The Academy of Information Technology at Wheaton High School

The Academy of Information Technology (AOIT)

Contact Information

Emily Dunbar
Academy Leader

A Member of the NAF Network

Learn about computer programming, web design, computer animation and robotics. Have options to focus on different IT software and programming trades.


NAF logoWheaton 's Academy of Information Technology (AOIT) consists of a 9th through 12th grade curriculum developed to address the growing demand of IT workers across the nation. This nationally recognized and endorsed program is aligned with relevant academic, employment, and workplace standards. It is a member program of the NAF Network. 

Students in the AOIT participate in a rigorous academic curriculum as they are introduced to the broad career opportunities in today's digital workforce. In the process, students gain an understanding of the connections that exist between their education and the workplace and are equipped with the personal, analytical, technical and communications skills they need to thrive.

Students are required to complete the identified academy courses and have opportunities to enroll in a college-level course or complete a compensated internship program during their junior or senior years. Various career-based experiences such as focused job shadows, team competitions, and college/industry site visits are also available to reinforce the connection between school and work. A number of industry certifications may also be earned.

Link: Wheaton's AOIT Website

Information TechnologyPathway

Why enroll in this Academy?

  • Computing occupations are the largest category of new wages in the United States – ahead of management, healthcare, finance, engineering, sales, or any other category (from
  • The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that eight of the ten fastest growing occupations are information technology occupations.
  • Economists predict that anticipated shortfalls in the number of information technology workers could slow the growth of our nation's computer, defense, and telecommunications industries.
  • Computer Science is now the largest degree program in the University System of Maryland.
  • The information technology industry encompass a wide range of occupations that includes computers, software, telecommunications products and services, Internet and online services, networking and systems integration, and professional services companies.
  • Students interested in careers related to programming and software development, e-business, Web site development, networking/computer maintenance, and more will benefit from pursuing this career cluster.

Who should enroll in this academy?

Are these among your interests and abilities?

  • applying theories and principles of working with computer related technologies
  • planning for the efficient completion of tasks
  • using good oral and written communication skills
  • providing products and services to others
  • solving problems
  • interacting with a variety of people
  • applying good spatial reasoning and logic skills

You could be a successful...

  • Computer Software Engineer, Applications
  • Computer Software Engineer, Systems Software
  • Computer Programmer/Software Developer
  • Computer Support Specialist
  • Computer Systems Analyst
  • Chief Information Officer
  • Database Administrator
  • Desktop Publisher
  • Mobile App Developer
  • Cyber Security Specialist
  • Director of Analytics 

Rigor in the Academy

This High School Program will provide the student with an opportunity to meet or exceed the following Indicators of Rigor as established by the Maryland State Department of Education:

  • 2 credits of foreign language
  • 2 credits in advanced technology
  • Math course beyond Algebra 2 and Geometry

Course Descriptions

AP Computer Science Principles

This course advances students’ understanding of the technical aspects of computing including, programming and algorithm design, computer system organization and operation, and data representation and information organization. Specific programming languages may include Processing, C++, and Java. (leads to new AP exam offered starting in May 2017)

AP Computer Science - Java

Using the Java language, students explore in-depth work with text files and arrays, abstract data types, recursion, searching and sorting algorithms, and program efficiency. Examination of specified class behaviors, interrelated objects, and object hierarchies are studied. Students may elect to take the Advanced Placement Computer Science exam upon completion of this course.

Guided Research

This course provides an opportunity for NAF students to apply the knowledge and skill sets from their programs of study to complete a structured research project or authentic internship. Students may collaborate with professionals and mentors in the related career field and participate in program-specific learning, leadership seminars, networking opportunities, and relevant workplace experiences.


Students apply knowledge and skill sets acquired in their program of study to an authentic internship. Collaborating with professionals and mentors in the related career field, students participate in program-specific learning, leadership seminars, networking opportunities and relevant workplace experiences.

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