraging the interplay of information, technology and humans. In the next five years, four major trends will drive the College’s progress in education, research and outreach: 1) The Internet of things; 2) Mobile computing and sensing; 3) Big data—the explosion of digital heterogeneous data; and 4) New forms of risk involving cyber insecurity and information privacy. Research opportunities include the blending of human and computer-based cognition; fusion of sensor data with human observations; big data search and retrieval, aggregation and analytics, and modeling the interplay among the physical, cyber and human landscapes. The resulting interdisciplinary research will drive major advances in areas such as medicine, energy, environmental monitoring and crisis management, but will require transcending academic boundaries and the linking of lab-based data with online global datasets that are complex, multimodal and evolving.  Meeting these challenges will require the complementary expertise and efforts of researchers, practicing professionals and citizen scientists. IST’s education and outreach programs will prepare individuals within each of these population segments.