Accreditation and Assessment

To ensure our computer science students are prepared for future success in their careers, the department follows a formal procedure in the development of curriculum and the assessment of the program. 

With the help of our constituents, we identify career objectives a computer scientist should be able to meet within a few years after graduation. We periodically survey our alumni and their employers to find out how well these objectives are being met. We also survey and assess students throughout the duration of the BS program to determine if they are acquiring the skills and knowledge they will need to achieve the defined career objectives. The program is outcomes based—based on what our students know and can do, not based on what is covered in class—and devoted to continuous improvement.

Accreditation

The BS degree in Computer Science is accredited by the Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET.  ABET is a federation of 35 professional engineering and technical societies. Since 1932, ABET has provided quality assurance of education through accreditation. ABET accredits more than 3,500 engineering, engineering technology, computing, and applied science programs at over 700 colleges and universities in 29 countries.  ABET is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).

With an ABET-accredited BS degree, graduates will have enhanced career opportunities.

The Department of Computer Science and Engineering has developed formal procedures for self-evaluation and continuous improvement designed to sustain a computer science education of increasing high quality and meet the accreditation requirements of ABET. Key components of this program include:

  • Definition of the constituents served by the computer science program
  • Establishment of program educational objectives with our constituents
  • Establishment of student outcomes, in conjunction with ABET
  • An ongoing program of assessment that measures the degree to which the program educational objectives and student outcomes are being met
  • An ongoing program of evaluation to improve the computer science program in response to feedback from the assessment process

Constituents

The constituencies of the computer science program include:

Program Educational Objectives

Program educational objectives are broad statements that describe what graduates are expected to attain within a few years after graduation. Program educational objectives are based on the needs of the program's constituencies.

Our graduates will attain the skills to

  • work productively as Computer Scientists, including supportive and leadership roles on multidisciplinary teams,
  • communicate effectively, recognize and incorporate societal needs and constraints in their professional endeavors, and practice their profession with high regard to legal and ethical responsibilities,
  • engage in life-long learning, such as graduate study, to remain current in their profession and be leaders in our global technological society

Student Outcomes

Student outcomes describe what students are expected to know and be able to do by the time of graduation. These relate to the knowledge, skills, and behaviors that students acquire as they progress through the program:

a. An ability to apply knowledge of computing and mathematics appropriate to the discipline

b. An ability to analyze a problem, and identify and define the computing requirements appropriate to its solution

c. An ability to design, implement, and evaluate a computer-based system, process, component, or program to meet desired needs

d. An ability to function effectively on teams to accomplish a common goal

e. An understanding of professional, ethical, legal, security and social issues and responsibilities

f. An ability to communicate effectively with a range of audiences

g. An ability to analyze the local and global impact of computing on individuals, organizations, and society

h. Recognition of the need for and an ability to engage in continuing professional development

i. An ability to use current techniques, skills, and tools necessary for computing practice.

j. An ability to apply mathematical foundations, algorithmic principles, and computer science theory in the modeling and design of computer-based systems in a way that demonstrates comprehension of the tradeoffs involved in design choices.

k. An ability to apply design and development principles in the construction of software systems of varying complexity.

Assessment

Program educational objectives, which are developed with the assistance of a target group of employers and other constituents, are assessed through surveying of our alumni and their employers.

Evaluation and Continuous Improvement

In response to the feedback received from the assessment program, the department is engaged in an ongoing program of self-improvement. Recent examples of these activities include:

  • Revision of the Program Educational Objectives
  • Standardization of Student Outcomes
  • New Student Outcomes assessment process
  • Improved prerequisite checking and enforcement
  • Standardization of course syllabi and addition of course assessment matrix
  • Student computing laboratory rehabilitation
  • Formation of advisory panels
  • New Facebook group
  • New LinkedIn group
  • New Twitter account