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Athabasca University

Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Data Analytics Program Structure

Students are required to complete 12 credits (four courses) in the Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Data Analytics program. The program is structured on a team-based model, and aims as solving real-world analytical problems. The team-based model requires participants to develop skills in communication, idea sharing, collaboration, and integrative thinking. The analytics tools used in the program include the following software packages: R, SAS, IBM suite of tools, Gephi, Tableau, and other similar tools.

Program Status

To maintain program status, students must complete at least 6 credits of course work during each academic year, September 1st to August 31st or January 1st to December 31st depending on the date of admission to the program.

In core courses, the lowest acceptable grade is B-. Students who receive a grade lower than B-, or receive more than one grade of B- or lower, may be required to withdraw from the program.

In elective courses, the lowest acceptable grade is C+. Students who receive a grade lower than C+, or receive more than one grade of C+ or lower, may be required to withdraw from the program.

Full- and Part-Time Involvement

Students may study in the program on a full- or part-time basis. Part-time students must complete a minimum of six credits (two course equivalents) per calendar year. In order to comply with Alberta Students Finance Board requirements, and to qualify for full-time status at the graduate studies level for funding and T2202A purposes, students must complete a minimum of nine credits (three courses) per calendar year (one course per term).

Definitions

100% Course Load: 12 credits per 12-month period (1 credit per month)
60% Course Load: 9 credits per 12-month period (0.75 credit per month) This is the minimum that is required to qualify for T2202A, student financial aid, and any other confirmation of full-time status.
Term: A four-month study period.

Guidelines

To be considered for a 60 per cent course load, students are required to register in at least one three-credit course per term to be considered full time.

To be considered for a 100 per cent course load, students are required to submit a full year's study plan (three terms). Students will need to identify at least 12 credits of study covering a full 12-month period.

For example: 3 credits for Term 1
  6 credits for Term 2
  3 credits for Term 3

Students who request certification of a 100 per cent course load must identify their full 12-month study plan at the commencement of their first term of studies. Students are permitted to use any number of combination of credits in their three identified terms, provided the total number of credits is equal to 12.

For example: Scenario #1 Scenario #2 Scenario #3
  3 credits for Term 1 6 credits for Term 1 3 credits for Term 1
  6 credits for Term 2 3 credits for Term 2 3 credits for Term 2
  3 credits for Term 3 3 credits for Term 3 6 credits for Term 3

Residency

To meet the residency requirements, students must complete a minimum of two courses (six credits) through Athabasca University.

Relationship to MSc Information Systems (MSc IS) Program

Students, who successfully complete the Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Data Analytics (PBCDA) program, may apply for admission to the MSc IS program. If admitted, credits completed by the student towards the PBCDA will be accepted for credit towards the MSC IS degree in accordance with the MSc IS program regulations. Please note that students must achieve minimum required grades in various courses as per the MSc IS program regulations to be able to count the credits towards MSc IS program.

Courses

PBCDA students take their courses alongside MSC IS students, and are required to complete the same activities and achieve the same standard.
Students will access all course tools and technologies online. In addition, students are expected to use web-based communications for the following purposes:

  • For instructor and student-to-student interactions in computer conferences
  • For email, both within and outside of the course structure
  • For file transfer or file attachment of assignments and feedback between instructor and students and between students on joint projects
  • For accessing electronic databases (for example, Athabasca University’s Library)
  • For using Athabasca University’s Landing (a social network platform for students, instructors and staff)

Curriculum Content

The Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Data Analytics will be awarded upon completion of 4 courses (12 credits). Students are required to complete the following:

COMP 504 Object Structure and Programming (3)
COMP 682 Data Mining (3)
COMP 683 Introduction to Learning and Knowledge Analytics (3)
  And one of:  
COMP 602 Enterprise Information Management (3)
COMP 657 Artificial Intelligence: Principles and Techniques (3)
COMP 658 Computational Intelligence (3)
COMP 684 Business Intelligence (3)

The core course, COMP 504 Object Structure and Programming, focuses on the design and analysis of efficient data structures and algorithms, and discusses the fundamental concepts, principles, and techniques for effective programming, algorithm analysis, and design. COMP 682 Data Mining is a hands-on course where learners will interact with structured and unstructured data to solve complex problems with applications in sectors such as healthcare, business, and education. COMP 683 Introduction to Learning and Knowledge Analytics is intended to provide an overview of how analytics are used in different educational, corporate, government, and non-governmental organizations (NGO) settings.

The option course COMP 602 Enterprise Information Management looks at databases, how they fit into an organization, what needs they seek to address and what can be done with them. This option is for those who are looking to understand the information needs of an organization and will explore how and when such information is needed. The course emphasizes being able to manage information in a manner that benefits an organization. The option will be required for those students who do not already have an equivalent competency, since such competency is prerequisite to taking the mandatory COMP 682 course.

The option course COMP 657 Artificial Intelligence: Principles and Techniques looks at using data "intelligently" to solve complex problems and provide more natural and effective services to human beings. The emphasis in this course is on advanced search, reasoning and decision-making under uncertainty, and machine learning.

Permission of the program director is required before courses are taken for PBCDA program credit outside Athabasca University.

Transfer Credit

Some applicants to the program may have completed graduate level course work at other post-secondary institutions that is applicable to the PBCDA program. For details on policy and procedures related to transfer credit, please refer to the Graduate Transfer Credit Policy.

Letter of Permission

Students enrolled in the PBCDA program may take courses from other post-secondary institutions in fulfillment of the program requirements, provided such courses are applicable to Athabasca University’s PBCDA program and residency requirements are met.
Students wishing to take courses from other institutions must submit

to the Graduate Program Director for review. If approved, the School of Computing and Information Systems will issue a Letter of Permission. To allow for mailing time, requests for a Letter of Permission should be made at least one month before the registration deadline at the institution where the student will be taking the course. Upon completion of the course, the student must submit an official transcript to the School of Computing and Information Systems in order to obtain credit for the course.

Admission by Exception

Individuals who do not meet the normal educational requirements of the program, but present other qualifications that indicate their potential for the specific graduate program, may be considered for admission, based on specific criteria.

Program Extension

The changing nature of the subject matter requires that the PBCDA program must be completed within two academic years. If the student is unable to complete the program within the expected maximum number of years for completion, a program extension may be considered.

A program extension (continuation) fee, equivalent to course tuition fee, will normally be paid by the student upon approval of the program extension, unless the approval is given on the basis of extenuating circumstances.

Program Deferrals

While enrolled in the program there may be situations in which students, due to unforeseen or exceptional circumstances, are temporarily unable to meet the program requirements at that time. One alternative for the student is to request a deferral in order to suspend the program requirements for a period of time.

Program Delivery

The program is offered during three semesters each year. The fall semester begins in September. The winter semester begins in January. The spring sessions begins in May. Each semester is 13 weeks in length.

Information effective September 1, 2016 to August 31, 2017.

Updated June 20 2016 by laurab

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