Information systems or information technology? a case study in curricular focus

In 2004, three universities piloted ABET general computing criteria guidelines for undergraduate degree programs in Information Technology (IT). Just three years earlier, in December 2001, ABET had approved criteria for accreditation of Information Systems (IS). For institutions with information-related programs that span IT, IS, and Information Management (IM), this has posed a challenge: Given limited resources, a political climate opposed to degree proliferation, and administrative mandates to secure specialized accreditation, which program guidelines should be adopted? This paper chronicles the curricular pains of a large public comprehensive four-year college as it struggles with the question of whether to "go IT or IS." A variety of scenarios are examined that lead to a departmental vote on strategic direction. Lessons learned from the process are enumerated.