The Key Punch certificate program was first offered in the fall of 1968. Its six week length was popular with students since it prepared for them for a high demand job with a minimal time and financial investment.
The initial catalogue description of the program follows:
The Key Punch Operation program is a six-week program designed to give students the basic skill and understanding necessary to qualify for employment as key punch operators. Major emphasis is placed on skill development with limited orientation to data processing concepts, office practice, and business relations. Major employers of key punch operators include insurance companies, utility companies, publishing house, banks and various other industrial and retail firms using data processing equipment.
The curriculum focused on developing skill, accuracy and speed in entering data (punching cards) using a key punch machine.
The program used the computer programming advisory committee, but there were seldom issues for discussion since the program objectives were clear and the curriculum was appropriate during the life of the program.
Mary Saunders was the original instructor followed by Myrna Mauer who continued until the program was later discontinued. The demand for key punch data entry workers declined as input practices changed, and scanning and direct data entry by users became the norm.
The graduates were in high demand for years and most found jobs prior to graduation. Those who enrolled gained the skills to substantially increase their incomes in a relatively short time.