Thanks for responding!
The school I'm looking at right now is CSU, but if I'm not accepted, I'll look at either CU or BYU-Idaho.
The degree I was planning on was computer science at first, but a fascination with circuits and Arduino convinced me to switch over to computer engineering. CSU's Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, as you might guess from the name, has computer engineering and electrical engineering as very similar degrees; the main difference is that computer engineering just doesn't have as many technical electives because most of them are invested in computer science courses. However, because their electrical engineering degree is structured a little differently, I can get the same degree and I just might be able to get it in less time, thanks to the classes I've already taken at community college.
I might still have it in the same time, though. One thing I do like about the EE degree, though, is that it requires Unix and C courses instead of Java courses. It's a little confusing to me that a computer engineering course would ask me to study Java when C dominates the microprocessor and firmware world, but they told me it's something they're talking about changing anyhow.
Thanks for the direction! I'm actually working on studying algorithms and data structures right now with Coursera, but I realized that I'm going to need to figure out Discrete Mathematics before I can really sink my teeth into the proofs they discuss, so I'm using the Discrete Mathematics course from Lynda before I return to the algorithm course.
Thanks for mentioning SQL, too! I've played with it a little, but had no idea that it would be important in embedded systems.
I'll give status updates as I advance. For the time being, when I'm not busy with school (which, for now, is just English and Physics, with Calc III being tossed on top next semester), I work on Hackerbox projects, study Discrete Math, Algorithms, and Data Structures, and build any other little projects that seem interesting to me. My next goal is to finally build a little rover with a SONAR rangefinder that I ordered the kit for months ago.
I want to add contributing to open-source, I just don't really know how right now. All of the code I've looked at thus far has been mind-bogglingly complex compared to what I've worked on in the past.
When I make any career advancements, I'll make a new post with the path I've taken and the important steps I took.