Marywood University Offers Five-Day RPG Crash Course
April 23, 2007 Timothy Prickett Morgan
If you have a newbie programmer that you need to get up to speed on RPG, you might want to check out a new introductory crash course in RPG programming from Marywood University. The university, which is located in Scranton, Pennsylvania, is offering a 3-credit, 5-day course that runs from June 4 through 9 called Introduction to RPG and RPG IV.
Marywood is a business and managerial science college that offers bachelor of arts in business administration degrees with a focus on Business and Information Technology from within its Arts College. It is also one of the few places in the northeastern United States that teaches System i courses; the university has been a user of the OS/400 and i5/OS platform over the decades. As we reported last November, Marywood is also working with IBM to create System i courses.
The five-day course begins promptly at 8:30 a.m. on Monday, and runs through Friday. After the course is done, students will be given a final exam. The premise, according to Brian Kelly, who is an instructor in the BIT program, is to serve a number of different prospective students. “This is the ideal class for an IT professional to take who needs RPG starter skills,” Kelly explained in an email. “It is also a good class for students coming home to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton area from out-of-town colleges to take. It is designed to make optimum use of a student’s time and the labs are designed so that there is no flailing trying to key in huge programs. Instead, the labs pinpoint the area of study and permit the student to gain much more than typing skills.”
I have never attended Marywood, but I happen to drive through the Wyoming Valley of Pennsylvania several times a year to visit my family, and when I do, I buzz right by Marywood. Wyoming is a native American term from the Delaware tribe for “at the big flat river,” and this is where the western state gets its name. The river in this case is not the Delaware, but the Susquehanna, which is named after the Susquehannocks, a tribe whose name means “people of the muddy river” and who were interesting because, among other things, they refused to join the Iroquois Nation to the north even though they spoke similar languages. The Susquehanna is a magnificent, sprawling river that spans most of Pennsylvania west of the Alleghenies and whose tributaries and feeders roam across the southern tier of New York state and which eventually create Chesapeake Bay. I don’t want to sound like a travel brochure, but the area is pleasant, especially in the Endless Mountains region north of Scranton. It is a pristine area and is a great place to go camping, canoeing, or fishing. (This is what I plan to do someday in this very area–buy some land between the Susquehanna and Delaware just north of Scranton, make a little stone bungalow, and fish.)
My point is: The Marywood course might make an interesting combination fishing trip-RPG programming course if you are in driving distance. And, if you want to fly in, Scranton/Wilkes Barre has an international airport, too.
Because this is a private university, the credits are not cheap, even if Marywood is taking a no-nonsense approach to delivering the RPG goods. A credit costs $600 at Marywood, which makes this a base $1,800 course. However, the university is supplying optional student housing for $141 for the duration of the course (six days of lodging, in a room with a kitchen and living room) and an 18-meal plan in the university cafeteria for another $141 if you don’t want to cook or hit the restaurants downtown. This is pretty inexpensive compared to lodging and meals in a hotel, and makes getting to class easier. Well, no more difficult than when you were in college and had an early class. If you are interested in the course, you can register here.
This story has been corrected since it originally ran. The tuition for this course is $1,800, not $1,650. Marywood University regrets the error. [Corrected 04/23/2007]