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Department of Computer Information Science

Clarion's Computer Information Science Department is comprised of faculty who have many years of real-world and classroom experience. Students have the opportunity to design, manage and secure systems for mobile, web, desktop and mainframe platforms. Programming languages include Python, C#, Java, C++, SQL, JavaScript, PHP, Prolog and others. At Clarion, you will get the full attention of the faculty who are in the classroom and in the labs helping students learn. There is a high demand for people to come join the ranks of the technology professionals who are quietly changing the world.

Computer Information Science Programs

The Computer Information Science (CIS) Department offers the following programs below.  

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Alawya Alawami, Ph.D.

Alawya Alawami, Ph.D., received her M.S and Ph.D. in information science at the University of Pittsburgh, and her B.S in computer science from King Saud University. Before coming to Clarion, she held a visiting lecturer position at the University of Pittsburgh. She taught a wide range of graduate courses related to web technology and data mining.

She was a full-time faculty member at the Community College of Allegheny County – Computer Information Technology Department.

She is an IT consultant for a Neourobehavioral medical consultant where she works with Dr. Ali Melhem on developing electronic health record systems that utilizes Data analytics technologies. Alawami's research focuses on text mining technologies.

Brandon Packard

Brandon Packard

Brandon Packard first came to Clarion University because his cousin attended Clarion and he wanted to enroll in a public school. At the time, he didn't have a clue what he wanted to do in life, so he picked computer science as his major because it had computer in the title and he liked computers. Little did he know that he would fall in love, not only with computer science, but with Clarion University as well.

When Packard graduated Clarion in 2013, he attended graduate school at Drexel University, where he focused on game artificial intelligence, game design, and machine learning with the specific intention of obtaining my dream job - coming back to Clarion to teach.

"I know I am just getting started, but if I can make in my students' lives even a fraction of the difference they have already made in mine, I will consider myself to be a successful professor."

What our students say




An IBM report states that "2.5 quintillion bytes of data — so much that 90% of the data in the world today has been created in the last two years alone". It is no secret that the amount of data in our world has been exploding. The volume, velocity and variety of data, rightly called big data has created great challenges to organizations while also presenting potential value added opportunities.

"The promise of big data is that companies will have far more intelligence at their disposal to make accurate decisions and predictions on how their business is operating"-

Big data, by its diverse data sources, presents multiple perspectives and actionable business intelligence with real time, streaming data. The insights from big data offers competitive advantages and is driving companies to invest in big data analytics. With the exponential growth and explosion of data, the need for data analytics skills have also grown. A McKinsey study reports increasing demand for data scientists while there is a global shortage with analytics experts.

Recognizing the significance of Data Analytics and to prepare next generation data-driven leaders, Clarion University is offering a fully online graduate program. This program is geared towards working professionals or busy adults with domain knowledge in any undergraduate field. If you are a Data enthusiast and wish to explore datasets by applying technical and domain expertise, this program is for you. Students will take one online course at a time in a fairly rigid prerequisite structure to accumulate and apply the necessary skills. Course lengths will vary from three to fifteen weeks and will be sequenced. The program integrates computer and information science, statistics, and data-based business management principles to contribute to data driven business decisions.

It is an applied, technology intensive program focused on hands-on learning of the tools and techniques of data analytics. The curriculum emphasizes technical proficiency and applied practical experience and provides students with critical skills in database processing, data warehousing, data mining, predictive analytics and data visualization to solve Big Data problems. Students will have hands-on experience with database systems and analytics tools.

With a M.S Degree in Applied Data Analytics from Clarion University, you can play a critical role in deriving insights from large and complex datasets and contribute to intelligent business decisions.

Learning Outcomes

After successfully completing this program, students will be able to:

  1. Design, implement, populate and query relational databases for operational data (OLTP)
  2. Design, implement, populate and query data warehouses for informational data (OLAP)
  3. Harness very large data sets to make business decisions
  4. Evaluate the use of data from acquisition through cleansing, warehousing, analytics, and visualization to the ultimate business decision
  5. Discern when to implement relational versus document oriented database structures
  6. Execute real-time analytical methods on streaming datasets to react quickly to customer needs
Curriculum Requirements

Students are required to complete 30 credits to earn the graduate degree. The course curriculum covers core courses, elective courses, and a capstone project or practicum.

Prerequisite Courses

  • An undergraduate introductory statistics course such as ECON 221
  • An undergraduate introductory computer programming course such as DA 202

Required Courses

  • DA 510 Database Management Systems
  • DA 520 Data Warehousing 
  • DA 530 Analytical Methods
  • DA 540 Applied Data Mining 
  • DA 555 Predictive Modeling and Analytics 
  • DA 560 Data Visualization
  • DA 570 Big Data Analytics
  • DA 580 Data Analytics Capstone
  • Graduate Electives to total 30 credits.

* Courses are taken one at a time in sequence in an accelerated format.

SAS Joint Certificate in Applied Data Analytics

  • All students who complete DA 530, DA 540, DA 555, DA 560, DA 570 and DA 580 will also be awarded a SAS Joint Certificate in Applied Data Analytics.
  • "The SAS Joint Certificate program is designed to assist universities in preparing students to work in a data-rich business environment. The joint certificate documents students' coursework using SAS software to solve real-world business problems, giving students a competitive advantage in the job market. It's a great way to give special recognition to students who have shown excellence in using and applying SAS technologies." – Source:
Key information
  • Course Sequencing
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Course Delivery: Fully Online
  • Duration: 2 years (courses are taken one at a time in sequence)
  • Degree requirements: 30 credits
  • Course Descriptions
  • Entry requirements: A baccalaureate degree in any undergraduate major with at least a 3.0 overall GPA. Additionally, one undergraduate statistics course and one computer programming course.. The minimum requirements are to demonstrate the students' quantitative and computer abilities. Proficiency using a computer and office productivity software are expected to successfully navigate and complete the program. Incoming students who may lack the required prerequisite courses can take the course(s) online from Clarion University before starting the Data Analytics core.

For more information, contact:

Dr. Jayakumar Annadatha
814 393 1911

Computer Information Science Careers

Jobs in information technology are ranked in the "Best Jobs in America" by Money Magazine year after year. An article from The Economist explored which degrees give the best financial returns and another article from Forbes Magazine listed the majors with the highest starting salaries.

Students graduate from our programs with a solid education and get good jobs with outstanding employers such as Raytheon, PNC Bank, Minitab, DataForma, Remote Database Experts, and Future POS. Graduates can also be found in successful positions in local schools, banks and small businesses, as well as government positions.


CIS Department Scholarship - This scholarship is awarded annually to a computer science or information systems major based on academic excellence and participation in university and community activities.

Elizabeth Ross AITP Scholarship - Annual scholarships are awarded to AITP members majoring in Computer Science or Information Systems. Selection is based on academic record and contribution to AITP.

More Clarion University scholarship opportunities can be found on the Scholarship Search and Application Website.

External Data Analytics Scholarship Opportunities

Department Contacts

Dr. Jeffrey Childs, Chair
130 Becker
1 814 393 2149

Kim Wyman, Secretary
210 Carlson
1 814 393 2271

Last Updated 10/11/21