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, https://www.abet.org.  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.

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:

  • Current students in the computer science program
  • Program alumni
  • Employers of computer science interns and graduates
  • CSE Department Faculty
  • CSE Department Advisory Board (DAB)

Program Educational Objectives

The curriculum is designed to meet several educational objectives. These program education objectives (PEOs) are broad statements that describe the expected accomplishments of graduates within a few years after graduation.

Specific PEOs are that graduates will:

  • work productively as Computer Scientists, including in leadership and supportive roles on diverse teams,
  • communicate effectively,
  • adapt to and shape a rapidly evolving computing landscape,
  • recognize and address societal needs in their professional endeavors, and
  • practice their profession with high regard to legal and ethical responsibilities.

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.

Graduates of the program will have an ability to:

  1. Analyze a complex computing problem and to apply principles of computing and other relevant disciplines to identify solutions.
  2. Design, implement, and evaluate a computing-based solution to meet a given set of computing requirements in the context of the program’s discipline.
  3. Communicate effectively in a variety of professional contexts.
  4. Recognize professional responsibilities and make informed judgments in computing practice based on legal and ethical principles.
  5. Function effectively as a member or leader of a team engaged in activities appropriate to the program’s discipline.
  6. Apply computer science theory and software development fundamentals to produce computing-based solutions.

Assessment

Assessment is done to ensure that graduates of our program attain the student outcomes for the program, and that the program itself aligns with the needs of its constituents. Student achievement of outcomes is assessed at various points in the curriculum. Program educational objectives, which are developed with the assistance of a target group of employers and other constituents, are assessed through surveys of our alumni and their employers.

Evaluation and Continuous Improvement

The data gathered during assessment are analyzed on a regular schedule. Actions are taken to improve the program as needed to ensure high program quality is maintained.