Information Systems Technology

The world revolves around technology. Learn how to use it to your advantage to obtain a well-paying job and join the ranks of information technology (IT) professionals around the world who manage the electronic infrastructure of business, industry and government.

Student Spotlight

Alecia Tutt

“I just thank God every day for giving me that second chance.” That’s how Alecia Tutt describes how her life has improved since coming to Laurel Ridge.

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Associate of Applied Science Degree
2 Years (4 Full-Time Semesters)

Program Information and Curriculum


In Demand G3 Program - $$ for Tuition and Fees

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Explore Careers and Job Outlook

According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, computer-related jobs in general are projected to continue to be in demand through 2026.  Some of the occupations that are projected to increase are information security analysts (28% increase), software developers (30% increase), web developers (15% increase), and computer user support specialists (11%) among several other specialized areas within the Information Technology, Cybersecurity, and Computer Science disciplines.

Explore job outlook and career opportunities through the following resources: 


Laurel Ridge takes great pride in employing highly qualified faculty. Laurel Ridge employs full-time and adjunct faculty, all of whom possess many years of teaching and business-based experiences in information technology.

Educational backgrounds of these individuals include doctoral degrees in information technology, computer science, and community college education; master’s degrees in business administration, computer science, education, information systems, mathematics, operations research, program management, engineering management, and technology of management; and bachelor’s degrees in economics, mechanical engineering, and electronic engineering technology.

Full-Time Faculty

Professor Art Lee

Arthur L. Lee

Arthur L. Lee

Associate Professor

Information Tech Design/Databases, Information Technology Essentials, Information Technology Programming, Student Development


  • Master’s degree in Education, James Madison University
  • Bachelor’s degree in Information Processing, James Madison University
  • Graduate level coursework at George Mason University, Shenandoah University, Virginia Polytechnic Institute, and University of Hawaii
  • Summer Computer Institute, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana
  • Florida Faculty Institute, Daytona Beach, Florida
  • SQL training, Fairfax, Va.
  • Oracle training, Nashville, Tenn.
  • Programming in Alice Summer Institute, Carnegie Mellon University
  • Cloud Computing/AWS Training, NVCC
  • AWS Educate Faculty Professional Development Launch Series

Background and Experience

Mr. Lee has been teaching at Laurel Ridge Community College since 1986. He has also held teaching positions at James Madison University, Harrisonburg, Va., Shenandoah University, Winchester, Va., and Leeward Community College (University of Hawaii system), Pearl City, Hawaii. Prior to that, he was an instructor at Fauquier High School, Warrenton, Va., and at Dowell J. Howard Vocational Center, Winchester, Va. He has also performed private consulting work for non-profit/profit organizations in computerized accounting systems and Web site development and maintenance. Mr. Lee has authored and published several training videos in Visual Basic (Versions 6, 2005, 2008) and C++ programming languages through Virtual Training Company (VTC).

Laurel Ridge Teaching

While teaching at Laurel Ridge, Mr. Lee has taught various Information Technology courses. He presently teaches courses in:

  • Principles of Information Systems (ITE 120)
  • Database Fundamentals (ITD 130)
  • Software Design (ITP 100)
  • Visual Basic.NET I and II (ITP 112 and 212)
  • Introduction to Computer Applications and Concepts (ITE 115)
  • Orientation to the IT Professions (SDV 101)

Certifications & Professional Affiliations

Mr. Lee has received the following certifications/recognitions during his time at Laurel Ridge:

  • 1986 – Present: Member of the Virginia Community College Association (VCCA)
  • 1993: Virginia Community College Associations (VCCA) Faculty Showcase Award
  • 2007: StrenghtsQuest Advocate program certification
  • 2009: VCCS Teaching Online Program (“TOP”) Certification
  • 2017: Faculty Mentoring Award
  • 2018: Collaboration Award (with colleagues)
  • 2019: Distinguished Teaching Award
  • 2020: Collaboration Award (with colleagues)

Personal Interests

Mr. Lee enjoys spending time with his children and grandchildren, traveling, and enjoys attending a variety of college sporting events.

José M. Nieves, Ph.D.

Dr. José M Nieves

Dr. José M Nieves

Professor of Information Technology
ITD – Information Tech Design/Databases
ITE – Information Technology Essentials
ITN – Information Technology Networking
ITP – Information Technology Programming

Information Tech Design/Databases, Information Technology Essentials, Information Technology Programming, Information Tech Networking

Education and Professional Training

  • 1984: Bachelor in Science degree in Mechanical Engineering, Cornell University
  • 1987: Master of Engineering Administration degree, George Washington University
  • 1997: Doctorate in Philosophy degree in Information Technology, George Mason University
  • 2015: Graduate-level work at Radford University (IST)
  • 2015: Graduate-level work in Theology, St. John Paul II the Great Catholic University
  • 2018: Master’s-Level Certificate in Theology (Church History), Catholic Distance University
  • 2019: Graduate-Level Certificate in “Integrating Diversity Strategies in the Classroom,” Cornell University
  • 2019: Present: Graduate-Level Certificate in “World Religions,” Harvard University
  • 2020: AWS Educate Faculty Professional Development Launch Series
  • 2020: Cloud Computing/AWS course (ITN 257), Reynolds Community College

Awards and Recognitions

  • 2013-2017 VCCS Professional Development Committee, Mini-Grants Chair (2017)
  • 2016 Master Teacher Seminar
  • 2017: Laurel Ridge Faculty Advocacy Award
  • 2018 Laurel Ridge QEP Mini-Grant Participant
  • 2020: Collaboration Award (with colleagues)
  • 2020-Present: Epsilon Pi Tau Trustee, Fauquier Campus
  • 2015-2020: Senator, Laurel Ridge Faculty Senate, Fauquier Campus
  • 2020: Chairperson, Laurel Ridge Rewards and Recognitions Committee

Background and Experience

Dr. Nieves is a native of Puerto Rico (USA). He has extensive public and private sector Information Technology experience. He served as a USAF officer for 5 years and several progressive senior technical and management positions within the technology industry in the Washington, DC metropolitan area for over a decade.

Laurel Ridge Community College Teaching

Dr. Nieves has been teaching with the Information Technology department at Laurel Ridge Community College since 2001, mostly out of the Fauquier campus. He teaches courses at the Associate’s degree level in:

  • Introduction to Digital Literacy and Applications (ITE 152)
  • Principles of Information Systems (ITE 120)
  • Databases (ITD 130)
  • Hardware/Software Integration – A+ Preparation (ITN 107)
  • Network Management and Design (ITN 200)
  • Introduction to Programming (ITP 100)
  • Systems Analysis and Design (ITP 251)

Other Teaching

Prior to (and concurrent with) his Laurel Ridge Community College’s 20-year career, Dr. Nieves:

  • Served as an adjunct professor at Northern VA Community College (NVCC; Loudoun and Manassas Campuses) at the Associate’s Degree level for six years;
  • Taught courses in security, forensics, project management, and information technology at American Intercontinental University (Schaumburg, IL) at the Master’s Degree level;
  • Consulted at Capella University (Minneapolis, MN) for eleven years by chairing doctoral-level committees and serving as a mentor to learners enrolled in doctoral-level courses and seminars in Information Systems Technology and Management. As a dissertation committee chairperson and mentor over thirty learners earned a doctoral degree from Capella University under Dr. Nieves’ tutelage, and;
  • Currently, Dr. Nieves focuses his professional interests in:
    • Published research of practical applications and advances of the Information Technology field of study;
    • Integration of Information Systems Engineering in educational and practical implementations;
    • Implementation of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) integration for large corporations and government entities, advances in IT/Business Corporate Alignment, and;
    • IT research methods advances, pitfalls, and developing challenges in the field

Certifications and Professional Affiliations

Dr. Nieves:

  • Is Trustee of Epsilon Pi Tau (Ε Π Τ or EPT) at Laurel Ridge Community College’s Fauquier campus. EPT is an international honor society for professions in technology. EPT recognizes academics of students, preparation for practitioners, and outstanding professionals
  • Is certified as a CIW Associate
  • Is certified as an online professor through the Virginia Community College System’s “Teaching Online Program” (“TOP”)Certification Program
  • Is an active member of the Association for Computer Machinery (ACM)
  • Belongs to the Cornell Engineering Alumni Association
  • Is the Class Correspondent and Web Page Administrator for Cornell University’s Class of 1984

Personal Interests

Dr. Nieves’ interests lie in community service, pets (dogs, cats, aquarium fish), reading, music, and Education and Theology studies. He cannot find enough hours in the day to read all that he wishes he could, from journals to papers, research, news, and fiction novels. Family life is extremely important to Dr. Nieves as is the seeking of knowledge through the areas of philosophy and religion.

Melissa Stange, Ph.D. (Computer Science)

Dr. Melissa Stange

Dr. Melissa Stange

Professor of Computer Science
CSC - Computer Science, ETR - Engineering Technologies, IND - Industrial Engineering Tech, ITE - Information Technology Essentials, ITN - Information Technology Networking, ITP -Information Technology Programming, MEC - Mechanical Engineering Tech, UMS - Unmanned Systems


  • Associate of Applied Science in Data Processing degree, Chattahoochee Valley Community College
  • Bachelor’s of Science in Computer Information Systems degree, Shenandoah University
  • Master’s in Business Administration degree, Averett University
  • Master’s in Computer Science degree, Nova Southeastern University
  • Doctorate in Philosphy degree in Applied Management and Decision Sciences, Walden University

Background & Experience

Dr. Stange has over 25 years of experience as a technology professional working in the industries of Government, Healthcare, Manufacturing, Non-Profit, and Education. Dr. Stange has worked in numerous types of technology positions including computer programming, systems analyst, systems design & administration, project management, computer research, technical trainer, and technical support. She holds several professional certifications and has a variety of research publications.

Laurel Ridge Teaching

Dr. Stange has taught as an adjunct with the Information Technology department at Laurel Ridge since 2004. She became a full-time Knowledge2Work Information Systems Technology faculty member in 2015 and in 2016 started teaching in the Computer Science program. She teaches courses in:

  • Office Applications (ITE 115)
  • Information Literacy (ITE 119)
  • Programming (ITP 100, ITP 295, ITP 270)
  • Computer Science (CSC 200, CSC 201, CSC 202, CSC 205, CSC 295, CSC 298)

Other Teaching

Dr. Stange has taught Quickbooks through Moose University for Moose International and taught introductory networking courses at Mountain State University. Additionally, she has taught professional development courses for Laurel Ridge Workforce Solutions. 

Certifications and Professional Affiliations

Dr. Stange is a Microsoft Certified Trainer, certified as a VCCS Online instructor and Cyber Teacher. Dr. Stange is an active member of the Association for Computer Machinery (ACM),  Computer Science Teachers Association, Women in Technology, National Cybersecurity Student Association, Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), International Dyslexia Association, and a senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).

Personal Interests

Dr. Stange’s interests lie in family, community service, assisting youth, pets, and extreme sports. 

Adjunct Faculty

Laurel Ridge also relies on the talents and experience of adjunct faculty from our local IT workforce to supplement and support our full-time faculty.  The need for adjunct faculty varies from semester to semester.

Professor Russell Brown Professor Mark Sunderlin

Mark Sunderlin

Mark Sunderlin

Adjunct Assistant Professor
IST – Information Systems Technology

Explore Related IST Programs

Current Student Advising

A new advising tool designed specifically for IT students has been created at Laurel Ridge. It is a Canvas “organization.” An organization in Canvas is similar to your class sites within Canvas, but it contains specific information regarding the IT curriculum that you may find useful.

We will be using this tool to provide advising services to students in one of the IT programs (degree or certificate). This site will also serve as a place to provide announcements and other important details for our students. You may already be enrolled in this organization.

Current Students: log onto your Canvas account. On the Canvas Dashboard, look for an organization titled: “Information Systems Technology Curriculum.” Click on the link and explore!

If you are not enrolled, follow these simple steps to self-enroll:

Self-Enroll Instructions: 

  1. Log into Canvas 
  2. Click the following link or copy-and-paste into your web browser’s address bar:
  3. Click the button in the upper right for Enroll in course.
  4. The course should now appear on your Canvas dashboard.

Tuition and Funding Options

Tuition rates for this program are approximately one-third the cost of attending a four-year college or university in Virginia. Compare savings now!

An estimated $15.2 million dollars in grants, loans, work-study and scholarships are awarded to Laurel Ridge Community College students each year. We are committed to using all available funds to help you gain access to a college education.

Payment plans are offered to break down tuition payments.

View all financial aid, payment options, and more HERE.

Student Testimonials

“A huge part of what I do today has to be credited to Laurel Ridge’s IT program.  Working in the IT industry, is something I’ve wanted to do ever since I came to the United States 15 years ago.  The Laurel Ridge IT program has had a huge impact in my career.”

“It is solely due to my education studying IT that this job was even possibly attainable for me.  I had a firm understanding of how the process should work due to the classes I took. Of course the database class came in handy. The systems analysis class was another big one for my current job.  The choice I made to go back to school has changed my life and I couldn’t be happier that it was Laurel Ridge as I have had such a great experience there.”

“I found the job listing in the IST Curriculum job opportunities posting and I would like to thank Laurel Ridge for providing me with the resources to achieve my goals and push me to another step closer to my dreams.”

“After I graduated, I was selected by [the company I now work for] as their IT/network tech. I was fortunate to be picked from a list of 300 other candidates. I loved my IT classes.  I can say that Laurel Ridge opened the gate for my dream job. Without my education and without you the teachers at Laurel Ridge, I would not be able today to “play” with fiber optics, networks, servers, etc.”

“I am in my second week and am loving the job and applying the knowledge I received from Laurel Ridge. Our Network Operations Supervisor, Systems Analyst, and Network Support Technician in this IT department also graduated from Laurel Ridge in the last 10 years.”

“I am entering my second year at Laurel Ridge, majoring in Information Systems Technology with a Cyber Security Certificate.  I am working with the PC Specialist Team at Winchester Medical Center as a paid intern in the Information Systems Department. Thank you so much!” …. UPDATED … I have enjoyed interning at WMC. Two months ago, I was hired as an employee and am now a PC Specialist here. Very excited about that. Thank you so much for always sending job opportunities to us!”

“I am emailing you to express my gratitude and appreciation to Laurel Ridge Community College and all of its staff. I am truly blessed to be given the opportunity to go back to school.

ec-council partnerOur partnership offers cost-effective, authorized learning resources for enrolled technology students to properly prepare them for EC-Council exams and ultimately their careers after graduation. Students will have the opportunity to achieve industry recognized certifications and compete in free cyber competitions as they complete their degree programs, achieving the ultimate stackable credential lineup to enhance their resume.

Have a Question?

Do you have a specific question about this program or how to get started at Laurel Ridge? Please use the form below and a member of our staff will respond as soon as possible.

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