CIS Department Graduate Academic Advising


Greetings from the Department of Computing and Information Sciences at Valparaiso University!  It is my pleasure to serve as your Academic Advisor and Internship Coordinator for the Master of Science in Information Technology Program.  Within the Academic Advising pages of the CIS Department site, you will find valuable information that will assist you from day one on campus, to when you are preparing to graduate and move into a successful career as an IT Professional.  ~ Kimberly Jana Tomkiewicz




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Connect with the graduate School on Facebook as it will serve as a useful resource for prospective students, as well as current graduate students and alumni.

Advising and Internship Coordinator of Graduate IT Programs

Kimberly Jana Tomkiewicz, MA, MALS
Department of Computing and Information Sciences
Gellersen Hall 122B
219-464-6416 (Office)

M.A.L.S. – Valparaiso University, IN
M.A. – Ball State University, IN
B.A. – Franklin College, IN
Certified Mental Health First Aid responder
Certified Safe Zone provider (providing support for LGBTQ+ community)

Exposition and Persuasion
Literary Studies
College Composition
Intermediate Composition
Integrated Reading and Writing
Professional and Career Development Tutoring
Information Literacy Tutoring
MLA, APA, Turabian, and AP style tutoring

Memberships/Community Work
Hilltop Neighborhood House Board of Director – Valparaiso University Representative
Region 5 NACADA Member


Honored by the Graduate Studies Department at Valparaiso University – Presentation on creative writing.
Honored guest by the BSU Department of Journalism for work on Hall of Fame Kiosk.
Thesis accepted by the Association of Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC).
Master’s thesis: “An Attitudinal Study of Job Satisfaction for Full-Time, On-Air Female Personalities at Commercial Radio Stations in Indiana,” presented during the International Society for the Scientific Study of Subjectivity Fall 2002 conference in Durham, England.
Kappa Tau Alpha Honor Society in Journalism/Mass Communication– Ball State University
President of Gold Quill/Laurels and Lancers Academic Honorary – Franklin College

Photo by Avery Webster Davis

 In-Person Appointments

You can find available dates and time on this link to meet with the Graduate IT Advisor in GEM122B.

If you have an in-person with your Academic Advisor, you must bring your Valparaiso University One Card (student identification) to every meeting.  Student meetings are approximately fifteen minutes in length.

Be sure that your computer is set to CST (Central Standard Time), so that the meetings times reflect the time-zone that Valparaiso is in.  In order to book an appointment, you must have a valid Valparaiso University Gmail account.

Students who DO NOT show up on time will not have their appointment honored.  Student’s will have to reschedule their meeting.

 Book an Appointment

 Drop-In Appointments

Students who drop by the Academic Advisor’s office will not be guaranteed time to meet.  It is always best to plan ahead and email the academic advisor or schedule one 15 minute appointment.

Welcome to Valparaiso University

Important Acedemic Information for Registration

⇒ Arrive at Valparaiso at least 1 week before the registration starts – the Graduate School contacts all new students with New Student Orientation
information for both domestic an international students.

⇒ Meet with academic advisor during New Student Orientation to register for classes.

⇒ Get your One Card at the Christopher Center Library Services building.

International Students

⇒ Submit your Passport, I-20, I 94 in Office of International Programs (OIP) (international students only).

Graduate Catalogs

IT Computing Track

Page-1IT Computing Track-page-001 Page-2IT Computing Track-page-002

IT Management Track

Page-1IT Computing Track-page-002 Page-2IT Computing Track-page-002


Cohort Register Classes

1st Semester Cohort Classes

9 credit hour schedule

⇒ IT-502 Introduction to Programming

⇒ IT-510 Introduction to Information

⇒ LS 608 Professional Writing and Research

⇒ GRD-500 Graduate Student Success
(for international students only)

12 Credit Hour Unconditional Plan

The above mentioned courses, including:
⇒ IT 600 Ethics in IT

* Some students might be admitted conditionally or within the parameters of the Standard Advising Plan.  Please speak to your advisor if this is your situation.

2nd Semester Cohort Classes

9-12 credit hour schedule

⇒ GRD-683 Professional and Career

⇒ IT Course(s)

3rd Semester Cohort Classes

9-12 Credit Hours Schedule

⇒ IT Course(s)

4th Semester Capstone Experience

3-9 Credit Hours Schedule

⇒ Internship (mandatory 3 credits)

⇒ Research Project

⇒ Thesis


You are not allowed register for courses if there is any of the following holds on your account.

Advising Hold – Will be placed on your account prior to registration. You must communicate with your advisor regarding your intended schedule to have the advising hold lifted from your account.

Student Health Center – If you have not submitted all necessary health documents (international students only) to the VU Health Center.   You  must work with that office to have this hold removed.

Graduate School – The Graduate School may have an administrative hold on your account.  You must work with that office to have this hold removed.

Student Account Hold – If you have outstanding dues you must contact Student Accounts office in Kretzmann Hall to remove the hold on your account.

Account Holds

Transportation (From Chicago O’Hare International Airport)

• CoachUSA provides bus services from Chicago airport to Portage (13 miles from Valparaiso) for every 1 hour. Students can wait outside the terminal at bus bay to catch the bus.

• Students must take only “airport super saver” (imprinted on buses) that drops the passengers at portage.

• Ask the driver to call the university official you are in touch to pick you from portage. University  will arrange transportation from portage to University.

For more information on Disability Support Services, click  Disability Support Services

For more information on Office of International Programs, click                  OIP                

For more information on Graduate School, click

For more information on Health Center, click 

Academic Terms

  • The Spring Semester begins in January and ends in May (16 weeks).
  • Must register for minimum of 9 credits to maximum of 12 credits to maintain legal F-1 status

  • The Summer Semester begins in May and ends August (14 weeks).
  • Is not considered a traditional semester by the US Department of Education or the US Government.
  • Students are allowed to take the summer semester off without penalty to their academic progress within the IT.

  • the Fall Semester beings in August and ends in December (16 weeks)
  • Must register for minimum of 9 credits to maximum of 12 credits to maintain legal F-1 status

Graduate Catalogs

IT Computing Track

Page-1IT Computing Track-page-001 Page-2IT Computing Track-page-002

IT Management Track

Page-1IT Computing Track-page-002 Page-2IT Computing Track-page-002


Transfer of Credit

Students who have already completed a master-level program of study may submit official copies of their transcripts to be reviewed for transfer of credit.  The CIS department will determine if any credits can be applied towards the IT Computing or Management programs.  There is no guarantee that transfer of credits will be accepted by the University.

For more information on Disability Support Services, click  Disability Support Services

For more information on Office of International Programs, click                  OIP                

For more information on Graduate School, click       Graduate School      

For more information on Health Center, click        Health Center      


Internship helps students to apply their classroom experience in real-time working environment to gain professional experience that acts as a foundation in building up their further career. Internships are paid/unpaid and it depends on the organization that is offering the internship.

Research Project

It helps you in preparing your own project applying the concepts and skills you gained from your course program. It involves writing thesis, explanation and publishing the project.

Capstone: Internship Class and Related Documents

Internship Instructions

Academic Paperwork CIS Department Students will utilize Handshake and Blackboard for submission of all academic internship documents. This pertains to academic administrative paperwork only; all international students should work with the Office of International Programs regarding CPT or OPT questions.


Students are now required to submit their offer letters and learning goals through Handshake, which is job search engine coordinated through the Career Center. All students are granted access to Handshake, but accounts can be disabled. It is important that students work with the Career Center staff to ensure that they understand how to use this database.

Offer letters will be approved by the CIS department in Handshake. Learning goals will be submitted for approval by the internship site supervisor and the CIS Department in Handshake, as well.

The purpose of this step is to increase the relationship between the student, the Career Center, the CIS Department, and the internship site supervisor. In the past, students have not been required to share their Learning Goals with the site supervisor. By including this requirement, the site supervisor has a clear idea of how the student perceives the work that will be completed, and agrees to helping to helping the intern reach those goals.


Students will utilize Blackboard as they have in the past, by submitting their offer letter, learning goals, job description, placement agreement, transportation form, and internship form to this database.

Hours per week MUST be listed in the offer letter. For international students, it is important that if you are going to be interning ‘full’ time, that your offer letter states a minimum of 21 hours per week. If you are going to be interning ‘part’ time, your offer letter may only state a maximum of 19 hours per week.

Use the Learning Goals Template on the Blackboard Internship class.

Ensure that all documents are signed and dated by the site supervisor, including the offer letter.

Remember that this is academic class, for capstone credit, towards the credit 37 MSIT program. The internship instructor will be the point of contact for the site supervisor, once the internship has begun, for any issues that may arise during the practical experience.  You do not register yourself for the internship class; this is handled by the Graduate School.

The internship capstone class provides meaningful documentation, which will prove that you have fulfilled the minimum 21-hour-per-week commitment to earn three academic credits.  In essence, students in the capstone class are becoming part of a ‘consulting agency,’ with all of the professional rights and responsibilities that are discussed in GRD 683 Professional and Career Development.
  1. During the first week of the semester, you will agree with your supervisor on a work plan for your internship. This work plan will be mapped upon your learning goals.  The work plan is available on Blackboard in your internship class.
  2. During the following weeks, you will track your attendance and work effort in relation to this work plan on a weekly basis. This means no surprises for both, you and the site supervisor. The work log is available on Blackboard in your internship class.
  3. Communication with the site supervisor will become a crucial measure of your internship success; so will adopting and maintaining attendance and performance standards common to a professional work environment. You guessed it: Just like in any professional work environment, there is a performance review form (and a grade) for that.
  4. All that said, is it possible to fail the internship? Absolutely. Can failing the internship delay graduation? You bet. Can delaying graduation impact your visa status if you are an international student? Quite possibly.

So, you walk into your new work site–and then what?  You’re probably asking yourself that.  If you haven’t done so before the start of this semester, now is the time not just to read all the policies and procedures (including authorized use of computing equipment, ingress/ egress security, non-disclosure agreements, etc.), but also to show your site supervisor that you are here to impress them with your skills and your work ethic.  So, please request to meet with your site supervisor before the end of this week to map your internship learning goals to the tasks that she or he will be assigning you.  This Internship Plan will be your first assignment, which is due at the end of week 1 (please check the Blackboard due date). Then request the contact information for your new co-workers who will be training you in your position.  This is a crucial first step to successful office communication and to making a great impression that will allow you to request a professional reference from your colleagues at the end of the internship.

So, to be successful during week one, you must:

  • Complete the Internship Plan with your site supervisor and submit as scheduled
  • Track your attendance and tasks in the Internship Log and have it signed by your supervisor by the end of the week, then scan and submit
  • Complete the Discussion Post and 2 Responses as schedule.

Note:  Staffing Agencies and many consultancies are not approved by the department.  Click here to find the list of rejected internship sites.

Valparaiso University Career Center

 Valparaiso University Career Center offers advising to students on Internship sites, Jobs & career plans and also it  helps them to  build professional resumes, cover letters etc that are important in professional career.

⇒ Suggesting Internship sites and Job Offers

⇒ Mock Interviews

⇒ Works shops/Career Fairs

⇒ Helping Students to build their own professional resume and cover letter

⇒ Advising to students on career plans

Valparaiso University HandShake (Online Job Bank)

 All available positions in Valparaiso University are posted on this website and students can apply to them by simply  uploading resume and cover letter. A great place to find internship opportunities offered by various companies across  United states.

⇒ Login with your University’s mail and password.

⇒ Update your profile in view profile tab.

⇒ Look for any notifications on top right corner of the website.

⇒ Type your preferred position in search bar to look for new openings.

Photo by Jon L. Hendricks

Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

International students on F-1 visa status must receive CPT authorization for off-campus internships and for on-campus internships over twenty hours per week.  CPT status is only granted if an internship site has been approved by the CIS Department and all mandatory coursework has been successfully completed. International students must complete two traditional semesters (fall/spring) before they are allowed to apply for CPT status.

Students must register for and complete an internship during the semester they are on CPT.
For more information on CPT authorization, please click here


Full-Time vs Part-Time

  • Must first compete two full academic terms (Fall and Spring)
  • Total credits may not be more than 8 during CPT.
  • Work at least 21 hrs/week
  • Internship location must be at a CIS Department
    approved business or organization.
  • Can be done in Spring, Summer, or Fall
  • Must first complete two full academic terms (Fall and Spring)
  • Total credits must be 9 or more credit hours during CPT.
  • Work less than 20 hrs/week
  • Internship must be at a local CIS Department approved
    business or organization.
  • Can be done in Spring, Summer, or Fall

Internship Forms

Internship Form        Self-Transportation Agreement        Placement Agreement

(Completed forms must be submitted to the departments as mentioned below. Upload the documents to iValpo after approval.)

Graduate IT Programs Advisor

 Graduate School


  • Internship form
  • Offer Letter (Issued by the employer)
  • Job Description
  • Learning goals
  • Self-Transportation Agreement form
  • Placement Agreement form


Click on the image below to visit iValpo


Photo by Jon L. Hendricks

Academic Policies

——————————————  Honor Code  ———————————————-

” I have neither given or received, nor have I tolerated other’s use of unauthorized aid. “

    Every Student must follow the honor code in doing & submitting their assignments. Honor Code helps students get their credit for the work they have done on their own. Every student must write this code in their course work which means that they did the work on their own and they own it.

Honor Code Violations:

• Disapproval of submitted work/assignment

• Present before honor court for prosecution

Grading System and Quality Points

The course grades reported and recorded in the Office of the Registrar are as follows. The corresponding number of quality points per credit hour is also indicated

For Grades Description, Click here
For Academic Policies, Click here

All students, degree and non-degree seeking, must maintain a grade point average of 3.00 (B = 3.00) in all graduate work undertaken at Valparaiso University.

Grades A through C generate semester credits and quality points in meeting degree requirements, but no more than three credit hours of C or C+ may be counted toward meeting degree requirements. Grades of C- and below do not constitute credit toward the degree, but are included on the student’s transcript and are calculated into the student’s official cumulative grade point average.

A student who receives a grade of C+ or lower in a second course is placed on academic probation and receives an official notice from the Graduate School. The student must replace one of these grades within one academic year or will be dropped from the program. Receipt of a third grade of C+ or lower will result in dismissal from the Graduate School.

Final Examinations

3 credit courses

2 credit courses

Online courses

  • Will be held in class.
  • Exam times are determined by the Office of the Registrar and do not occur during typical class days/times.  The final exam calendar is available at: Registrar’s Website
  • Final exams are not required, but instructors may include them as part of the evaluation process of the class.
  • The exam times are during the normal class meeting days/times.
  • Online classes that are three or more credits will have final exams.

Academic Calendar

Academic calendar contains important dates (Registration & Classes begin), Final Examination period, Holidays, semester breaks, starting and ending dates of academic terms. Click on the link below to view the academic calendar.

View Calendar



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