information systems

IS students excel in national exam

University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire information systems students continue to score better than the national average Information Systems (IS) Exit Exam according to Dr. Thomas Hilton, professor of information systems and chair of the Department of Information Systems (IS). Students take the exam as part of Hilton’s senior capstone class.

The average UW-Eau Claire score since 2004 is about 56%, about 5% above the national average for the same period, according to Hilton.

The ISA exam tests the knowledge of graduating seniors from IS programs like UW-Eau Claire that follow the IS 2010 Model Curriculum, the most recent undergraduate curriculum guidelines from the Association for Computing (ACM) and the Association of Information Systems (AIS). The 258-question exam assesses student knowledge and skills in IS foundations as well as data and information management, IS project management, systems analysis and design, IT infrastructure, enterprise architecture, and IS strategy/management/acquisition. The exam is administered by the Center for Computing Education Research (CCER), a division of the Education Foundation of the Institute for the Certification of Computer Professionals (ICCP).

Students who achieve a score of 50% or more qualify for the ISA certificate. Students who score 70% or more can count the exam toward the prestigious Certified Computer Professional (CCP) certificate. Both certificates are issued by the ICCP. To receive their certificates, students must agree to abide by the ICCP Code of Ethics, report proof of their baccalaureate degree to the ICCP office within one year of graduation, and pay the ICCP a fee.

”I’m very proud of the performance of our IS seniors on this nationally administered exam. It shows that we’re delivering quality graduates from a quality program,” said Hilton.

Colleges and universities use the results of the IS Exit Exam to compare their students’ performance against national benchmarks. Test results also are used to determine areas of strengths and places for improvement in the curriculum. Employers like Cargill, Epic Systems and Northwestern Mutual view a student’s qualification for an ISA certificate as further verification of his/her skills and competencies.

To learn more about the ISA exam or the UW-Eau Claire Department of Information Systems, contact Dr. Thomas Hilton by phone at (715) 836-3416 or by email at

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