Programming & Mobile Applications

Everyone has a passion, and some people love technology! Do you love developing mobile apps, video games or working with robotics equipment?  If so, then the Programming and Mobile Applications program might be right up your alley! 

The State of Michigan has a shortage of IT professionals. Why not turn your interests into a high-paying information technology (IT) job or career?  As part of this program, students will gain skills that both colleges and employers require you to have.  When it's time to take the knowledge you have learned at the Wilson Talent Center into the real world, you'll be ready to compete in some of today's most exciting careers such as game designer, application developer, robotics engineer or website developer to name a few.

Students will work both individually and in teams on a variety of projects. The class also participates in Business Professionals of America (BPA) where students compete against other students regionally, state-wide and even nationally. The last two years, several students in this program advanced to national competition in Orlando, Florida (2017) and Boston, Massachusetts (2016).

View the Articulated Credit Sheet for Programming & Mobile Applications.

Our mission is to provide students with the essential knowledge, skills, and work habits to excel in their careers and future learning.


Programming & Mobile Apps

National Career Cluster: Information Technology
Michigan Career Pathway: Business/Management/Marketing & Technology


David Baker

Pete Eisinger,  Instructional Assistant

Types of Credit

Fourth year math credit
½ - 1 English Language Arts credit

Second year World Language credit
Elective Credit
Credit recommended by WTC awarded by sending school

Articulation Agreements

Lansing Community College
Baker College
Davenport University
Ferris State University
Washtenaw Community College

Special Requirements/Program Prerequisites

This program may be taken as a one or two year program by both juniors and seniors. The program is designed to give students marketable skills in the areas covered as well as prepare them for careers and college.  Students may return for a second year to focus their learning on their specific interest areas.

Students entering the program should demonstrate the following skills.

  • Good communication skills, including reading and writing at grade level.
  • Good attendance (no more than 2 absences each term)
  • Strong understanding of Algebra concepts
  • Positive attitude and a sincere interest in Programming and/or Robotics (no previous experience required).

Course Topics

Academic (Mathematics, Reading, Writing and Study Skills)

Students will complete assignments in class to improve their math, reading, and writing skills.  Because this class integrates math with many assignments, math credit is available (see pg 1) for most students. Math, reading and writing skills are integrated into class assignments and projects.  Study skills are taught and integrated in all assignments.  Students will learn how to apply critical thinking skills to solve problems that seem difficult at first glance.  Second year students will be part of writing composition course that focuses on content related technical writing.

Career and Job Preparation

All students have the opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge by presenting their projects and receive business feedback in our class Showcase held each spring.  The showcase is judged by a variety of IT professionals and parents are encouraged to attend.

Students create a portfolio of team and individual work which they use during job interviews. Students also create resumes, cover letters and learn how to properly complete job applications. Students explore their personal values and strengths, learning styles and abilities as they relate to their career interests.   Information technology related business visits, guest speakers and job shadows provide more information on career interests.

Students may choose to compete in Information Technology and Business skill competitions by joining our Business Professionals of America (BPA) chapter.  Students can compete in regional, state and national competitions as well as become a chapter or state officer. BPA members increase their confidence and skills by solving real business related problems.  Students will also have the opportunity to participate and compete in other organizations and competitions including, Square One, Vex Robotics or other programming competitions.

Computer Programming

Students will learn the Key Programming concepts, including Procedural Programming and Object Oriented Programming; using C++, C# and Java Programming Languages.  As we learn the basics concepts in Procedural Programming students will get exposure to basic microprocessor design, and while learning about Object Oriented Programming.  Students will learn about the Software Development Lifecycle and how to plan and manage a larger scale programming projects on teams.    At the end of the year students will put what they learned together to create a project of their choice (Robotics, Game Design, Mobile Application Development, Website Design etc).

Computer Hardware/Networking

Integrated within all curriculums paths are the hardware and networking fundamentals all IT students need to know about how computers work, ethics, security and networking.

Exit Outcomes

  • Proficient use of computers and computer software.
  • Effective oral and written communication skills, including presentation, grammar, spelling, and punctuation skills.
  • Design, development and high quality of effective high quality interactive computer programs.
  • Teamwork and leadership skills.
  • Exploration of careers pertaining to student’s interests and abilities and preparation for higher education.
  • Business etiquette skills.
  • Employability skills to seek, obtain, and keep a job.

Work Based Learning Opportunities

After attaining adequate skills and knowledge in their career area, students that demonstrate employable work habits will be placed in work experiences as those positions are available.  We strive to provide students with a job shadow or work experience in the area of their career interest depending upon the availability of appropriate opportunities. Students benefit from trips to businesses, colleges, and guest speakers.

Grading Policy

Students final grades are composed of 45% Content Competencies, 35% Work Habit skills and 20% Participation. 

Content Competencies 45% overall (20% - Skill Mastery, 25% Explanation)

Content Competencies are broken down into 2 parts: Explanation of the topic and Skill Mastery.  Before students move ahead to work on extra projects they must have completed all Skill Mastery topics at the “Mastering” level, currently covered by the class.

Skill Mastery – Skill Masteries are broken down into 4 levels:  0-Not started, 1-Beginning, 2-Applying, 3-Mastering.  There are multiple assignments at varying difficulties that are designed to help students master the topic being covered.  10%  of the Skill Mastery grade for a topic is earned by completing the Beginning assignments. 35% of the Skill Mastery grade for a topic is earned by completing the Intermediate assignments.  55% of the Skill Mastery grade for a topic is earned by completing the Advanced assignments.

Explanation- The focus of the course is to learn the material, not just “do work”, so a large percentage of the grade is based on the explanation of a topic back to the teacher.  This explanation can be done to any instructor and there is a separate rubric for each topic.  The Explanation can only be done after the advanced assignments have been completed. 

Late work

There are deadlines for progressing through the Skill Mastery assignments these deadlines are set such that they should be reachable even if a student struggles to master the concept right away.  Late work will have an automatic 5% reduction for the assignment per day that it is late.  The late penalty for an assignment caps at 40%.   This means that if you turn in an assignment 3 weeks late you still can earn a maximum of 60% for the work.  All the work is accessible through the course webpage and is still expected to be completed on time if a student is absent. 

Participation 20%

Students are expected to complete formative assignments when applicable during lectures.  There should be no time where your “work is done”.  The expectation is that after you finish assignments designed to reinforce content area that you seek out additional work/projects that you are interested in or help other students in the class.

Positive and negative behaviors will be recorded by the teachers to a google sheet.  The participation grade is the daily participation grade averaged out. The student is responsible to check the records and inform the teacher of any discrepancies or issues with the marked off task marks recorded within 2 school days of the observation.

Team assignments/Group Projects

Students working in teams will be asked to show evidence of equal participation and contribution to the team.  These projects are focused on learning essential project management and teamwork skills that will be necessary in the workforce.  Even if a student has reached a level of 6 in the corresponding Content Area they will be expected to participate in these activities.

Students are expected to participate in class to help make the learning environment more enriching for all in the class.  Participating in ways to make the rest of the class a better environment can take a variety of forms including volunteering information or answering questions during lectures, helping other students with questions/work, or many other options. 

Work Habits 35%

Students are graded on the following ten work habits as described in the Student/Parent Handbook.

Thirty-five percent (35%) of the student’s grade is based on the work habits below.  These habits are evaluated by both the student and the teacher on a routine basis. During this evaluation, students have the opportunity to explain their work habit skills progress. A description of these work habits may be found in the Student/Parent Handbook.

  • Attendance
  • Cooperation
  • Safety of Work Area
  • Self-Discipline & Responsibility
  • Care & Maintenance of  Equip/Work Area
  • Quality of Work
  • Good Judgment
  • Quantity
  • Effort
  • Dress, Grooming and Appearance

Early College with Baker of Jackson

Students will be expected complete the same assessments/or equivalent assessments for the corresponding courses at Baker College in addition to meeting satisfactory requirements of the Programming course at the Wilson Talent Center.

These courses include the following:

  • Principles of Computer Science: CS1010
  • Introduction to Programming: CS1110
  • C++ Programming: CS2150
  • Java Programming: CS2410
  • Microprocessor Electronics: CS2310

High Level Outline of typical Material Covered:

Year 1:  C++, Java

Semester 1:

  • Computer Background/foundations
  • Procedural Programming
  • Test Driven Development                                 

Semester 2:

  • Object oriented programming
  • Project management

Year 2:  (Students Returning for Year 2 and not part of the Early College can choose to follow this or go more in depth in one specific topic.)

Semester 1:

  • Logic Design
  • Microprocessor Design
  • Computer Architecture

Semester 2:

  • Computer Architecture
  • Relational Databases

Student Learning Outcomes for above Topics:

Procedural Programming

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of programming terminology and methodology.
  2. Distinguish between the different data and variable types and differentiate when each type should be used.
  3. Demonstrate the ability to perform calculations as required to meet specifications for a program.
  4. Distinguish and compare the different flow control mechanisms including the following:
  5. Differentiate between simple and structured data types, especially arrays.
  6. Organize complex computer problems into modular components using subroutines and functions.
  7. Demonstrate the ability to write and debug programs using simple input and output routines as well as interactive debugging tools if they are part of the selected computer language.
  8. Demonstrate the ability to complete a programming assignment that includes development, documentation, design, and debugging of a program.
  9. Demonstrates ability to use Exception handling and Try Catch blocks
  10. Demonstrate ability to be able to apply all of the above with both Java and C++

Test Driven Development

  1. Describe the concept of unit testing, and the benefits especially in larger projects
  2. Demonstrate development test cases for assignments based on project specifications
  3. Demonstrate how to use test cases to verify if a program work correctly
  4. Demonstrate use of unit testing before system integration

Object Oriented Programming

  1. Explain the concepts of Encapsulation, Inheritance and Polymorphism.
  2. Demonstrate the ability to create programs using the above concepts.

Project Management

  1. Explain how a Gantt Chart is used to make a bottom up schedule for a project
  2. Explain how the Agile Project management methodology can be used in software development.
  3. Demonstrate ability to manage a larger scale project using one of the above methods.
  4. Demonstrate how a Trello board or similar can be used to make an Agile board.

Logic Design

  1. Demonstrate understanding of basic logic gates and combinational logic, and truth tables
  2. Explain different numbering systems and Demonstrate converting between bases.
  3. Explain 2s compliment numbering system
  4. Demonstrate through FPGA design how to implement sequential logic to create basic applications like a calculator.
  5. Ability to read timing diagrams and explain the importance of hold and setup times
  6. Demonstrate ability to make a clock divider and counter.

Microprocessor Design

  1. Describe how software and hardware interact 
  2. Discuss how each piece of system architecture interacts with each other 
  3. Demonstrate design of microprocessor embedded design using a SOC

Computer Architecture

  1. Explain the concept of CPI and Cycle time and how they relate to performance.
  2. Explain the concept of Pipelining
  3. Demonstrate ability to write simple assembly programs.
  4. Explain the different stages of a 5 stage pipeline and be able to identify data dependencies.

Relational Databases

  1. Explore The basic structures of tables in electronic databases.
  2. Examine relational database principles, concepts and design
  3. Construct queries using SQL in DBMS
  4. Explore the role of the Database administrator
  5. Create a database structure for a specific system/problem.

Internships and Work Based-Learning

Internships and work-based learning are evaluated by the employer each term.  The student will be evaluated on both skills and work habits on an evaluation form.  This evaluation becomes a pro-rated portion of the student’s grade for the term.

6 week internship during a 9 week marking period
2/3 of the grade = internship evaluation
1/3 of the grade=class grade

Cooperative work-based learning (unpaid or paid):
2 school days at work and 3 days in class.
2/5 of the grade = co-op evaluation by employer
3/5 of the grade = class academics grade

Virtual Mentorship – Graded same as Cooperative work-based learning

  • This is similar to Cooperative work-based learning, but students remain in the classroom and meet virtually with Mentor in the industry to work on Industry programming problems while also working on class work.

Universal Learning

The Programming and Mobile Applications program is committed to universal learning and supporting all students’ needs. Our classroom space, routines, resources, and interactions will be as inclusive as possible. Treating each other with respect, listening to each other, having an open mind and a willingness to help each other learn is crucial to universal learning.

Strategies to provide optimal learning for all students in this course include:

  • Each student can redo assignments, tests and quizzes if they are not satisfied with their first attempt.
  • Every student can move around the classroom as needed.
  • Every student has access to a copy of the teachers notes on the class web page
  • Each student will be afforded a spot in the classroom where they can learn to the best of their ability.
  • Each student will have access to peer to peer support.

Programming & Mobile Applications Virtual Visit

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Student Testimonials

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"Pixelland" Kevin MacLeod (
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About Programming & Mobile Applications

1-2 year program

Offered AM and PM

Skills Students Leave With:

Computer Programming

Database Design & Development

Game Development

Mobile Application Development

Project Management

Robotics Controls