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IBM Partners With Northface University to Develop a New Breed of IT Professionals

IBM Forges University Alliance to Address the Industry Shortage of Software Developers

GRAPEVINE, TX - 20 Jul 2004: IBM today announced a partnership with Northface University to establish a new educational institution that will produce a more proficient and experienced IT professional than graduates from the nation's top technology schools.

In the company's continuance to maintain a best-of-breed IT workforce, IBM is working with Northface to equip the entire school with leading edge technology and providing top executives for curriculum development and teaching positions. IBM Fellow Grady Booch serves on the university's advisory board, IBM Distinguished Engineer Sridhar Iyengar assists with curriculum development and additional notable IBM technical staff will be on loan for instructor positions.

According to many IT professionals, traditional software education is not adequately preparing students for the jobs in the industry. The founders of Northface University are addressing the industry-wide shortage of skilled graduates through partnerships with IBM and other technology providers, mentoring by some of the industry's most acclaimed faculty members, and hands-on experiential learning in a state-of-the-art university setting.

"The high level of interest we have received from the industry not only validates the strength of our management and faculty teams, but also underscores the market demand for our project-based approach to Computer Science education," said H. Scott McKinley, CEO of Northface University. "We are very pleased to be partnered with IBM as we work toward our mission of educating the most sought-after software developers in the world."

Northface University offers students an accelerated 28-month program to earn a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, WebSphere and .NET certifications and a digital portfolio of projects. Seventy percent of the curriculum is project-based, so students who graduate are well-prepared to work in the IT industry. Students are mentored by the industry's most distinguished faculty members, and receive advanced training in modeling, architecture, and business processes.

"When the Northface founders showed us what they were trying to accomplish, it just made sense," said IBM Fellow Grady Booch. "The Northface vision falls in line with IBM's quest to maintain a highly skilled workforce so we can continue to develop innovative products for our customers."

In addition to a curriculum that focuses on the skills most valued by today's employers, Northface also provides its students with the best business tools in the industry. All labs and projects are done in an environment with WebSphere, Linux and .NET at the core. IBM servers and Thinkpads are used for business, faculty and staff. Each student is given an IBM Thinkpad and top-of-the-line tools to assist in their education.

The University attracts students directly out of high school, current community college students, and others who joined the workforce without bachelor degrees. Among these are transfer students who have attended another college and are dissatisfied with the lack of hands-on and project-based programs in other computer science programs.

The Salt Lake City campus of the 102-year-old Morrison University offers Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, Master of Science in Computer Science and MBA in Enterprise Informatics degrees, and is accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS).

Contact(s) information

Michael Loughran
IBM Media Relations
(914) 766-1180
mloughra@us.ibm.com

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