When Pearl River Community College launches a new Computer Coding Technology program this fall at the school’s Forrest County Campus, the instructor will be someone familiar with the skills required of the class.
Dr. Silvia Preston currently teaches computer science courses at PRCC in both face-to-face and online settings. Those courses include computer applications, computer concepts, C++ programming, and Java programming.
As the instructor of the new Coding Technology program, Dr. Preston will add Java, SQL, and Python coding languages in addition to the computer science courses.
“Students do not need prior experience in programming, but must like working with computers and be willing to grow as a critical thinker and a problem solver,” said Dr. Preston.
Classes begin Monday, Aug. 16. They will meet on Mondays and Wednesdays, except for the computer applications course which will meet on Tuesday and Thursday or online.
Students can earn a 30-hour certificate, 45-hour technical degree, and 60-hour associate of applied science degree options.
According to data from the State Workforce Investment Board, the software developers (applications and software) occupations are projected to grow at 26 percent statewide.
Entry level pay starts at $45,000 and the median annual income for this occupation is $80,629 at a state level.
“The field is growing quickly,” said Preston. “The need for software and application developer occupations are growing in the state of Mississippi and all over the country.”
Preston received her Ph. D. in computational science from the University of Southern Mississippi. She is originally from Brazil and has been living in the U.S. since 1998.
Prior to starting her teaching career at PRCC in 2012, Preston was a software developer for 10 years at iTech at USM. During her time as a software developer, she wrote applications using different coding languages, such as PHP, Java, SQL, C++, and HTML.
“Dr. Preston is a seasoned teacher with an abundance of experience in a variety of coding languages,” said Dr. Jana Causey, Vice President for the Forrest County Center, Allied Health and Nursing programs.
“She has taught computer courses for years at PRCC, but jumped on the opportunity to start this program and begin a new venture. Her attitude is student oriented and she has a true desire to help people succeed.
“We are grateful for her abilities and passion for student success.”
For information about the Computer Coding Technology program, call 601-554-5505, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the Forrest County Campus on U.S. 49 South.