Microsoft donates $10K for Big Bend Computer Science program scholarships | Columbia Basin

MOSES LAKE – Microsoft has donated $10,000 to support scholarships for students in Big Bend Community College’s Computer Science program.

The new scholarships will be awarded to students who qualify and take courses pertaining to the college’s new Manufacturing and Process Technology degree with a Mission Critical Operations Emphasis. Mission critical is an industry term used to describe essential services required for day-to-day operations that could impact the bottom line or cause a potential shutdown.

The college’s Mission Critical Operations emphasis pilot launched during the 2019 fall quarter and prepares students for facilities management positions.

Big Bend Computer Science Specialist Tom Willingham said the Mission Critical Operations emphasis focused primarily on industries with large facilities to manage, such as data centers.

“Data centers require a significant variety and quantity of equipment, physical structure, electricity, cooling, security, and maintenance of these to support the Information Technology requirements on a daily basis,” Willingham stated. “Someone needs to monitor these to ensure that they operate correction and efficiently.”

Students in the college’s program could also transfer their skills to other industries like manufacturing, food production, education and health care, according to college officials.

Microsoft has supported the college’s Computer Science program in the past through equipment donation and other scholarship funds.

“We can always count on Microsoft to support our students and the college; they have a long history of helping us achieve our goals,” Willingham added. “We are very excited about the prospects of this new program: support for the data centers and great opportunities for our local students.”

Janelle B. Smith

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