Computer Science Advisory Meeting Minutes

April 29, 2022, 2 p.m.

Meeting Place



Carmen Allen, chair


LLCC Members in Attendance

Carmen Allen (Computer Science Coordinator), Scott Searcy (Dean of Math and Computer Science), Carrie Henry (Administrative Assistant to the Dean), Tom Sidener (Computer Science Faculty), Lucinda Caughey (Computer Science Faculty), Julie Brennan (Computer Science Faculty), Brenda Elliott (Director, Work Based Learning), Josh Collins (AVP, Business Relations), Michelle Pulce-Flynn (Director, Grant Development), Marina Wirsing (Career Coach), Cathy Huffman (Career Coach), Claire Heffron-McKinney (Student Success Coach), Ron Brown (Student Success Coach)

Industry Partners in Attendance

Neil Gebhardt (Bank of Springfield, IT Specialist), Scot Crawford (Brandt, Inc., IT Director), David Fowler (Computer Banc, Executive Director), Sam Ganci (MSF&W, Director of Recruiting), Joseph Smith (Prairie Power, Chief Technology Officer), Ryan McCrady (Springfield Sangamon Growth Alliance, President and CEO), Brian Mesecher (Systemax Corporation, Chief Operating Officer), Shawn Strahle (Illinois National Guard, Colonel), Joseph Caceres (Illinois National Guard, Chief Warrant Officer), Unknown Attendee (dialed in by phone).


  1. Housekeeping items – Carmen Allen
  2. Introductions – Carmen Allen
  3. Updates since last meeting – Carmen Allen
  4. Ongoing projects – Carmen Allen
  5. Work-based learning opportunities – Brenda Elliot
  6. Curriculum updates – Carmen Allen
  7. Program Advisory Committee (PAC) – Carmen Allen
  8. Future goals/activities – Carmen Allen


1. Housekeeping items

This meeting is being recorded via Zoom. View a recording of the meeting.

This provides evidence that we’re interacting with those who are interested in what is being offered to the community. People can refer to this recording of this meeting in the future including future employer partners.  

This meeting is for information sharing. 

2. Introductions

Please see the attendees listed above from LLCC and the industry partners.

3. Updates since last meeting

  1. Computer Science Curriculum
  2. This advisory group has not met since fall 2019 due to covid. 
  3. January 2020: covid pandemic began. 
  4. Spring 2020-spring 2022: courses offered 95% online.
    • To measure the impact of the covid pandemic on the workplace, a quick poll for the attendees asked: "I telecommute at least 1 day a week OR I'm 100% at my work site." 
    • Overall group result: 
      • 37% (7 out 19) telecommute at least 1 day a week
      • 63% (12 out of 19) are 100% on work site
    • Industry partners result: 
      • 45% (4 out 9) telecommute at least 1 day a week,
      • 55% (5 out of 9) are 100% on work site
    • LLCC employees result: 
      • 30% (3 out 10) telecommute at least 1 day a week
      • 70% (7 out of 10) are 100% on work site
  5. Effective fall 2021, we created a new Program Advisory Committee manual. Access to this manual will be provided in a SharePoint Computer Science PAC site. This will provide members access to all PAC meeting documentation. 
  6. The goals for today are to provide information about Computer Science programs. In the near future, we’ll gather information from industry leaders on how we can better meet employer needs through a survey.
  7. Our overall goal is to improve processes and update curriculum to increase the number of qualified employees eligible to work for employers who have specific IT needs.  

4. Ongoing projects

  1. Maintaining our status as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Two-Year Education thru 2023.
  2. CAE designation is acquired through:
    • Quality course designs with qualified faculty
    • Curricula that align with the National Initiative for Cybersecurity (NICE) workforce framework
    • Attendance at CAE-sponsored events
    • Work-based learning opportunities for students.
  3. National Science Foundation / Advanced Technological Education Grant (NSF/ATE). Cybersecurity Based Education (CBE).
    • Cybersecurity Certificate – 12 courses fully designed
    • CBE course characteristics: accelerated completion, frequent communication with students, achievement of mastery and repetitive learning opportunities
    • May 2022 – grant completion
    • All courses are offered online using the Canvas Learning Management System (LMS)    
  4. Two new grant opportunities: 
    • NSF’s “Community Colleges Transforming Teaching: A Research-Practice Partnership with Carnegie Mellon University”
    • “Strengthening Community Colleges Training” with the Department of Labor
  5. Customized Apprenticeship Programming (CAP-IT grants) providing work-based learning opportunities for students in Information Technology.

5. Work-based learning opportunities

Brenda Elliott presented. Opportunities include job shadowing, internships and structured learning programs. We meet with local businesses, discover what positions are in high demand and connect students with a business. 

6. Curriculum updates

Carmen Allen presented. LLCC offers the following programs: 

  • Computer Science Associate of Arts degree - Transfer program
  • Computer Systems Associate of Science degree - Occupational program
  • Computer Science Certificate of Achievement - Occupation Program
  • Cybersecurity Certificate of Achievement
  • Help Desk Certificate of Completion
  • CISCO Network Administrator Training Certificate of Completion.
    • To determine the specific need for the CISCO Networking Certificate, a quick poll for industry partners asked: "Our organization requires the Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) when hiring networking staff” or “Our organization does not require the Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) when hiring networking staff.” 
      • Overall group result (industry partners only): 22% (2 out 9) require the CCNA
      • 77% (7 out of 9) do not require the CCNA

Future curriculum courses/programs:

  • Artificial intelligence
  • Machine learning
  • Python programming
  • Chatbot programming
  • Cloud-based development security operations (DecSecOps)

7. Program Advisory Committee (PAC)

Members are invited to serve on a PAC because of their knowledge, expertise and understanding in their area of specialization. We include individuals from local workforce development boards, local business and industry, government, military, college administration, faculty, staff, alumni, current students, secondary and transfer institutions.  

Our ladder of industry engagement consists of new relationships, working relationships and strategic partnerships divided into levels indicating the state of relationship and activity examples.  

8. Future goals/activities

Along with these minutes, we will provide a survey link seeking input from industry partners and access to the SharePoint Computer Science PAC site.

Our next meeting will be scheduled in late fall of 2022. 

Per the quick Poll taken at this meeting, the group indicated 58-42% to meet face-to-face with a luncheon versus Zoom online in the fall.