Thursday, August 17, 2006

My Degree

Last semester, I decided to craft an "individualized degree program" rather than continue with my Land Use major. The idea was that I had about six classes left to take, and a lot of them were really stupid classes with no use to them at all, and by going this other route, I could basically take six better classes and still get a degree. I could even get a degree with a better name!

I gave up on finishing the process last semester because I was running out of time between various projects. I have to finish it this semester, though, because you have to finish a certain number of hours after your plan is approved (21) - presumably to keep you from trying to craft a degree out of exactly the classes you happen to have already taken.

My school (Metro) has minors. So under this program, you can make up your own major (and then have a regular minor), your own minor (with a regular major), or your own extended major. Of course, you have to write up a thing about why your plan makes sense and what kinds of jobs you might look for afterwards, and get departmental approval, and all that.

Anyway, since I wanted to have fewer GIS/Planning/Land Use classes and more Computer Science classes, I called mine "Geographic Software Engineering." I think that sounds pretty cool. It was to be about 1/3 each of GIS, Computer Science, and Math.

Since I've been thinking more about teaching lately, I've been revising this plan to incorporate the types of math classes taken by teachers, and to make sure I end up with enough math classes to qualify for alternative certification in Houston. (It takes 24 hours, with 12 "advanced". In Denver, you have to have 30 hours to be alternatively certified.)

This is my current extended major. Classes in blue are the ones I still need to take.

GEG 1100 - Introduction to Physical Geography
GIS 2250 - Introduction to Geographic Information Systems
GIS 3250 - Computer Cartography
GIS 4840 - Remote Sensing [damn that was a great class!]
GIS 4850 - Advanced Geographic Information Systems
GIS 4870 - Spatial Database Design, Implementation, & Management
MTH 2410 - Calculus II
MTH 2420 - Calculus III
MTH 3100 - Introduction to Proofs
MTH 3110 - Abstract Algebra
MTH 3140 - Linear Algebra
MTH 3650 - Foundations of Geometry
CSI 1050 - Computer Science 1
CSI 2050 - Computer Science 2
CSI 3050 - Computer Science 3
CSI 3210 - Principles of Programming Languages
CSI 4250 - Software Engineering Principles
CSI 4260 - Software Eingineering Practices

This is 62 hours, of which 41 are upper-division. I'ts a pretty strong degree, I think (for an undergrad degree from a mediocre school, I mean) - I'm only required to have 27 upper-division hours. It gets me enough math for HISD, and the math I'm taking is a subset of what teachers here take, so it should look like about the right kind of stuff (that is, more theoretical math and not too much engineering/practical type math).

I have 29 hours left to take, which is basically 2 years for me. Argh. I seem perpetually 2 years away from graduation.

1 comment:

sally said...

"2 years away from graduation" - ah, Tam, that does bring back the memories... ;) Actually, were you every 2 years away from graduation at Rice? I can't remember how your credits tracked against the calendar year.