Recap of May 2015 New Directions in IT Education Faculty and Industry Conference

Recap of May 2015 New Directions in IT Education Faculty and Industry Conference

The 2015 conference took place at North Hennepin Community College, Brooklyn Park, MN. All meals during the conference, and lodgings for faculty attendees traveling to the conference, were sponsored by Advance IT Minnesota.

Take a look at the conference themes and program below, and download presentations.


  • The Industry Panel comprised of  Steve Shaffer (on Analytics), joined by panelists from CliftonLarsonAllen (Randy Romes, on Security), FICO Analytics (Jeff Dandridge), and Dan Atkins from MinneAnalytics).
  • This was followed by a special FICO Analytics lunch presentation by Jeff Dandridge. [download presentation]
  • Day Two (May 22) began with an Academic Keynote address by Dr. Adel Ali, Associate Dean and Director of the School of Computing, Engineering, St. Cloud State U. providing insights on current and emerging challenges in providing effective education across IT and computing disciplines

The following four tracks have been identified based on employment projections and a foundation of work already completed in these disciplines through Center sponsorship and leadership.

Save the Dates for the 2016 New Directions in IT Education Conference!

Mark your calendar for 2016 conference scheduled Thursday & Friday, May 19-20


A. Application/ Web Development

Minnesota is experiencing a high demand for application and web developers in the past few years and much of the demand is being met by talent from outside Minnesota. This problem is being recognized and addressed by a number of entities across the state. Advance IT Minnesota has established the unique FUSION IT Residency model (employer engaged education) in the area of application and web development. New Bachelor’s degree programs at Metropolitan State University, and Minnesota State University Mankato (planned for launch Fall 2015), utilize Advance IT’s FUSION approach embedding employer-engagement in years 3 and 4. These programs have paid, multi-term ‘IT Residencies’ with employer partners. Learn more about this and other innovations across MnSCU.

B. Analytics

AITM has previously funded the establishment of the MnSCU Data Analytics Network (MDAN), and faculty collaboration effort related to the rapidly emerging careers related to data analytics, Big Data, and cross-professional computational careers. There is a need to support MDAN work on shared understanding of what is needed at MnSCU institutions in terms of commonly-understood analytics curricula and competencies.

C. Cybersecurity/ Information Assurance

AITM supports the growth of security-related careers through competitions, boot camps, and partnerships with peer organizations and like-minded entities. This conference provides an opportunity for faculty members to work together to address the need for more rapidly growing Minnesota talent in this discipline.

D. Shared IT Infrastructure

AITM has funded a feasibility study regarding the potential to establish a shared “virtual network infrastructure” among MnSCU IT programs that would significantly lower the cost of student access to more sophisticated environments and align learning outcomes with the rapidly evolving industry trend towards virtualization of infrastructure.


Day One | Thursday, May 21

10am | Industry KeynoteSteve Shaffer, President and CFO, Insite Software

11am | Industry Panel

  • Jeff Dandridge (FICO Analytics – Analytics panelist)
  • Dan Atkins (MinneAnalytics – Analytics panelist)
  • Randy Romes (CliftonLarsonAllen LLP – Security panelist)
  • Steve Shaffer (Insite Software – App/Web Dev panelist)

Noon | Lunch and Special Topic Presentation

1:15pm | Theme Presentation Breakouts

A1 | Web/AppDevKey competencies and critical gaps

B1 | Analytics & Big DataDomain presentation on careers, competencies and skills

C1 | CybersecurityHighlighting current efforts and desired long-term goals

IT Student Success | Defining success and strategies to support and promote it

2:30pm | Break

2:45pm | Theme Project Breakouts Develop outlines for Advance IT-sponsored summer projects, and enlist faculty teams with industry partners for all four conference themes (A2 Web/AppDev, B2 Analytics/Big Data, C2 Cybersecurity, D2 Shared Infrastructure).

4:30pm | Break

5pm | Dinner at Lookout Bar & Grill

Day Two | Friday, May 22

8:30am | Academic Keynote

9:15am | Faculty Panel(panelists from four themes)

10:30am | Faculty-initiated Theme Projects

Hour 1 General Session Pitch: Faculty may step-up to pitch projects or grant efforts they wish to pursue and solicit faculty partners

Hour 2 Teaming Breakouts: Work with faculty partners in separate breakout sessions to build teams, and outline a plan of action.

12:30pm | Lunch/NetworkingConclude Conference