Computer Systems Technology - Computer Programmer​​

  Program Distinctions

  • FLEXIBLE SCHEDULE for working or commuting students
  • VARIED CLASS FORMATS include classroom, distance learning and online options; many courses recorded for convenient viewing
  • HANDS-ON EXPERIENCE at campus Help Desk
  • Current partner in federal Rural Information Technology Alliance (RITA) grant that provides expanded support for computer students

About the Program

This program is designed to provide students with the skills needed to maintain computer hardware and software; modify or update existing programs; learn to install, manage, design and maintain network operating systems and servers; and provide customer service for a variety of advanced computer systems users. Graduates will receive training in the set-up, operation and repair of advanced computer systems, as well as broad problem-solving skills. We offer training for our students to obtain many industry certifications offered by companies like CompTIA, Microsoft, Cisco and others.

Our flexible delivery methods, including broadcasting and recording class sessions via WebEx, helps students with scheduling difficulties. We use various distance learning technologies to allow students to take classes from home or work. Most lectures and demonstrations are recorded so students can view them at their convenience for more clarification or review.

Ridgewater students have a unique opportunity to work in and manage a Help Desk that performs repairs, upgrades and common troubleshooting of actual customer laptops and desktops. This gives them hands-on experience in troubleshooting and customer service in a real working environment.

Computer Programmer

Graduates will learn how to program computers using programming languages including Java, JavaScript, Perl, PHP, Visual Basic .NET, and Visual C#/C++ .NET. Students will also learn many modern databases, Internet technologies, operating systems, and server technologies. We also teach some classes in game programming to allow students to create their own computer games. Ridgewater programming students learn techniques not always taught in other programming schools. Students gain expertise utilizing different programming methods to integrate databases into websites for e-commerce and other business Internet applications.

Computer Support Technician

Computer support technicians usually comprise the majority of personnel in a typical Information Technology department. Computer support technicians maintain, upgrade, install and repair the different computer systems in a business. Graduates will know how to maintain computer hardware and software assist network managers, and provide varied customer service.

Network Systems Administration

Graduates are prepared to enter the workforce as a network systems administrator, developer or technician, or to pursue a bachelor’s degree. Students learn to install, design and maintain hardware and software with various server platforms, and provide customer service for a variety of users. Students also gain hands-on experience in the latest server and desktop security methods, local, and wide area network security design and configurations.


Students who enroll in the Computer Support Technology Program and Multimedia Design programs are required to purchase a laptop computer with the following specifications.  


Intel® Core i5 as a minimum. Core i7 suggested.  Intel ONLY, No AMD.
BIOS must support virtualization
Windows 7 with Service Pack 1, Windows 8, or Windows 8.1*
8GB of RAM minimum
500GB free hard disk space 

Mac OS

Intel® Core i5 as a minimum. Core i7 suggested.
Mac OS X v10.8, or v10.9
8GB of RAM minimum
500GB free hard disk space 

Required accessories

Headset with microphone
6’ Ethernet cable


Under no circumstances can there be less than 8GB of RAM.
BIOS must support virtualization. Most do today, but the student must verify. Intel processor required for Android HAXM virtualization. AMD will NOT work.

Students are free to buy any laptop that meets the above requirements. The college does offer students the ability to purchase HP laptops at educational pricing through BusinessWare at this link.  Apple computers can be ordered through the Apple Educational store as a current students (Link).

BusinessWare Link:

-  If students are looking for a different configuration, please contact Dan Kellerman directly at or Direct Dial 320.455.9356.   Contact him for tracking information as well.
-  Students can change the quantity to 0 if they do not want the warranty uplift. Students can click on ‘update cart’ at the top of the page or just click the ‘place order’ button once they have changed the quantity.
-  Once students click on the ‘place order’ button, they will need to click on ‘click here to make a payment’ in order to pay with credit card.​ 

Apple Link:​ ​

Ridgewater College is an equal opportunity employer and educator.