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143 South Main Street
Salt Lake City, UT, 84111
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Neumont University was founded in Salt Lake City, Utah in 2003, to fill the growing national demand for industry-ready technology professionals by offering an accredited bachelor’s degree in three years that immerses students in a rigorous, project-based curriculum. This blog serves as a platform to publish and share, news, reviews, and stories from Utah's best kept tech secret. 

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Neumont University's official blogs shares the stories of our students, alumni, faculty, and staff to illustrate the Neumont experience. 

 

Neumont Freshman Laptop: Dell Precision 5520

Krista Smith

Each year, Neumont College of Computer Science freshman receive a new laptop to use throughout their education. (And yes, it's yours to keep after graduation.) 

For the fall of 2017, Neumont's newest cohort will receive the Dell Precision 5520. This laptop is designed for working professionals and is portable, beautiful, and sturdy. Here are the specs on this machine:

  • Processor Intel Core i7-7820HQ (Quad Core 2.90GHz, 3.90GHz Turbo, 8MB 45W, w/Intel HD Graphics 630)
  • Operating System Windows 10 Pro 64bit
  • Graphics Card Nvidia Quadro M1200 w/4GB GDDR5
  • Display 15.6" UltraSharp™ UHD IGZO (3840x2160) Touch Wide View LED-backlit
  • Memory 32GB, DDR4-2400MHz SDRAM, 2 DIMMS
  • Hard Drive M.2 PCIe 512GB SSD Class 50 
  • Wireless Intel WiFi Link 8265 Card (802.11ac + Bluetooth 4.2), 2x2
  • Primary Battery 6-cell (97Wh) Lithium Ion battery with ExpressCharge
  • Optimizer Dell Precision Optimizer
     

Incoming freshmen will pick up their laptops at Freshman Orientation Kickoff on Friday, September 23 in downtown Salt Lake City. We'll see you there!

Learning by doing

Krista Smith

At Neumont College of Computer Science, we're all about hands-on, project-based learning where students actually develop meaningful projects using the tech, languages, and tools that are currently in demand in the tech industry. They work in small teams developing projects from idea to implementation. 

Part of learning by doing also means giving students opportunities to show off what they've coded. That's why we hold Project Showcase twice a year. This fall, students will demonstrate what they've created on Friday, September 1, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at our campus in Salt Lake City. 

The best way to learn to code is to code. 

Even better, you're invited to check out their games, apps, websites, tools, and other creations! Join us to gain an understanding of what exactly we mean when we say project-based learning. You'll meet students, faculty, and staff, and have ample opportunity to test-drive amazing ideas current students have developed into working prototypes. 

Project Showcase

Friday, September 1, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

143 South Main Street, Salt Lake City, Utah

You can learn more about this bi-annual event here. If you would like to visit Neumont during Project Showcase, please email events@neumont.edu to arrange your visit. 

Do you have what it takes to learn in our rigorous, project-based environment? Submit your transcripts, test scores, application fee, and Application for Admission now at www.neumont.edu/apply, and you'll automatically be considered for a merit-based scholarship. No separate application needed.

President Shaun McAlmont Confirms Continued Progress in Neumont’s Accreditation Process

Shaun McAlmont

“One of the most important steps of the accreditation process is the assessment of the visiting team. The accrediting team visited Neumont early last month and shared their very positive impressions and also comments for our consideration." 

"There are only two remaining steps in the accreditation process: responding to the visiting team’s comments, and waiting for a final vote of approval from the commissioning body which ultimately determines acceptance. We look forward to hearing back from the accrediting body as we complete these final steps in the process.” 

As a reminder, the accreditation process is a multi-layered process that began months ago with an initial application, a self-evaluation report and scheduling a visiting team. The ‘Visiting Team’ process includes an in-depth review of all Neumont course requirements, marketing and outreach materials as well as interviews with faculty, staff, students, and alumni. Neumont College of Computer Science has met all submission requirements well-ahead of the deadlines.”

Neumont College of Computer Science - A Message From The President

Krista Smith

From the time I began as president, it was clear that a bachelor’s degree from Neumont is different. And every day, as I watch faculty and students share their passion and love for technology it’s clear to me that at Neumont, we are the best at what we do; teaching computer science.

Our expertise is computer science. Neumont’s unique approach to education has always meant a balance of traditional college theory, tech school skills, and a project-based rigorous experience that is unparalleled in its approach and outcomes. It’s time our name better reflected who we are and what we do.

I am excited to announce we’re changing our name to Neumont College of Computer Science.

In Utah alone there are more than 3,800 open computer science jobs – that’s 2.6 times the average demand rate in Utah. On a national level, there are currently 500,000 open computer science jobs, and they’re projected to grow at twice the rate of other jobs. As a nation, we’re experiencing a shortage in computing-specific STEM jobs, and Neumont is committed to help closing the gap. We’re going to do it by doing what we do best, but we can’t help more students get career-ready computer science education if they don’t know who we are. Our recognition in the STEM environment should be immediate.

That’s why Neumont College of Computer Science is the best name for our institution. Neumont students don’t sit through hours of lectures on theory or the history of computing. Neumont students learn in small, hands-on, project-based classes. There is no football team, Greek row or tens of thousands of students to compete with. The very nature of the word university does not allow for specialization in the title. Those assumptions are something we’ve worked hard not to be.

It’s time our name fully embraces who we are. We’re Neumont College of Computer Science.

We will join Boston College, Dartmouth College, Olin College of Engineering and a bevy of other high quality baccalaureate granting colleges around the country with this change.

Join me in celebrating this next step in Neumont’s history that will reinforce Neumont’s commitment to better teaching, higher intensity, and a closer tie to the realities of the tech industry. Our vision is to best the best at computer science education, so we’re changing our name to better reflect our identity.

I invite you to learn more about this change at www.neumont.edu/college

Five Bachelor's Degrees in Technology at Neumont

Neumont University

At Neumont, there are five different bachelor's degrees to choose from. All have one thing in common--technology. 

Over the last month, faculty have been interviewed on Facebook Live about each of the degree programs and have offered their advice for success at Neumont and in the tech industry. 

Kellie Thompson, Computer Science

As Faculty Chair of the Bachelor of Science in Computer Science degree, Kellie suggests students get comfortable with typing quickly and accurately to take better notes and code along with instructors. She also encourages students to get comfortable with asking for help now as well as learning some of the basics for living on your own at college. 

Ben Fletcher, Information Systems

The Faculty Chair of the Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems degree Ben Fletcher shares his insights into what it means to earn a degree in the tech field. He also includes hint on how to start creating cool things now. His advice? "Break things." 

Matt Warner, Technology Management

Matt Warner is the faculty chair of the Bachelor of Science in Business Technology Operations Management. He encourages students to start thinking logically and creatively now. He also offers advise for brushing up on communication skills to ensure a smooth transition to college. 

Tom Beatty, Web Dev

As the chair of the Bachelor of Science in Web Design and Development degree, Tom Beatty wants students to know that the degree is a combination of art and science. Students in the program learn full-stack web development, meaning they're comfortable with both the front-end and back-end technologies required for any modern site or app. He advises students to start teaching themselves code now. 

Josh Krebs, Game Dev

Instructor Josh Krebs has taught computer science courses, web dev courses, and game development courses in his time at Neumont. As Interim Faculty Chair of the Bachelor of Science in Software and Game Development degree, he worked with the academic team to update the curriculum. He encourages students to commit to learning new skills now to succeed in the industry. He says with enough grit and plenty of hard work plus a willingness to ask for help any student can succeed at Neumont and in tech. 

Learn more about Neumont's degree programs. Ready to apply? Start your Application for Admission.   

Enterprise Project Partnerships at Neumont

Neumont University

Each quarter, students in all five bachelor's degree programs at Neumont enroll in Enterprise Projects. These courses provide students with the opportunity to complete a project for a client company. The companies change every quarter with some companies providing multiple projects over time for students to hone their skills while other companies are looking to complete a single project and move on. 

For the summer of 2017, Neumont has eight Enterprise Projects with some great Industry Partners summarized below:

A student presents his Enterprise Project at Project Showcase. 

A student presents his Enterprise Project at Project Showcase. 

  • DealerTrack: Summit Launcher is a DealerTrack project where students with knowledge of AngularJS, .NET Core, RESTful web services, and Amazon Web Services are building an internal tool for the integrated automotive dealership tech company. 
  • Graduation Alliance: Students using Microsoft, .NET MVC5, MS SQL Server, and third-party frameworks like AngularJS, RabbitMQ, Redis, SignalR, and Webpack will create and test a content management system and modules for applications within "Voyager" (an online platform for career planning and education). Graduation Alliance offers online learning to help more students graduate from high school. 
  • IGT: Using Unity, C#, MS Office Extensions, IGT Game SDK, and IGT Game Projects, game development students are creating a tool that allows engineers to drop a game rules document into Unity creating new game objects for every rule described. IGT creates lotteries, machine games, and social games. 
  • PriorityDispatch: Students on this project are developing an event management application that will assist the company in planning professional conferences. The app is being built in ASP.NET MVC with Entity framework. 
  • RizePoint: Students are continuing work to implement two Microsoft WSUS servers in separate environments. The students on this team are required to work on different projects across the company including a design update on the RizePoint app, developing automation tools for engineering, moving RizePoint to the cloud, and modernizing the back-end of their system. RizePoint offers quality management software. 
  • Willis Towers Watson: The company is offering two different projects this quarter with one student team focusing on documentation of existing processes. They'll also create MS SQL systems and testing current systems. The second student team will work to document audits and client requirements. Willis Towers Watson offers management solutions to companies. 
  • Tribal-D: The student team on this project is developing a mobile app for both iOS and Android that gathers data on remote offline devices syncing them to an existing database. A REST API will also be developed to connect with the mobile app. The app will allow users to collect notes as they work on cases. Students are expected to use C#, JavaScript, PhoneGap, Sencha Touch, MVC, Rest API, and more. Tribal-D and Tribe Vue provide Native American tribal leaders with technology and resources needed to help support their communities. 
  • Voonami: Actually due to non-disclosure agreements, we can only tell you we have a project with them. Voonami provides data centers for companies to outsource their information systems infrastructure to. 

Through Enterprise Projects, students gain real-world, meaningful experience before they graduate. Students use the projects to establish a strong resume and the experience to shape their classroom knowledge into professional experience. All of this helps our students graduate ready to launch their careers in the tech industry. 

Students take a break at Graduation Alliance. 

Students take a break at Graduation Alliance. 

Can't wait to get real-world experience before you graduate with a bachelor's degree? Students accepted to the Class of 2020 must complete all of their financial aid steps by July 17, 2017. Check your status on the Accepted Student Portal to see what steps you have left. Students interested in attending Neumont in the fall of 2018, can start their Application for Admission now. 

Interested in participating in Enterprise Projects to see how our students fit into your company? Contact Neumont Director of Corporate Relations Britta Nelson to see what our students can do for you. 

Salt Lake City's Serious Summer Summary

Neumont University

With the Utah Arts Festival kicking off today at Library Square and summer quarter just a few days away, it's time to give you the lowdown on how to get down this summer in Salt Lake. 

Salt Lake Gaming Con, Salt Lake Comic Con, Game Tyrant Expo

Get your geek on with conventions all summer long with conventions throughout the Salt Lake Valley. Tickets start at $12 and go from there for these events. And who knows? Maybe you'll see some Neumonters. 

Salt Lake Gaming Con is July 7-8 at the South Towne Expo Center. Be sure to stop by and say hi to the admissions team. Then it's on to Salt Lake Comic Con which is taking place during Freshman Orientation Kickoff. The three-day event in late September is a great place for cosplay, celebrity spotting, and loading up on fan art. Finally, we're intrigued by the Game Tryant Expo, this gaming tournament will be the largest esports event of its kind ever in Utah.

Free or cheap outdoor concert series

With the Twilight Concert Series on Thursday nights and Salt City Sounds on Wednesdays, students have two opportunities each week to hear great acts live in downtown Salt Lake. That's in addition to a great lineup of musicians at other venues around town. If you need more music in your life, check out the Red Butte Gardens Concert Series near the University of Utah, USANA Amphitheater in West Valley, and the Deer Valley Music Festival near Park City. 

Hiking, biking, and all the outdoors you can handle

It may be scary, but it's always a great break from the city to embrace the nearby nature. An early morning hike up City Creek Canyon or a bike ride along the Jordan River may just help you relax, reset, and enjoy the beauty of the city this summer. Keep an eye out for Unplug & Play events with Neumont's Resident Advisors to help you get to know SLC's outdoor scene. There's also a camping trip scheduled for July 30-31 at Crystal Hot Springs. Contact JP to reserve your seat. 

Free or cheap film screenings

There's more than $5 Movie Nights in the summer. (Although don't forget to watch Valerian on Tuesday, July 25 with Neumont at the Gateway.) In addition to Neumont's own film festival on Friday, August 4 on campus, hot summer nights are rife with  free or cheap movie showings across the city. Cities and libraries show movies outside all summer long. Neumont will be headed to a showing of Raiders of the Lost Ark at Library Square on Friday, August 18 at 8:30 p.m. The Tower Theater also has special screenings all summer long of cult classics like Ghost in the Shell, Clue, and The Big Lebowski. Tickets are $7 and screenings are every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday all summer long. 

Baseball, roller derby, soccer, and a bunch of other sports probably

But we only pay a little bit of attention to those. However, Neumont will be headed down to the Star Wars-themed Salt Lake Bees game on Friday, July 21 at 6:30 p.m. You can also take in a roller derby match on Saturday, July 15. Seating is limited for both events, so contact JP to reserve your spot. 

Farmers Markets, Food and Art Festivals

Pick a weekend and there's probably a festival in Downtown, Sugar House, or another area of the city. Some of the classic cultural celebrations include Greek Fest and Fiesta Italia. The Downtown Farmers Market on Saturdays at Pioneer Park is always crowded and a good time for finding local art, crafts, and foods. When it comes to the arts, there's the aforementioned Utah Arts Festival, Craft Lake City, and Urban Arts Fest. Some other stand out events include SLCVEGFEST and Crucialfest

This is just a sampling of what's available for an exciting and adventurous summer. Check out Visit Salt Lake for more great events and activities.  

Neumont’s Online Associate of Science in Software Development

Neumont University

We sat down with Jason Hammon, Neumont’s manager of learning and instructional design to talk about the launch of Neumont’s new Online Associate of Science in Software Development degree. Jason’s background in education  includes a degree from Brigham Young University, graduate school at Harvard, classes at Cambridge, and work for Google. 

NU: Well let’s get right into it. We saw the press release, and it looks like the first day of classes begin on June 26. Tell us a little bit about this degree, and ultimately who it’s for? 
JH
: I like to think of it as a “Get into Tech” associate degree. It’s specifically for those who don’t have a college degree, but are not able to take the traditional route. Maybe they missed the college boat right after high school, but would still like to get into a tech career. The online environment caters to a nontraditional student—someone who may have kids, or a part-time job, or can’t commit to living in downtown Salt Lake for three years. We expect people to use this degree as a way to change careers, no matter their age or experience. 

NU: And what specifically does it entail? 
JH:
It’s a two-year program that follows Neumont’s current quarter schedule; but as opposed to a lot of associate degrees that focus on your generals first then transfer into a bachelor’s degree, this degree is focused on getting your skills first. Here, you start out coding. And then, you can obtain measures of gainful employment as you move through the degree. 

In fact, after just a few classes students would be in a position to get some industry certificates. So for an example, let’s say Joey is working at Sunglass Hut and finishes his first quarter, so he takes a certification exam. Now he can start working for the Geek Squad. By aligning our curriculum with certification, at the end of the degree you could be a software developer—a Junior Developer or QA Automation Engineer. 

NU: So why is Neumont introducing this degree? 
JH:
We’re all aware that there is a huge gap as far as filling STEM positions—particularly in coding and computer science. This degree takes what Neumont does really well (computer science education), and gives more people access to it. Right now, Neumont can take on about 150 – 200 students each year, but we know that relocating to Salt Lake for a bachelor’s degrees, even an accelerated program, is not a fit for everyone. This program gives more people who are not able to move to Salt Lake City an opportunity to learn. 

NU: Some students have been asking about the program’s accreditation. Can you speak to that? 
JH:
 This program has the same accreditation as Neumont's bachelor's degree programs. However, usually what people are really asking is if Title IV funding is available. This program is not eligible for grants and loans under Title IV currently. However, there is financial aid available from the Office of Financial Aid. As I’ve mentioned, the associate degree follows the lead of Neumont’s proven record for computer science training. Our goal is to get people into the workforce to help fill the job demand. With regard to the question of funding, while the program is not eligible for grants and federal loans under Title IV, there is scholarship money available and the financial aid office can explain alternative funding options.

(For more information on Neumont’s accreditation, visit here and here. Financial aid is available to those who qualify for all of Neumont’s degree programs.) 

NU: And how specifically does the associate degree differ from Neumont’s bachelor’s degree? 
JH:
There’s a few ways it differs, some which we’ve already discussed. First, it’s an option for people who are outside what we’d deem a ‘traditional student’—maybe they are married with children, already have a full-time job, perhaps they have sick parents they need to take care of. It’s a student who is looking for, or needs a little bit more flexibility in their schedule than the traditional student who usually finds themselves at Neumont. 

Another difference is the structure, more specifically the time commitment – being an associate degree, it’s obviously structured to be shorter with a fewer number of classes. The aim of this degree is to help the student learn everything they need to know to qualify for employment in the software industry quickly with a reasonable course load. 

From a content standpoint, this degree offers different industry-related projects. Neumont's bachelor's programs have built-in team-based projects called Enterprise Projects where the students learn by completing meaningful projects for tech companies. Meanwhile, the associate degree offers team-based projects and individual internship opportunities for students to gain entry-level industry experience. 

NU: Can you give me a specific example of the differences between the programs? 
JH:
Sure. It could be the difference between knowing how to build a processor versus knowing what a processor does and how it affects programs in the real world. A bachelor’s degree will get you more deeply into both sides, but we’re going to focus on the latter in this program. 

It’s important to note this degree has large emphasis on testing – which seems to be a common first step into development. There’s big demand for software testers, but it’s not a group that organizations or institutions are putting much emphasis into training. 

The degree also takes a more traditional approach to programming – with a particular emphasis on Java. I’ll also point out that there is a team-based component as well – so it shares some of the structure, as far as the project-based approach, that Neumont is known and celebrated for. 

NU: How do the career trajectories and average starting salaries differ between Neumont’s two degree programs? 
JH:
While I’d love it if our associate degree graduates came out making the same as our bachelor’s degree grads, that’s not realistic for a two-year degree. Entry-level information technology specialists can generally expect to earn around $40,000 - $50,000. We need to remember it’s fundamentally a different group than our bachelor’s graduates who are averaging $63,000* a year when they graduate. The goal of this program is to help a student change careers and land an entry-level position in the tech field. The sky's the limit in this industry, and we want students to be able to have that opportunity.

NU: Why does this program have a different cost than the on-ground bachelor’s degrees? 
JH:
The online platform provides scalability. This scalability allows us to reduce the costs to the students while offering access to a Neumont experience. Keep in mind we are seeking to be competitive with other associate programs – and the associate program is already a shorter timeframe. Additionally, the overhead costs are another distinguishing factor between the two programs. 

NU: Will the credits earned towards a bachelor’s degree transfer to the online associate degree? And if so, can a student transfer from Neumont’s bachelor’s programs to the online associate degree program? 
JH: As I mentioned, the programs are built differently for their respective audiences. Currently, the associate degree credits don’t transfer into the bachelor’s degree programs. As far as transferring to the online program—while it’s technically possible to enroll, whether concurrently or moving to the program, there are still a lot of different classes a student would be required to take. It’s something that would need to be approached on a case-by-case basis with your advocate, taking into account long-term goals and keeping in mind the energy, resources and financial obligations that have already gone into the current program. 

NU: Is the associate degree easier than the bachelor’s degree? 
JH: (Laughs). Well, it’s shorter. From a course building perspective, some aspects are actually harder. One key difference is that students in this program need to be more autonomous – so it’s going to vary person to person. So it’s not that it’s easier, but again, it’s just different. 

We’ve worked hard on the course design so it’s more structured, which is especially helpful because there is not going to be as much in-person teacher-to-student feedback or instructor availability that you’ll find with the bachelor’s. 

And before we end, I’d also like to point out that our video quality is high, and that we still incorporate what you would expect from Neumont. We emphasize active and hands-on learning through projects. 

NU: Well Jason, thank you so much for your time. We appreciate your insights and are excited to see more from your team as this new offering takes off. 

Classes begin June 26. Learn more about the Online Associate of Science in Software Development at www.neumont.edu/online. You can apply for the program at admission.neumont.edu. Students who apply to start classes this June will have their application fee waived automatically. 

*Salary statistic is calculated using data from 301 Neumont University graduates from 2012 through 2015 who were employed within their field within six months of graduation. Neumont verifies employment, date of employment offer, and first-year compensation by employers in writing. Neumont does not guarantee employment or first-year compensation for future graduates.

Techies with a Passion for Web APIs Invited to a Neumont University Event with Amazon

Neumont University

Neumont University, a private institution offering accelerated bachelor's degrees in computer science and related fields welcomes Alessandro Muti, principal software engineer for Amazon Media to Salt Lake City on Monday, May 22, 2017 for a special alumni event. Tech-professionals with a passion for web APIs are also invited to attend the event, which will be held from 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at The Little America Hotel, 500 South Main Street, in downtown Salt Lake City.

“We are elated to welcome Mr. Muti and members from Amazon to Salt Lake City as we further expand our relationship with Amazon,” Shaun McAlmont, Neumont University president said. “Downtown continues to grow and thrive as a tech-center for the Mountain West, and collaborating with a successful company like Amazon is exactly what Neumont strives for in all of its business partnerships.”

In his current role, Muti provides technical thought leadership, architecture guidance, coaching and mentoring in the Amazon Media division. He will speak to alumni and guests about APIs, followed by a pub-style quiz with tech-centric questions and prizes. The event is free for alumni and tech professionals, but participants must register by this Friday, May 19 for the Evening with Amazon

Before joining Amazon, Muti was vice president of enterprise architecture for Agylisys, a leading developer and marketer of proprietary enterprise software, services, and solutions to the hospitality industry. He started his career at Microsoft with the Windows 3.1 team, where he spent a decade in various roles including Windows NT and the Internet Explorer team. He is the inventor of BITs and Windows Automatic Updates.

Muti will present a Tech Talk to Neumont students on Monday, May 22 at 10:30 a.m.  at The Little America Hotel. Then, Amazon Web Services Operations Manager MIchael Foley will present a Tech Talk to students enrolled in the information systems degree program on Tuesday, May 23 at 10:30 a.m. on campus.