Computer Science has its place, certainly, but it's not in every IT shop in America. I've been giving this a lot of thought lately: How do you take those unemployed and underemployed people, whose jobs have basically disappeared, and are never coming back... and intersect SOME of those people (not all of them will be able to do it) with the enormous shortage of talented and capable IT people.
I've come to almost accept, over the last couple of years, that there's such an insatiable demand for IT, and such a shortage of competent IT people, that it's just a reality that we're going to have lots of lots of crappy people in IT, and there's nothing that can be done about it.
But I'm having difficulty completely accepting that. Because I know that the skills that you need to be good at solving technology problems are not extraordinary. I just barely started college, and then quit to join the Air Force. Five years later, I got into the web business (in 1996) and I've had a great career for 18 years. I recently decided to finish my degree, but that's a different story.
The point is: I'm not a computer scientist. There have been a few times in my career when I would have benefited from a CS degree, but not many. Mostly, what I have needed is intelligence, verbal and written communication skills, the ability to quickly learn new things, a passionate interest in technology, the three Larry Wall traits (laziness, impatience and hubris), and an understanding of how users think and act. Editorial skill has not hurt me, and neither has graphic design skill.
While I would be really interested in helping to build an educational program, one problem I have is that I'm self-taught, and therefore don't really know how you're supposed to teach this stuff. But I would love to be part of a workshop where industry folks come together for a week and brainstorm on this topic, or something.
My big sticking point is this: I honestly believe that the one non-negotiable requirement for being a good technologist is intelligence. And this seems to be controversial, because it makes it sound like I'm calling other people stupid. And, well, I am. I really wrestle with this. I wonder how good a web developer you can be if you're not quite smart.