Computer Information Systems:
FY 2007 Course Descriptions

The following is an ambitious list of Computer Information Systems and Computer Science courses cautiously recommended to Technical Communications majors at Austin Community College:

The courses highlighted in red are the recommended ones. Check with the department chairpersons for Business and Technical Communications and, if necessary, for Computer Information Systems before enrolling in the advanced courses listed here. Your goal in these courses is not to develop such technical proficiency in these areas that you can do the actual related work (except for web programming) but to know the terminology, concepts, processes, and problems such that you can write intelligently about them.

Operating Systems

Knowing UNIX operating systems (such as AIX and Linux) is essential in so many ways: you need it for web programming; and plenty of technical-writing work will involve UNIX.

ITSC 1307 UNIX OPERATING SYSTEM I (3-2-2). A study of the UNIX operating system including multi-user concepts, terminal emulation, use of system editor, basic UNIX commands, and writing script files. Topics include introductory systems management concepts. Prerequisites: One semester of programming.

ITSC 2337 UNIX OPERATING SYSTEMS II (3-2-2). Advanced study of the UNIX operating system. Includes advanced concepts of system management and communication, the installation and maintenance of software, network security, and data integrity issues. Prerequisites: ITSC 1307 (UNIX Operating System I) or departmental approval.

Computer Hardware and Help Desk

One avenue for technical communicators is technical support, for which computer hardware and help-desk studies are essential. Also, computer hardware studies are essential for technical writers who write about the actual physical computers, a more specialized area of technical writing.

ITSC 1425 PERSONAL COMPUTER HARDWARE (4-3-3). A study of current personal computer hardware including personal computer assembly and upgrading, setup and configuration, and troubleshooting. Prerequisites: COSC 1300 (Introduction to Computing) and one semester of programming or department approval.

ITSC 2339 PERSONAL COMPUTER HELP DESK (3-3-1). Diagnosis and solution of user hardware and software related problems with on-the-job projects. An introduction to end-user computing and user support via help desk operations and user support management endeavors. Prerequisites: ITNW 1325 (Fundamentals of Networking Technologies), ITSC 1425 (Personal Computer Hardware), and COSC 1301 (Personal Computing) or department approval.


Along with networking and security, database familiarity is quite useful for getting technical-writing work, in particular, work involving Oracle databases.

ITSE 1345 INTRODUCTION TO ORACLE SQL AND PL/SQL (3-2-2). An introduction to the design and creation of relational databases. Topics include storing, retrieving, updating, and displaying data using Structured Query Language (SQL) and Procedure Language (PL). Prerequisites: ITSE 2309 (Database Programming: Oracle).


The Visual course gets you familiarized with programming in general, and programming in a Windows environment in particular. The web programming courses add greatly to your marketability for web page work.

ITSE 1331 INTRODUCTION TO VISUAL BASIC PROGRAMMING .NET (3-2-2). Introduction to computer programming using Visual BASIC. Emphasis on the fundamentals of structured design, development, testing, implementation, and documentation. Includes language syntax, data and file structures, input/output devices, and files.

ITSE 1411 BEGINNING WEB PAGE PROGRAMMING (4-3-3). Web page programming including mark-up and scripting languages. Introduction to structure and object oriented programming design. Course includes use of XHTML and JavaScript programming languages.

ITSE 2402 INTERMEDIATE WEB PROGRAMMING (4-3-3). Techniques for web development. Includes server-side and client-side scripting. Intermediate applications for web authoring. Topics may include server side includes (SSI), Perl, HTML, Java, Javascript, and/or ASP. Prerequisites: ITSE 1411 (Beginning Web Page Programming).

INEW 2334 ADVANCED WEB PAGE PROGRAMMING (USING ASP.NET) (3-3-1). Advanced applications for Web authoring. Topics may include Perl Scripts, Common Gateway Interface (CGI), Database Interaction, Active Server Pages, Java Applets, Javascripts, tables, HTML, and/or interactive elements. The course extends the topics introduced in INEW 1340. This course also covers ASP.NET caching, web services, and configuration topics. Prerequisites: INEW 1340 (ASP.NET Programming).

Networking and Security

Familiarity with networking and security can help you get technical-writing work in these areas and do that work intelligently.

ITSY 1300 FUNDAMENTALS OF INFORMATION SECURITY (3-3-1). Basic information security goals of availability, integrity, accuracy, and confidentiality. Vocabulary and terminology specific to the field of information security are discussed. Identification of exposures and vulnerabilities and appropriate countermeasures are addressed. The importance of appropriate planning and administrative controls is also discussed. Additional topics include: instruction in security for network hardware, software, and data including physical security, backup procedures, firewalls, encryption, and protection from viruses.

ITCC 1306 CCNA 2: ROUTER AND ROUTING BASICS (3-2-3). An introduction to Cisco basic router configuration for local area networks. Topics include initial router configuration for TCP/IP, management of the configuration, backup of router configuration files, routing protocols. ITNW 1325 (Fundamentals of Networking Technologies) or Department Approval.

ITNW 1325 FUNDAMENTALS OF NETWORKING TECHNOLOGIES (3-3-1). Instruction in networking technologies and their implementation. Topics include the OSI reference model, network protocols, transmission media, and networking hardware and software. Prerequisites: or Corequisite: COSC 1300 (Introduction to Computing) or department approval.

ITNW 1351 FUNDAMENTALS OF WIRELESS LANS (3-3-1). Designing, planning, implementing, operating, and troubleshooting wireless LANs (WLANs). Includes WLAN design, installation, and configuration; and WLAN security issues and vendor interoperability strategies. Prerequisites: ITNW 1325 (Fundamentals of Networking Technologies).

ITNW 2321 NETWORKING WITH TCP/IP (3-3-1). Set up, configure, use and support Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) on networking operating systems. Prerequisites: ITNW 1325 (Fundamentals of Networking Technologies).

Business Applications

Having advanced knowledge of these applications is useful in the Business nd Government Communications area.

BCIS 1305 BUSINESS COMPUTER APPLICATIONS (3-3-1). Computer terminology, hardware, software, operating systems, and information systems relating to the business environment will be covered. The course will also explore business applications of software, including spreadsheets, databases, presentation graphics, word processing and business-oriented utilization of the Internet.

ITSC 1309 INTEGRATED SOFTWARE APPLICATIONS I (3-2-2). Integration of applications from popular business productivity software suites. Instruction in embedding data, linking and combining documents using word processing, spreadsheets, databases, and/or presentation media software.