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Seminar in Professional Practices

CS 493 prepares students for the challenges of work environments in the real world.

The seminar in professional practices focuses on the human side of computing, examining the multiple ethical issues raised by information technology as well as giving students an opportunity to add professional polish to presentation and communication skills.


“Learning to conduct research and present their ideas in concise, understandable formats gives our graduates an advantage in the workplace,” says CIS department chair Jim Caristi. “Programmers don’t just sit in cubicles. They need to know how to communicate with users, with customers, and with fellow programmers to be able to work effectively.”

Equally important to the department is producing ethical practitioners of the digital professions. “The ethical implications of what programmers do are enormous,” Professor Caristi notes. “Data mining, for example, allows you to dig up a tremendous amount of information about people, without their ever having consented to that. We train our students to recognize the potential ethical issues raised by new technologies as they emerge.”

In CS 493, students and faculty discuss professionalism and ethical responsibilities in software development and human-computer interaction. They explore laws, risks, and liabilities, codes of ethics, privacy, international and gender-related issues, philosophical frameworks, and economic implications.

Hands-On Learning

Students in computer science at Valpo have multiple opportunities to get practical experience in IT work. Research opportunities, internships, co-cops, and work in Valpo’s own IT department all help students prepare for careers in IT.