cmu

Partnering with CMU IS Student Consultants

By becoming a community partner, you get access to hours of high quality student consultation, an opportunity to collaborate on meaningful projects, and even learn a bit about the technology that our students work with to bring innovative solutions to unsolved issues. In turn, our students are eager to apply what they have learned in the classroom as a means to solve real-world problems and see their work have a direct impact on others. From reducing check-in times by 90% to saving many hours using automatic database solutions to track client cases, the CMU IS student teams seek to deliver high-quality solutions to a variety of problems faced by our community partners.

In the Information Systems Consulting Project Course, small student teams collaborate with community-based organizations to develop useful information system solutions to meet real management needs. Each project team proposes, defines, designs and implements a working information system or application with the project client. Teams act as consultants working 'with' and not 'for' their project clients. At the completion of the project, each team must provide a sustainable solution that fits the client's objectives, organization constraints and capabilities.

Organizations interested in designing / redesigning their mobile web applications might consider another project-based course called “Mobile Web Design and Development.” This course is taught in the Fall semester and emphasizes design and user-experience with either a web or app interface. In Mobile Web, small student teams work with partners over 6 weeks to rapidly solidify the project vision and deliver multiple solution prototypes. The students leverage a user-centered approach to designing wireframes, capturing client feedback, and implementing the prototype. Through this process, clients gain clarity about the direction and priorities for their website or app interface. Engagement in this course serves as a great precursory step for a full-semester Spring engagement in the Information Systems Consulting Project Course.

For information on becoming a community partner for either course, contact Julia Poepping, Associate Director of Partner Development (jpoeppin@andrew.cmu.edu).
For more information on the Fall Mobile Web Design Course, contact Professor Sara Moussawi (smoussaw@andrew.cmu.edu).
For more information on the Spring Student Consulting Course and the Information Systems program, contact Professor Joe Mertz (joemertz@cmu.edu).

Recent Community Partners

  • 412 Food Rescue
  • A Footbridge
  • Airport Corridor Transport Association
  • American Association of Cancer Institutes
  • CMU Robotics Institute
  • CMU Spring Carnival
  • Dream Center Educational Holdings
  • East End Cooperative Ministry - SewForward Program
  • Harrison Middle School
  • Holocaust Center of Pittsburgh
  • Hoot Book Revival
  • Inclusant
  • Kodiak Island Borough School District
  • National Council of Jewish Women
  • NewERA412
  • Operation Strong Mind
  • Pennsylvania Rural Robotics Initiative
  • Phipps Conservatory
  • Pitsburgh Fellows Alumni Association
  • Quaker Valley Council of Governments
  • RedChairPGH
  • Smart Futures
  • Sustainable Pittsburgh
  • The Education Partnership
  • The Empowerment Equation
  • Wesley Family Services
  • YMCA Pittsburgh
  • YummyPlants

Testimonials

❝ 373 was an incredible opportunity to engage with a client, enter into a problem space, and then deliver a solution. It definitely gave me a sense of confidence in my ability to tackle real-world technological challenges. But more importantly, it solidified my belief that I can use my education to help make a difference for non-profit organizations across the country. ❞

- Student

Meghana Valluri

❝The course offers a great opportunity for students to develop their skills while benefiting the society, particularly as the work involved enriches their learning experience and civic responsibility. Personally, it brings me great joy to see my students flourish as young professionals, all while providing meaningful community service. ❞

- IS Professor

Sara Moussawi

❝ 373 challenged me both in the technical aspect, but mostly in the collaboration and client relations aspect. There were higher stakes in our project than usual class projects, but the impact of our solution for our client motivated my team to put worthwhile effort in. At the end of the semester, I can definitely say I was proud of the deliverable, but mostly the entire process that semester. ❞

- Student

Sophie Zhao

❝ 67-373 follows a service-learning model, but student teams act as consultants working “with” and not “for” their clients. Students do not merely provide technical support or software development. Instead, they work in partnership with their clients to solve an organization problem with an IS solution. ❞

- IS Professor

Jeria Quesenberry

❝ 373 was the most useful and applicable course I took at CMU. It was a great learning experience in how to work as a team, and create a product for a real world client. It was also the most rewarding class I’ve ever taken because you really get to make difference by creating something for a non-profit that does amazing work for our community. ❞

- Student

Erin Dieringer

❝ 373 was an invaluable opportunity to get real-world consulting experience while working with a non-profit organization. It was a great experience in navigating organizational requirements and team based consultant work, and it really prepares students well for internships, where they are similarly faced with an unfamiliar organization and an unfamiliar problem to solve. ❞

- Student

Connor Hanely